More than a dozen farmers, most from the East End, spoke at a Tuesday public hearing in Hauppauge in support of a proposed Suffolk County law that would sidestep a New York State Supreme Court ruling that deems development on protected farmland illegal.
Local growers and farmers say climate change is creating new challenges, with extreme weather conditions, sudden storms, rising temperatures and drought making it even more difficult to cope with a perennially unpredictable Mother Nature.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul met with representatives from the Long Island Farm Bureau on Wednesday to discuss the challenges facing Long Island farmers such as the cost of maintaining a farm, a rising minimum wage and the lack of young farmers. READ
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
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…)