Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C-Schoharie) hosted his 5th annual agriculture tour alongside Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R,C-Riverhead), Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C-Smithtown), Sen. George Borrello and Sen. Michelle Hinchey this week. Over 60 assembly, senate and staff members from all over the state joined the NY and Long Island Farm Bureau and Cooperative Extension to explore what is ‘Grown on Long Island’. The tour stopped at eight local staples, including Bianchi Davis Greenhouse, Delea Sod Farm, Wickham Fruit Farm, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Little Ram Oyster Company, Sang Lee Farm, Premium Wine Group and Lavender by the Bay.
“These trips give us the invaluable opportunity to speak directly to our constituents and hear their needs,” said Tague. “It reminds us that life doesn’t stop in our districts, we need to be well-rounded in our knowledge of the state– that’s how we develop good policy.”
Exploring different staples along the North Fork of Long Island exposed legislators to various constituents, professions and issues they need to consider during the 2024 Legislative Session. Some of the main issues discussed during the tour were housing, affordability and a reliable market. While some of these will take time to iron out, legislators are already making changes.
“Farmers all over New York are being pushed aside to fit into Gov. Hochul’s liberal agenda. You see it in the news, through policy and now we had the chance to hear it first hand from our Long Island constituents,” Tague said. “One of the issues we discussed was the lack of a market for cannabis farmers. A bipartisan group of legislators, myself included, came together and urged Gov. Hochul to sign the Cannabis Crop Rescue Act which would help the farmers sell their product instead of wasting it. These are the types of issues we are made aware of by speaking directly with constituents.”
“Every year I am grateful for the opportunity to host these tours and bridge the gap between Minority, Majority and our lovely agricultural community,” Tague said. “I know I left the island more knowledgeable and aware about what our people need. We fully intend to implement what we learned during this tour into our future policy decisions.”
The 6th annual tour is planned to be in Otsego, Schoharie and Herkimer counties, with a focus on all that Cooperstown and the surrounding area have to offer.