Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) hosted an upstate farm tour in Schoharie County to bring different legislators and ways of life together to see upstates unique agricultural economy. The tour focused on bringing legislators from all across New York state and giving them an in-depth understanding and education about how agriculture functions. Tague is determined to educate and illustrate how important farming is to upstates economy and showcase how different Main St. Schoharie is from Manhattan. The tour included a variety of stops from large family farms, to state-of-the-art hydroponics and breeding facilities, to small dairy farms. Each stop was chosen to highlight the different ways that food is brought to our tables.
I am thrilled with the turnout on the tour, Tague said. We had legislators and visitors from all across the state, from Western New York and the North Country, all the way to New York City, Long Island and Staten Island. This tour was a resounding success and I would like to thank all of our farmers and others who made this possible. It is my hope that all of our legislators will take the lessons from our farmers to heart as they head back to their respective districts. We must keep in mind that if we do not support our farmers and give them the tools they need to prosper, we will all feel the effects. No farms, no food!
Senator James L. Seward said, The upstate farm tour proved once again the importance of agriculture to our economy and way of life. We have a diverse range of agricultural businesses throughout our region of the state, and educating fellow legislators about what is taking place on our farms will pay future dividends. Moving forward, I will continue to fight for funding and legislation to support our farmers and ensure their future viability.
I was immensely pleased to join with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly on the Upstate Farm Tour, said Salka. Our farms and farmers are under threat and our dairy industry faces a massive crisis. Generationally-owned family farms are being forced to shut their doors and being on the front lines to protect them is something Im very passionate about. I commend Assemblyman Tague for leading the charge to educate our peers and remind everyone of the age old adage, no farms no food.
Farms are a pillar of our economy here in upstate New York and are faced with increasing regulations and red tape from Albany that make their jobs even harder, said Smullen. Farmers know what they need to succeed not legislators and certainly not advice or laws from people who have never set foot on a farm before. It was a privilege to join in on the upstate tour and to see firsthand how our farmers serve their communities. These folks are some of the best in the country and they deserve our support.
Agriculture is integral to the economy of many communities throughout the state, including the communities I represent in Suffolk County on Long Island, said Assemblyman Michael Fitzpatrick (R,C,I,Ref-Smithtown), who is a member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. I am glad to take any opportunity to show my colleagues representing districts in New York City how vital agriculture is to the entire state. Growing this relationship and understanding helps support the efforts of family farmers and agribusinesses within my own district and throughout the state.
Assemblyman Brian Miller said, As a former apple grower, I understand the struggles of New Yorks farmers and I appreciated the opportunity to share that experience with my colleagues from more urban parts of the state. It is vital as state lawmakers that we understand the true needs of a community before passing laws that impact it. Because of the vastness and diversity of communities in our state, I feel oftentimes laws are passed in Albany without a true understanding of differing perspectives. However, I hope this event will help build a bridge and foster a greater sense of understanding with my colleagues, particularly as we look at ways to support our family-run farms.
It was great to be with other legislators from across the state to gain their thoughts and ideas on how to improve New Yorks farm industry. While I am a farmer in the northwestern region of the state, I found it very educational to learn what farms and small businesses are going through in the Catskills. It was refreshing to see so many family farms and the commitment owners have to their businesses. This was a great help to prepare myself for the upcoming Legislative Session to show why the farm industry is so important to so many different communities, said Assemblyman Brian Manktelow (R,C,I,Ref-Lyons)