Tague Hosts Press Conference Advocating for Protection of Productive Farmland

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C-Schoharie) hosted a press conference yesterday to bring attention to the dwindling amount of available productive farmland that is being passed over for new developments, including solar farms. Tague was joined by Sen. Peter Oberacker, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Bill Federice, Town of Blenheim Supervisor Don Airey, Town of Sharon Springs Supervisor Sandy Manko, Town of Sharon Springs Highway Supervisor Bill Barbic, Farm Bureau Region 9 Representative and Schoharie County Farm Bureau President Steve Smith and owner of Salisbury Farm Stuart Salisbury.

“It is disheartening to see what used to be hundreds of acres of farmland be turned into a solar farm,” said Tague, a former dairy farmer himself. “The state of our economy is making agriculture an unprofitable business. Farmers can’t afford to farm in New York anymore so their only option is to lease or sell.”

During the press conference, Tague called on the governor to sit down with the Department of Agriculture, DEC and NYSERDA to assess how much land is actually needed and if it’s being taken from the appropriate places.

“I’m not against alternative energy sources or solar energy in general, but we need to keep our priorities straight,” Tague continued. “The saying ‘no farms, no food’ remains true and with the economy continuing downward, we need to protect what we have in our state.”

Editors note: Full press conference video available here. Photos are available here.