Through the actions and voices of local community members and NYS Senator Jen Metzger, two Orange County farms are no longer at risk of being lost to development.
The Touw family had for years farmed land in Goshen and Hamptonburgh owned by Goshen resident and landowner Joan Kozareski, whose land had been in her own family for generations. Mrs. Kozareski passed away in 2018, throwing the fate of the two farms into question. When a “for sale” sign was placed on the property by the Executor of the estate, the Touws contacted their local and state representatives for help. The estate had been left to five charities, which would each receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the land.
The Touws wanted to purchase the land but Orange County is seeing tremendous development pressure, and the land had all of the desirable traits for a housing development. Senator Metzger, who represents Goshen and Chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee, penned a letter to the five charities, co-signed by her colleague, Senator Skoufis, urging the charities to keep the land in the hands of farmers, consistent with the wishes of the community and county and state objectives.
After months of significant uncertainty, the Touws now have an accepted offer and purchase agreement signed for Wagon Wheel Farm and hope to close on the property come Spring. Overlook Farm, they’re told, will be sold to another interested party, but will also remain farmland.