Seward Announces Schoharie Ag-tourism $$

James L. Seward

October 17, 2006

Three Schoharie area organizations are in line for senate grants that promote agri-tourism in New York, Senator James L. Seward announced today.

Seward, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said that the senate funds a special program that matches local support in order to develop or promote agricultural activities keyed to tourism.

"This an important program designed to boost the partnership of tourism and agriculture," Seward said. "Both are leading sectors of New York's economy, particularly so in our rural areas. Food and agricultural tourism generates jobs, income, economic diversification and attracts tourists. The matching grants I am announcing will boost local tourism and agriculture."

The grants are:

*Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce -- $15,000 toward its "School of Country Wisdom FAM Tours." The program offers group tours geared to downstate residents to familiarize them with the area through workshops, farm tours, restaurants and outlets;

*Sharon Springs Citizens Council of the Arts -- $4,850 for the "Placemap" project; a kiosk in the local arts park and placemat for area restaurants to direct tourists to local farms, art studios, restaurants, hotels and historic sites in the Town of Sharon;

*Fox Creek Farm -- $990 for its "Helderberg Sustainable Farm Tour;" tours of four sustainable but different farm operations. Participants will observe antique working farm equipment, tranditional building methods and small farming methods and practices.

Successful projects must develop, enact or expand activities that promote New York State food and agriculture by attracting visitors to food and agriculture-related destinations. Direct marketing, lodging and dining, education and entertainment are eligible. Those receiving the awards must match the senate grants.

"New York has great opportunties in agriculture and tourism and this program teams them up to help both sectors and Schoharie County's local economy," Seward said.