03/22/16 9:50am
03/22/2016 9:50 AM


Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed minimum wage increase would have a devastating effect on the agricultural community and possibly send consumers to neighboring states to purchase products, farmers and business owners said at a Monday press conference opposing the proposal ahead of the April 1 state budget deadline.  READ

01/19/16 9:01am
01/19/2016 9:01 AM


A proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to eventually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour — a 66 percent increase from the current rate — has members of the agriculture industry on edge.

“That would put us at a huge disadvantage,” said Jeff Rottkamp, owner of Fox Hollow Farm on Sound Avenue. “A monstrous disadvantage.” READ

01/08/15 8:59am
01/08/2015 8:59 AM

Scenic corridors, fine wine and farm-fresh produce are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. They provide the backdrop for and help define life on the North Fork — and are testaments to the area’s rich agricultural history. But beyond all the beauty and nostalgia, farming is a business. And it’s a tough and dirty business, one that’s under constant threat from forces both natural and man-made.

For 26 years, Joseph Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau, has worked to protect the farmer and, to the best of his ability, help the industry thrive. Last year, he decided to retire. Because of his lifelong passion, leadership and devotion to the North Fork’s farming community, Mr. Gergela is the recipient of The Suffolk Times’ first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award.   (more…)

10/27/14 3:00pm
10/27/2014 3:00 PM
Senator LaValle presented L.I. Farm Bureau executive director Joe Gergela with the Paul Stoutenburgh Leadership Award.

State Sen. Ken LaValle presented L.I. Farm Bureau executive director Joe Gergela with the Paul Stoutenburgh Leadership Award.

North Fork Environmental Council advocacy volunteers Friday celebrated the 2014 Paul Stoutenburgh Leadership Award winner, the first since the recent death of the council’s notable co-founder.

Long-time Long Island Farm Bureau executive director Joseph Gergela — who is retiring after 26 years in the role — received the award, a decision that came as a surprise to some, considering the fact that relationships between farmers and environmentalists can sometimes be seen as at-odds.