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>Farm owners, operators air concerns with Lee

BATAVIA -- About 20 area farm owners and operators met Wednesday with Rep. Chris Lee, R-Clarence, to air concerns ranging from government red tape and high energy costs to the rising costs of mandates and transportation.

The hourlong session in Farm Credit of Western New York headquarters included discussions on the availability of credit for investments in equipment and technology. Area farmers noted that "lots of farms are canceling projects" and emphasized that federal support for agriculture "can quick-start the economy."

Lee, in his first month in Congress as the successor to Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, announced the creation of an Agriculture Advisory Board of leaders in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties "to assist in developing solutions to protect our farming community in these difficult economic times."

Wednesday's meeting, Lee said, was the board's first session.

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>Gillibrand assigned to Environment Committee

WASHINGTON Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., has been assigned to the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.

The newly appointed senator follows in the footsteps of former Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Daniel Patrick Moynihan in serving on this committee.

"A seat on the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee means a seat at the table for some of the most pressing issues facing New York, including our great need for transportation and water infrastructure, the remediation and redevelopment of old industrial sites, and efforts to combat global climate change," Gillibrand said.

She will also serve on three subcommittees: Superfund, Toxics and Environmental Health, Oversight and Green Jobs and the New Economy.

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