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
In a ceremony Monday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo — flanked by Democratic legislators and his lieutenant governor — signed a state law that will gradually raise the minimum wage on Long Island to $15 an hour. 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…)
A buffalo calf feeds at North Quarter Farm in Riverhead Tuesday. Owner Ed Tuccio said the dry summer season decreased the newborn mortality rate. (Credit: Carrie Miller)
The dog days of summer weren’t very dogged this year, at least not in terms of 90-plus degree days. That, combined with a lack of rain, created some ideal conditions for local produce and livestock farmers.
“Overall it has been tremendous for growing,” said Joe Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau. “The quality of produce and fruit is unbelievable, actually. Just really magnificent crops.” (more…)