Peter Saltonstall and his wife, Tacie, own King Ferry Winery. The small farm winery, located on the east side of Cayuga Lake, recently received a gold medal for their semi-dry Riesling. For some reason, Finger Lakes wineries do well when it comes to winning awards. So well, that Governor Andrew Cuomo often mentions wineries when touting NY products and agricultural achievements. The governor also puts a lot of energy - publicity-wise - into touting NY state agriculture, and in particular, the growing organic sector. These are examples of economic growth for the state, he says.
So why, if he values the wineries, organic farms, Community Supported Agriculture projects, farmer's markets, dairies.... why does he still waver on fracking? Time and again researchers and farmers have demonstrated how destructive industrialized drilling can be on agricultural land. Industrialized gas drilling harms dairy farmers and ranchers, can affect crop yield, and raises food safety issues.
One of the biggest issues is land use; industrialized drilling in Pennsylvania is taking over the agricultural landscape. Last summer Peter took his camera on a plane trip along the Susquehanna River, shooting footage of farms, fields, forests, and gas pads, pipelines, and other infrastructure. With the help of Ithaca College Park Productions he created a travel-documentary that shows what drilling looks like in Pennsylvania's northern tier. He also raises concerns regarding the impacts of hydro-fracking on NY's farms and wineries.