ROME, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s a sad day in Central New York as the community mourns after hearing about the passing of Ron Wagner, owner of the beloved Central New York Farm, Wagner Farms.

According to Wagner’s mother and father, Judith and Albert Wagner, Ron passed away on Saturday, Nov. 11 following a workshop accident.

NewsChannel 9 had the pleasure of getting to know Ron when we visited the farm in January 2023, when Wagner announced the business was closing for good after 25 years. However, in August 2023, Wagner decided to open again for the summer after community support pushed him to reconsider during the sunflower season.

Thanks to the CNY community, Wagner realized that there was a need and a want from people to see the farm, sunflowers and make memories.

“We gave people the opportunity to savor this year. If we have to get to that point next year, we’ll have to cross that road when we get there,” said Wagner in August.

Wagner Farms started as a small family farm, owned and operated by Ron Wagner and his mom. The pair opened the farm in 1998 on 20 acres of land, selling produce. 25 years later, Wagner Farms now sits on 106 acres of land, 75 of the land being actual crops.

It’s unclear what the future will look like for Wagner Farms as in August, Wagner still had the property up for sale. Wagner and Wagner Farms will be remembered as a staple in the Rome community, especially for their sunflower fields.

According to the family, the Wagner Farms Facebook Page will remain open to communicate with the community during this time of transition.

As per Ron’s wishes, there will be no calling hours or funeral services. The farm will remain closed until further notice.

Ron’s mother said if you have any concerns you can reach out to the farm.

“Thank you for all your prayers and concerns. Judith and Albert Wagner. ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad,” stated Wagner Farms.