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OT THRESHOLD: Another battle for agriculture

We have heard plenty from politicians — those upstate and downstate — regarding a lower overtime threshold for farming from 60 to 40 hours per week. While those elected are making a lot of noise regarding the proposal, the most important voices come from those closest to the situation.

Earlier this month, fifth-generation Forestville grape farmer James Militello offered his thoughts regarding the damage that could be done if changes are made. “My position on the overtime threshold is that it should remain at 60 hours per week,” he said. “I’m here to tell you, there will never be a right time to lower the threshold to 40 hours. If the state of New York lowers the threshold at all, it will decimate the New York state agricultural industry.”

There has never been a level playing field for those in agriculture.

All one has to do is look at the dairy component. At one time, those farms dominated this county. Today, the numbers are greatly diminished.

More hearings on this issue are scheduled in the coming days. There’s already a lot those in agriculture cannot control, including pricing and weather. New York state does not need to add one more burden to a field where many do struggle.

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