MIDDLEBURGH, N.Y. (NEWS10) — NY-21 Congresswoman Elise Stefanik took her first official tour of Schoharie County Tuesday morning. Under New York’s New Congressional district map, Rep. Stefanik now represents the Schoharie Valley. She met with new constituents, local dairy farmers to discuss issues regarding agriculture.
“Agriculture is always a top priority of mine which is why we have farm endorsements every election cycle and I have a committee of farmers locally who provide us with the best policy advice, and we work with elected officials like Assemblymember Chris Tague who has experience on agricultural issues both policy-wise but also his professional background too,” said Rep. Stefanik.
She and NYS Assemblymember Chris Tague took a tour around Maple Downs Farms II in Middleburgh, a registered dairy farm that milks about 140 mature cows, they also sell crops and board other animals there. The farm is owned by David and Denise Lloyd, they say the farm is their livelihood. “We try to do a bunch of different things so that we can stay doing what we love,” said Denise.
The couple says they face many challenges in and out of the barn. Recently, the New York State Farm Laborers’ Wage Board voted to reduce the overtime threshold for farmworkers, dropping from 60 hours a week to 40 hours. However, at this point, the 40 hour overtime threshold is only a recommendation from the board.
It’s not just the labor issues causing headaches, the job gets done depending on the forecast. “The weather is what controls us, whether we get our crops in the ground, and if there’s a storm coming, to get the field planted, or to pick up the hay, the weather changes, compound that trying to put thousands of dollars into the ground,” said Denise.
Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague tells NEWS10 he is excited to work with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik in Schoharie County and says he will continue to voice agricultural priorities in Albany.