Senate Ag Chair Ritchie Tours Irene-Damaged Farms

Patty Ritchie

September 7, 2011

Devastation is ‘numbing,’ says Ag Committee Chair

State Senator Patty Ritchie toured flood damaged farms Tuesday in New York’s Schoharie Valley, and promised to work with farmers and state officials to help with recovery efforts.

Senator Ritchie, who chairs the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, spent the afternoon in Cobleskill, Schoharie and surrounding communities, meeting with farmers, and inspecting crop and building damage. She praised Governor Cuomo for focusing attention on farmers, many of whom lost their entire crops and much of their family farms to flooding from Hurricane Irene.

“A total of 140,000 acres of farmland and millions of dollars of crops, farm buildings and equipment were lost to the storm,” Senator Ritchie said.  “A natural disaster like Hurricane Irene can leave hundreds of small family agriculture related businesses wondering whether they’ll be able to survive.”

“The devastation that I saw was numbing, and reminded me of some of the worst damage I saw after the 1998 ice storm, or more recent flooding of this past spring,” Senator Ritchie said.

“But as with past disasters in our region, New Yorkers, who are already known for their compassion, are responding, and giving me confidence that the farmers of the Schoharie Valley will recover,” Senator Ritchie said.

“I want to thank Governor Cuomo for making sure that farmers are not overlooked in the state’s recovery efforts, and I’ve offered my assistance to do anything I can to help farmers impacted by this devastating storm.”