Ted Taft, LERGP Research Support Specialist, assists Congressman Tom Reed.

Ted Taft, LERGP Research Support Specialist, assists Congressman Tom Reed.

Congressman Reed Listens to Concerns of Local Grape Growers

-By Luke Haggerty

PORTLAND, N.Y. – (February 26, 2016) - The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program (LERGP) hosted Congressman Tom Reed during his recent visit to the area. After taking a tour of the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory and learning about current research and extension projects from Dr. Terry Bates, Director of CLEREL, and LERGP extension staff, Congressman Reed took the opportunity to connect with local grape growers to identify the issues currently impacting their vineyard operations.

During the discussion, growers brought up specific concerns regarding immigration, minimum wage and EPA regulations that were negatively impacting their grape operations. “I think the audience brought up very important and valid concerns with their questions. I feel we had a strong representation of the grape industry within the small group present.” says Luke Haggerty, LERGP extension associate.

The visit concluded with some pruning instruction out in the vineyard. First, was an introduction on how to hand prune a grape vine followed by Congressman Reed taking a turn operating the station’s mechanical pruner. “We had a great time at the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program and meeting with growers from our region. We care about making sure their concerns are heard in Washington, and will continue to work to help them be successful. The agro-tourism industry throughout the region continues to grow and is vital to our economy. It’s only right that we support them.” Tom Reed

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Last updated March 17, 2016