Senator Valesky Applauds New Agri-tourism Law

 

Legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. David J. Valesky (D-Oneida)
that promotes the growing agri-tourism industry has been signed into law
by Gov. George Pataki.

The legislation, which was sponsored by the bipartisan New
York State Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, amends
New York’s right to farm laws to include agri-tourism on the state’s list
of sound agricultural practices.

"By linking together the interests of our State’s agricultural
and tourism industries," said Sen. Valesky, "we can help boost the
already significant demand for homegrown New York products creating
lifelong customers and raising awareness about the important role
agriculture plays in our life and culture."

This new law will compliment the existing Agri-tourism grant
program. This grant program authorizes the state’s Department of Agriculture
to award matching grants of up to $50,000 for projects that promote
the public’s understanding and awareness of New York food, farming and
agriculture by attracting visitors to rural sites for educational, cultural,
recreational or commercial purposes.

"We are indeed fortunate to live in a state that has a rich agricultural
economy and heritage," Sen. Valesky said. "New York’s agricultural
businesses not only put top-quality food on our tables, but they are a
critical component of our State’s rural culture."

Individuals and groups, both for-profit and not-for-profit, are eligible
for agri-tourism grants. Recipients can devote the funding to one-time
events or for programs that are offered more
frequently.

More information is available on the Department of Agriculture website at
www.agmkt.state.ny.us. Written proposals for Agri-tourism must be
received by September 11 at 4:30 p.m.