Abbott Farms in Lysander recently played host to international visitors from Moldova, a country in Eastern Europe near the Ukraine. The Moldovan visitors also toured wineries, farms and orchards throughout the region to learn how farmers here have used agriculture as a way to gain tourists and draw outside visitors to the region.
Coordinated through Assemblyman Will Barclay's office, the International Center of Syracuse and the U.S. State Department, the visit was part of a larger effort to give farmers throughout the Central New York and the Finger Lakes Region first-hand opportunity to learn about the international agriculture industry.
"I'm pleased to be involved in hosting the Moldovans. Our farmers have a good deal to be proud of, as they are being held up as a model for agritourism in the international community," Barclay said. "Hopefully [this visit] enables our farmers to trade ideas that will help them in their pursuit of improving their businesses and local agritourism pursuits as well."
The international visitors met at Abbott's Farms in Baldwinsville Friday Sept. 17, where Warren Abbott gave the tour. Abbott Farms regularly hosts schools and other groups to teach people how cider is made and how apples are grown and harvested.
"We like to teach folks that apples come from a farm. We like to encourage people to buy local as much as possible. The Pride of New York label has helped our farm be able to market itself and agritourism has also become a big component of our business," Abbott said. "I enjoyed learning from our peers from Moldova, who we are not in direct competition with, so we can learn freely about other agribusinesses from the international business community. I'm grateful to Assemblyman Barclay's office and the International Center of Syracuse for giving us the opportunity."
The International Center of Syracuse, founded in 1965, is an independent, community-sponsored, not-for-profit organization. The agency provides high-quality services and programs that facilitate cross-cultural and international exchange in Central New York. The agency works with the Open World Program, which enables young Eurasian elected officials and civic leaders to observe American democratic system firsthand. The recent tour is a result of this partnership.