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Jefferson County looks to recover as usually prosperous tourism trade takes major hit due to COVID-19 By Lou Sorendo Jefferson County truly is the land of milk, honey and wine. However, COVID-19 has tried to put a damper on those sweet agricultural offerings. The county — thanks to the Thousand Islands archipelago at the outlet of Lake Ontario and head of the Saint Lawrence River — is also a popular destination point for many. Tourism, agriculture, and the equine industry are the largest industries in Jefferson County. Dairy ranks as the No. 1 type of farming done in the county. While tourism is vital in Jefferson County, Fort Drum drives the economy. The military installation provides employment for more than 4,000 area residents and generates $1.5 billion in annual economic impact. Tourism, however, was among the most impacted sectors in the county to be devastated by COVID-19, according to David J. Zembiec, CEO of Jefferson County Economic Development in Watertown. “Typically, the tourism season in the summer is a short window anyways,” he said. “Businesses were delayed from being able to open. Also, the delay impacted more business-related travel as opposed to recreational travel, which starts later in