COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES NEW TRAIL TO PROMOTE AGRICULTURE
Cooperstown Trail is First of NYS Farm, Apple & Cuisine Trail Program
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced the first official trail designation under the State’s new Farm, Apple and Cuisine Trail Designation Program, designed to promote greater marketing and promotional opportunities for agricultural producers. The Cooperstown Beverage Trail will direct travelers to four area beverage operations that make cider, beer and wine using local agricultural products.
“New York’s beautiful countryside is lined with acres of productive lands and interesting agricultural destinations,” the Commissioner said. “The newly created trails program will help draw attention to many of these areas and market them in a way that is easy for visitors to discover when traveling. New York already has numerous wine trails established throughout the State, and the addition of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, along with other trails through the Farm, Apple and Cuisine Trail Program will further promote our agricultural industry, raise the awareness of its significance and hopefully generate additional sales and interest in all it produces.”
The Farm, Apple and Cuisine Trail Designation Program promotes area agricultural opportunities and allows for 10 farm trails, 7 apple trails and 5 cuisine trails to be designated in the State. The trails must be made up of farm or food businesses that are in close proximity to each other, market their products in a cooperative manner, and utilize a map or highway signs to direct patrons to their respective operations. A farm trail would consist of producers offering a variety of farm and food products, an apple trail would consist of solely apple growers selling fresh or processed fruit products, and a cuisine trail would entail food producers or outlets that market unusual or hard to find farm and food products that are prepared with local products.
The Cooperstown Beverage Trail, the State’s first designated New York State Cuisine Trail, follows State Route 28, connecting Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown Brewing Company and Bear Pond Winery. The four operations are located within 23 miles of each other and offer sweet cider, hard cider, apple wines, Belgian-style ales, micro-brewed English-style ales, and grape and fruit wines. The trail will complement a very successful rural tourism industry with its center being Cooperstown, which draws over 400,000 visitors annually during the summer season.
Bill Michaels, President of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail Association, said, “We are excited about this wonderful marketing opportunity and we are committed to promoting regionally quality crafted products to guests who travel the trail. Quench magazine, our official printed promotional piece, will be ready for distribution on Friday, May 25th and it is packed with interesting articles, recipes and special offers for trail goers.” The Trail Association offers a special glassware give-away for all visitors who get their coupon stamped by all four partners. For more information on the Trail or to request a copy of the magazine Quench, visit their website at www.cooperstownbeveragetrail.com.
All eligible trails must contain a sufficient number of producers and incorporate other area attractions or considerations to maximize patronage of the trail. Trails must not exceed 25 miles, be easy to follow, and not conflict with scenic byways, wine trails or any other existing trails. Trail designations also take into consideration thematic, geographic and historical consistency, as well as economic feasibility. To apply to the New York State Farm, Apple and Cuisine Trail Designation Program, visit www.agmkt.state.ny.us.
New York agriculture encompasses 25 percent of the State’s landscape and generated $3.6 billion for our economy last year. Currently, New York State has 7.5 million acres of farmland with 35,000 farms producing a variety of products. New York’s leading commodities include milk, apples, fresh vegetables and horticulture.