Wagner Farms to end operations
ROME — A longtime staple of the community that’s been around for 25 years, Wagner Farms will discontinue its farming operations and change directions in 2023, according to an announcement by owner Ronald Wagner.
“This will take several months to complete in a proper manner that hopefully reduces the impact to the customer base we have served for all these years,” Wagner said.
The family owned and operated agribusiness will not plant any new crops in 2023. Raspberries and garlic remain already planted and it is “... up in the air if they are available” this summer.
As the farm closes down, it will continue to produce items such as popcorn and frozen foods on a limited basis. All inventory will be sold at 25% off the retail prices marked until the time when all inventory has been liquidated. All equipment and inventory will be sold off over the following months, Wagner said.
The current cost of doing business and the state of the economy has made it difficult to remain sustainable, Wagner said, prompting him to make the difficult decision to shutter the business and sell the farm.
“It’s become very difficult for small family farms whose only income comes from the farm,” he continued. “They can’t exist any longer based on economic times, no matter how much you save or cut costs. A single tractor today can cost as much as several years total income from the farm.”
Wagner Farms is grateful for the community who have supported them these last 25 years.
“We thank everyone for the many years of support and business you have given us,” Wagner said. “You, the customers, built our business from the ground up by investing into products we offered. We always worked to offer the highest quality and superior product to all others based on doing business different. Variety, quality, and services has been our goal since the beginning. Farming sustainable, eco-friendly, and environmentally responsible has brought many rewards to our farm and local area over the years.”
Wagner said he planned on “semi-retiring” from farming directly and actively as a primary business and is working on multiple new business and political ventures now.
“A wise local farmer told me many years ago ‘If you lose money on one acre, then 46 acres of the same crop loses that much more money.’ The market trend the past 10 years has been on a decline and it has finally gotten to the point that it’s time to get out,” Wagner said. “You can only reinvent yourself so many times before realizing that there is nothing to do for it... I have enjoyed what I have done over the years.”
When reached for comment, Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said she was sad to see Wagner Farms close their doors, but understood that this wasn’t an easy decision.
“In an area like ours where farming is prevalent, anytime you see a farm close, it’s a sad event,” she said. “I know Ron has done everything he could possibly do in these 25 years he’s been in business to keep the farm operational.”
Izzo extolled the work of Wagner Farms and the products they sold the community. As well, she commended his business efforts through the years.
“He’s done a lot innovative things over the years, but market conditions are tough,” she said. “It’s tough for any business owner, but for farmers? You have supply chain issues, inflation, food costs, and so much more.”
When asked about the property’s future, Izzo said if the next property owner starts a farm, it would be most welcome. “We’ll have to see what the future holds. But I’m sure the land is good, Ron has kept it up very well,” she said.
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