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Forum set for Friday, March 28th at Cooperative Extension

March 21, 2008

LIBERTY – Farmers, business owners, town boards, non-profits and county agencies will gather on Friday, March 28 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office in Liberty from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to discuss the value of agriculture to the local community.  Productive farms, healthy forests and open space are the very resources that make life in the Catskills special.  The forum will emphasize actions that the community can make for now and for the future to sustain such resources.   


Joe Walsh, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, will begin the day with an overview of the agricultural resources in the area.  Challey Comer and Collin Miller of the Watershed Agricultural Council will discuss the Pure Catskills regional buy local campaign directed at supporting economic viability through the promotion of local farm and forest products.  Will Foster of the Catskill Harvest Market in Liberty will share his experiences of starting up a new business focused on local foods.  A number of the farmers featured in the store will discuss their business models for local and regional sales.  Refreshments will highlight foods produced in Sullivan County


Conservation options for farmland owners will be shared by numerous farmland protection professionals.  Sue Currier, Executive Director of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, will begin with an introduction to Conservation Easements.  Julie Richmond, Sullivan County Director of Grants Administration, will explain local, state and federal opportunities that support agri-businesses in the county.  Jennifer Grossman, Vice President of New York Land Programs at the Open Space Institute, will highlight the work of her organization in the Catskills region.


Registration, free and open to the public, is requested.  The program begins at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the event.  Presentations will start at 8:30 a.m.  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County is located at 64 Ferndale Loomis Road in Liberty, NY.  To register, call the Sullivan County Division of Planning and Environmental Management at (845) 794–3000 ext. 5028.


This program is sponsored by the Delaware Highlands Conservancy, the Sullivan County Department of Planning and Community Development, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County and the Watershed Agricultural Council.