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Program kicks off a series of ag-related events in coming months

November 17, 2010

LIBERTY – “We’ve got to get back to having the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker in one place,” said Joel Salatin during his presentation to a sold out crowd of over 150 people at the CVI Building, Liberty, NY on November 6. 

Salatin, a third generation farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley was in Sullivan County to speak with farmers, producers and consumers with a new twist on an old adage “You are What you Eat” and a focus on the connection between local food production and consumption and the health of the environment and the economy. 

The program was presented by the Delaware Highlands Conservancy (DHC) in partnership with Sullivan Renaissance, the Sullivan County Division of Planning; Northeast SARE; Pure Catskills; the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce; the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development; Sullivan County Visitor’s Association, Apple Pond Farm and Renewable Energy Education Center and the O’Connor Foundation.

Greg Swartz, a Board of Director for the DHC noted the age of conference attendees and the presence of a next generation of farmers in the room. 

“The Delaware Highlands Conservancy is very pleased with the conference.  Mr. Salatin received rave reviews with 100% of those surveyed rating him “excellent,” said Sue Currier, DHC Executive Director. 

Comments from participants included: “We are very glad that we came.  We are just starting out with a farm transition and are trying to decide where to go from here;” “Thank you for supporting student scholarships and allowing us to attend such a great event;” and “Great presentation by Joel. Good tie in to preserving local farmland.”

In keeping with the message of the day, the conference included a breakfast catered by Catskill Harvest Market and lunch by Early Bird Cookery which offered all local products.

Salatin’s program kick s off a series of ag-related programs that are scheduled to take place throughout Sullivan County in the coming months .  These events range from agri-tourism and marketing, to community supported agriculture and meat production on the farm. 

Upcoming agriculture related events include:

  • Meat Regulations: Experts will be on hand for a panel discussion about NYS Ag & Markets regulations for processing meat (beef and poultry).
  • Agri-Tourism Workshop: Is agri-tourism for your business?  A panel of farmers, local agencies, businesses and insurance agents will discuss how to start an agri-tourism business on the farm.
  • Sullivan Renaissance Winter Conference and Expo: Learn about grant opportunities and how to get involved with community beautification, community gardens and community supported agriculture.
  • Watershed Agricultural Council – Pure Catskills Annual Marketing Event: Learn more about marketing opportunities and make connections with area farmers, businesses and organizations. 
  • Growing Poultry – Learn about how to start up a small scale poultry operation or how to raise poultry for personal use. 

For more information about these agricultural programs, contact the Delaware Highlands Conservancy at or call 845-807-0535 in Monticello, NY or 570-226-3164 in Hawley, PA.  The DHC works with landowners to conserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Upper Delaware River Region.