By Assemblyman Will Barclay
This is one of my favorite times of the year. The warm weather allows us to travel more freely and the landscapes our state has to offer are enjoyed and envied by many. August is also a time when farmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ markets are plentiful with local produce. WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re reminded again how important agriculture is to our state and local economies when we see the offerings at the local stands and farmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ markets. Agricultural production brought in more than $4.5 billion in 2007 alone, making it a major contributor to the health of New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s economy. Agriculture is also a major contributor to New YorkÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tourism industry, with millions of people visiting the stateÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s farms, vineyards, parks, and waterways each year.
In Oswego County, according to the National Agriculture Statistics Services:
Ã‚Â· In 2003, 17 percent of the countyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s total acreage was farm land.
Ã‚Â· There were 675 farms in the county averaging 153 acres per farm.
Ã‚Â· Oswego County ranked 25th in the state for number of farms and 37th for land in farms.
Ã‚Â· In 2002, according to the Census of Agriculture, the market value of all agricultural products sold from county farms was $31.5 million. Total sales averaged $46,226 per farm.
Ã‚Â· The leading products sold were: vegetables, dairy products, nursery & greenhouse, fruits & nuts, and hay & other Crops.
In Onondaga County, according to the NASS:
Ã‚Â· 31 percent of the countyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s total acreage is dedicated farm land.
Ã‚Â· There were 720 farms in the county averaging 217 acres per farm.
Ã‚Â· Onondaga County ranks 20th in the state for number of farms and 23rd for land in farms.
Ã‚Â· In 2002, according to the Census of Agriculture, the market value of all agricultural products sold from county farms was $82.2 million. Total sales averaged 113,330 per farm.
Ã‚Â· The leading products sold were: dairy products, poultry and eggs, grains & dry beans, vegetables, and nursery & greenhouse.
For these reasons and more, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important to shop locally year round, especially when produce is in season. Our local farmers depend on our patronage. The farmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ markets allow more profit for the farmer, eliminate the middle man, and enable the customer to purchase food directly from the farmer. Here are the farmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ markets listed on the New York State Department of AgricultureÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s web site. I encourage you to visit your local market this season.
Oswego County FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Markets:
* Fulton FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Market, Canalview Center lot, N. Second St., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Oct. 24.
* Hillside FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Market, 7753 State Rte. 3, Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sept. 27, Pulaski.
* Mexico FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Market, Volunteer FiremanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Field, Main St., Mondays 4 to 7 p.m., through Sept. 28.
* Oswego FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Market, W. 1st Street, Thursdays 5 to 9 p.m., through Oct. 8.
* Port Ontario Hillside FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Market, 7753 Route 3, Port Ontario, Sat. and Sunday through Sept. 28.
* Pulaski FarmersÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Market, South Park, Fridays 4 to 7 p.m., through Sept. 25.
If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.