Gillibrand fights for Farm Bill priorities

By Kelly McCarthy

May 8, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 12:37 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is fighting for what she thinks is best for New York in the proposed Farm Bill.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Farm Bill as early as next week, and in the meantime Gillibrand is outlining her priorities in the legislation.

She says helping farmers gain access to credit for loans and expanding their business is a top concern.

Gillibrand says the legislation should regulate the price of milk to benefit the farmers that produce it.

"We need to make sure they get the right amount for the milk they produce," Gillibrand said. "Unfortunately, there's no relationship between the price that we pay in the store to what they receive, and a lot of times they're receiving money less than the cost of production."

She adds making fresh produce more available in new markets could help farmers and families in need.

"Whether families are on food stamps, or it's a school or a hospital, or a seniors' facility," Gillibrand said, "We need to make sure those fresh fruits and vegetables are getting to more markets to help our farms continue to thrive and to make sure our communities are healthier."

U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows New York state is home to more than 36,000 farms that stretch across 7 million acres of land.