Senator LaValle, with the assistance of Executive Director Joseph M. Gergela III of the Long Island Farm Bureau, secured $937,681.25 for Suffolk County farmers to install much needed deer fencing to protect crops from deer. Sixty-nine farmers were supplemented with a maximum of $14,642 each and were able to install a total 178,746 feet of fencing. Most farmers installed more than the maximum allowed by the program which totaled 266,702 feet of deer fence installed, slightly more than 50 miles.
Joe Gergela, Executive Director of Long Island Farm Bureau said, “The Suffolk County farmers are fortunate and thankful to Senator LaValle for his insight to their needs. By procuring these funds 69 farmers are able to continuing producing crops that would have otherwise been ravaged by the deer.”
“The Suffolk County Soil and Water Conservation District staff once again delivered a much needed program to the agricultural community with efficiency and professionalism. We are fortunate to have such dedicated and experienced employees. Thank you to Senator LaValle for giving us this opportunity”, said George Proios, Board Chairman of the Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation District.
Senator LaValle visited the farm of Peter Sepenoski in East Marion on October 22nd. Sep’s Farm was one of 69 farms that received funding from a procurement that was earmarked for farmers in Suffolk County by the Senator for the installation of the deer fencing.
Peter Sepenoski, a farmer in East Marion and recipient of the grant said, “The increasing deer pressure on my crops was so bad that I was ready to give up farming. Now, I not only save money on seed and fuel but I also use less fertilizer and pesticides as a result.”