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NY Media Advisory: AFT and Others Celebrate
1st Farm in Rensselaer County to Be Permanently Protected

Teri Ptacek, 518-692-7285

Schaghticoke, N.Y.—On Thursday July 26, 2007, the Agricultural Stewardship Association and American Farmland Trust will join local farmers, and local, state and federal officials to celebrate the first farm in Rensselaer County to be permanently protected from development in partnership with state and federal farmland protection programs.

The Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA), in cooperation with the Conservation Fund, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Rensselaer County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board and the United States Department of Agriculture, worked with the Weir family to protect their 276-acre farm and a neighboring 52-acre rental property that was slated for a subdivision. Through a creative financing strategy, the Weir family was able to protect their farm with a conservation easement, and purchase the protected neighboring land at its agricultural value.

“We’d been renting this piece of land for more than 30 years and had always hoped to own it,” Bob Weir explains. “This is some of the best land to be had. Pouring concrete on it would have ruined it forever.” The Weir family has been farming in the town of Schaghticoke since the 1920s. Bob Weir is the third generation on the farm and works with his father, 83, to manage the 75-cow dairy.

Invited speakers include:

  • Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Commissioner Patrick Hooker, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Teri Ptacek, Executive Director, Agricultural Stewardship Association
  • Bob Weir, Owner/Operator, Weir Dairy Farm
  • State Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R-NY)
  • State Assemblyman Tim Gordon (I-Bethlehem)
  • Kathy Jimino, Rensselaer County Executive
  • State Conservationist, Ron Alvarado, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • David Haight, New York State Director, American Farmland Trust

What: Celebration of the permanent protection of the Weir Family Dairy Farm
Who: Farmers, farmland conservation leaders, local, state and federal officials
When: Thursday July 26, 2007 at 1 p.m.
Where: Weir Family Dairy Farm, Schaghticoke, NY

For more information about the event, please contact Teri Ptacek, Executive Director, ASA,
at 518-692-7285.

The Weir Farm is located at 497 Old Schaghticoke Road (NY-67) in Schaghticoke. The press event will take place at the corn field directly east of the farmstead.

From Troy: Proceed on Route 40 north to the intersection with Route 67. Make a left onto Route 67(Old Schaghticoke Rd) and go 3.2 miles. The farm is on the right.

From I-87: Take I-87 to Exit 9. Go east towards Mechanicville on Rt. 146. Take a left onto US-4, and a right onto Park Avenue. Turn left on to Main Street and finally make a right onto NY-67. Go 2.3 miles and the farm is on the left.



American Farmland Trust is the nation's leading conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices and keeping farmers on the land. Since its founding in 1980 by a group of farmers and citizens concerned about the rapid loss of farmland to development, AFT has helped save millions of acres of farmland from development and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more.

AFT's national office is located in Washington, DC. Phone: 202-331-7300. For more information, visit www.farmland.org.

American Farmland Trust