HERKIMER — The Herkimer County Agricultural Development Council will hold a meeting Wednesday for those interested in discussing the formation of a cheese trail that would encompass the county and possibly the region.
Vincent Bono, chairman of the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency Board of Directors and a county legislator, said during a telephone interview Thursday that a cheese trail could benefit the local agricultural community and bring additional tourists to the area.
He said the idea follows along with that of wine and other agricultural trails that can be found across the state.
"It’s one of the ideas (from the council) to create this," he said.
Bono said there are approximately six cheese producers in the county and this could “bring them all together and create a destination of sorts for the county.”
“It’s another facet of tourism for the area. Agriculture is the biggest, and (the two industries) will complement each other,” Bono said. “They will tie-in with other industries.”
The meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce’s conference room at 420 E. German St., Herkimer.
“The creation of a cheese trail will be a huge benefit to our area,” said Michele Hummel, Chamber executive director, in an email Thursday. “It helps support our artisan cheesemakers as well as the businesses that sell their products.”
Hummel said the interest in cheese in the area has grown since the inception of the Little Falls Cheese Festival in 2015.
“The Chamber receives so many inquiries about the Cheese Festival in Little Falls each year,” she said. “I have no doubt that visitors to our area and those living locally would really enjoy the experience of a cheese trail too.” Bono encouraged his fellow legislators to attend the meeting during the Legislature’s quarterly meeting last week and to bring someone who also may be interested. He said others interested in attending the meeting are welcomed.
“We’re looking for ideas. It’s a complete start up,” he said.
The IDA formed the council last year so the agency could better assist farmers and others with agriculture projects across the county.
Times Telegram Trends Editor Donna Thompson contributed to this story