Empire Farm Days 2020 forced to cancel-
We are beyond upset with the decision of the Seneca County Board of Supervisors to not allow Empire Farm Days to take place at the Rodman Lott Farm on State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY. They cited the fact that there was not enough time for the various agencies to review the permits we applied for even though we are still over 30 days out from the show dates. But in their defense, the directives from Governor Cuomo tied their hands through lack of any clear guidance for an event like this. Our attendees are from the rural areas of New York State that have had the least incidences of this virus and our exhibitors are the essential businesses that have been open throughout this whole time period. What possible harm could come to the people of Seneca County except to have hotels and restaurants as busy as possible.
Empire Farm Days is not a county fair. We do not have rides, games or the concentration of attendees that county fairs have . This is an outdoor ag community business event with a 90 year history. Now over 400 ag businesses no longer have the opportunity to meet their customers. Numerous non-profits have lost their only source of revenue. How is all of this economic activity ever going to be replaced?
We had a solid safety plan. We had heard all of the recommendations from the Health Department, Code Enforcement and Ag & Markets and could easily comply with all of then to make this event safe for attendees and exhibitors. The final straw was the Governor’s executive order limiting the number of people that can currently gather in one place.
Excerpt from our notification by Seneca County Attorney David Ettman “A significant factor in the decision includes the current Executive Orders which prohibit gatherings in excess of 25 persons, except for narrowly defined exceptions. Your proposed event does not qualify for any of those exceptions. We have no reason to believe that any further lessening of the restrictions for your type of event will be forth coming.
In addition, current Executive Orders would prohibit NY State Police assistance to Seneca County and Seneca Falls law enforcement, which we consider necessary to public safety surrounding your planned event.
We are saddened that circumstances force the county to make this decision. However, we can only make decisions that protect the safety of our community as a whole.”
Apparently it is okay to have a peaceful protest with thousands of attendees with no way of knowing who they are or where they came from. We were going to have a registration list of all attendees available, exhibits were going to be spread out even more than usual, numerous extra sanitation stations were going to be on the grounds as well as by the portable toilets and food services were going to be able to comply with the current dining regulations.
Empire Farm Days sincerely feels this is an injustice to the New York Ag community , the small businesses and non-profit organizations in Seneca County that have benefitted from the event for the last 30 plus years. Tentatively our dates for next years event are for August 3-5, 2021. Follow us on our Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter or our website at www.empirefarmdays.com for details as they come available.