Support your local FARM brewery!
Support your local FARM brewery!
Hi - my family and I are starting a farm brewery! It’s a real, hard, working farm where over 300 acres will be dedicated to the production of grains, hops and other specialty crops used in production! Located a short distance off exit 17 of I-87 in Saratoga County, we can't wait to share our farm brewery with craft beer lovers, our community, and our up and coming talented young brewers!
Our family has been farming since 1983, and the time is critical for creating value-added agricultural processes (the brewing) and sharing finished products (the beer) with our community via an on-premise taproom. Did you know that between 2012 and 2017, the number of family farms in New York State fell at almost double the national rate at 7%? It isn’t helping that Saratoga County is the fastest growing upstate New York County, gaining 3% more full time residents between 2010 and 2016. And, did you know the average age of an American farmer is 57? When most of us are thinking about retiring, the people who feed and clothe our great nation are still working 24/7/365! That’s crazy!
This Farm Brewery will be key to transitioning our farming operation from the first to second generation – which means this 33-year old woman has the opportunity to not only manage the farm but provide relief to the older generation so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor. It gives our family farm the opportunity to take the grains we grow and turn them into value-added agricultural products – BEER – and sell them retail at our farm! Agtourism is pretty cool, and we can participate in that booming industry by inviting the public to take part in the process of creating these truly local products from the ground to your glass!
Unfortunately, some residents continue to challenge our business plan, threaten our way of life, and make false accusations about our initiative. Where other local breweries are praised for overcoming challenges, creating jobs, taxable revenue, and tourism, we are being accused of destroying our working landscapes and creating an unsafe place to live. My husband and I will be raising our family in the onsite farmhouse, only a few feet from our small farm brewery, similar to a family vineyard you may visit in the Finger Lakes. Our farm animals will live there too. And, for reference, the site plan, which is contained within the old farmstead, is a mere 3.97 of 308 acres!
It’s sad, because our little farm is under immense development pressure bordering I-87, Route 9, and a very large and successful gravel mine. And it makes sense, because from an economic development perspective, the farm is better suited to do something other than grow row crops. In fact, although we are a registered farm, in NY ag-district-1, in a town that adopted the “right to farm” Act – a part of our farm is zoned manufacturing (M-2), which has the potential to prevent us from selling our agricultural products directly to the community. By vertically integrating our grain operation with the production of craft beer, we are better equipped to preserve this farm, and provide our community with a unique agricultural experience and creative products. In case you’re wondering what entities are considered “manufacturing”, the North American Industry Classification System lists them here.
This petition is drafted to help gain signatures of support for our family farm brewery initiative. We need as many signatures as we can to show that members of our community, of upstate New York, of the agricultural industry, all support value-added agricultural and agricultural diversification as a means to keep our family farms thriving. While state agricultural laws protect our rights to sell our farm products onsite, in a taproom, we need your signatures to show our fellow community members and local government officials that you want that too! So, help us support our family farm brewery operation by signing this petition!