The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets’ mission is to foster a competitive food and agriculture industry that benefits producers and consumers alike. We work diligently to promote a viable agricultural industry, foster agricultural environmental stewardship, and safeguard our food supply.
Even though New York is associated with city life, agriculture remains a dominant industry. Agriculture makes up one-quarter of the State’s land area and contributes immensely to the quality of life in New York State by generating economic activity and producing wholesome products to nourish our families. It provides fresh, wholesome products, creates jobs and economic activity, and keeps farmland open and productive.
Agriculture is a $3.6 billion industry in New York State. With more than 35,000 farms, New York is a leading producer of numerous products, ranking 1st in cottage cheese, 2nd in apples and cabbage, and 3rd in milk, grapes, wine, maple syrup and cauliflower.
New York farmland covers 7.8 million acres. The land consists of fertile soils and receives adequate rain, making it ideal to grow a wide diversity of crops from fresh fruits and vegetables, to forage and grains for livestock.
In addition to taking great pride in living off the land and producing an abundant and wholesome food supply, New York farmers live in harmony with the State’s 19 million consumers. This dynamic presents both challenges and opportunities, however, being within a day’s drive to over half of the United States’ and Canada’s population and wealth, New York farmers have an inherent advantage of access to markets for their local farm products.