For 19 years, Jason & Kristin Touw have managed, and more recently farmed, the Kozareski lands in Goshen and Hamptonburgh. Joan Kozareski expressed on several occasions verbally and in writing that it was her intent to sell the land to the Touw family so that Wagon Wheel Farm can continue to be a working farm and destination for families and community members to make memories for decades to come. In November 2018, the Touw family was approved with financing to purchase the properties. Wagon Wheel Farm is an agribusiness modeled in environmental sustainability, community, and supports building local businesses and infrastructure while maintaining the beautiful rural character of central Orange County that everyone has come to cherish.
Just days after the Touws received financing, Ms. Kozareski suddenly passed away and made a generous donation of several million dollars in savings to five charities: St. John's Catholic Church of Goshen, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer's Association and the Hamptonburgh Cemetery Association. In addition, she donated the farmland to these charities as well. They will now decide the fate of Wagon Wheel Farm. The business owners, Jason and Kristin Touw, have approached the charities with an interest in purchasing and preserving the farms, but the charities have by and large shown little interest and have listed the farms apparently to sell to the highest bidder, most likely a developer or individual that will not be farming the property themselves. Jason and Kristin Touw have spoken with the Orange County Land Trust and are committed to securing preservation for both the farm on Sarah Wells Trail and the farm on Route 416 adjacent the Orange County Thomas Bull Park, should a purchase agreement prevail.
We need the help from the community to contact these charities and tell them to SAVE WAGON WHEEL FARM! The Touw family is the recipient of the 2018 New Farmer's Grant from Governor Cuomo and they are dedicated to seeing the longevity and prosperity of the property as working farms for the community to visit and enjoy for years to come!
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