Tague Introduces Bill to Assure Premium Reimbursement for New York Fairs

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) has put forward legislation to allow fairs to be reimbursed for premium reimbursement for those held in 2021 even if they were unable to hold their annual agricultural fair during 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, fairs are only eligible for reimbursement if they held their annual agricultural fair in the previous calendar year, and this requirement would leave many fairs throughout the state with funding shortfalls that could leave them unable to hold events during 2021.

“This pandemic has upended our traditions in all facets of life, but we must fight to be sure they persist once we make it through the worst of this crisis,” said Tague. “Agricultural fairs are paramount events for communities across the state, as locals gather to enjoy the culmination of months of dedicated labor, showing their animals and selling their products to people from throughout the area. These fairs provide young people the opportunity to engage with their local agricultural community, and premium reimbursement allows fairs to offer exciting prizes that entice young people to participate in animal showmanship and other time honored traditions.”

Darin Hickling of the New York Farm Bureau said “County fairs provide an important connection for people to better understand local agriculture. However, they are facing the difficult decision to close in light of the pandemic. This could put premium reimbursement from the state at risk only compounding the financial difficulties many find themselves in because of the closures. New York Farm Bureau thanks Assemblyman Tague for his legislation that would maintain a fair’s eligibility for the funding without penalizing them for putting public safety first.”