Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus announced today the completion of the County’s acquisition of a conservation easement on Linden Farm in the Town of Red Hook, in partnership with Scenic Hudson, Inc. The Dutchess County Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Program provided a matching grant to preserve this 234-acre farm in the heart of the “Red Hook Breadbasket.”
“Success is all about partnerships,” said Steinhaus. “This particular purchase is possible because of our historic farmland preservation initiative and the stewardship of Scenic Hudson. Each time we have a successful closing it rings true that what we envisioned for the Open Space Program in Dutchess County is in fact occurring and is making a real difference in our communities,” Steinhaus added.
Linden Farms was created as a partnership between Frank Migliorelli and Salvatore Leone in the late 1960s when they purchased a dairy farm and modernized its operations. The partners, both medical doctors, now lease the highly productive lands that abut Linden Avenue and Pitcher Lane to Ken Migliorelli, Owner/Operator of Migliorelli Farms and nephew of Frank Migliorelli.
Dr. Migliorelli said, “We are very happy to be participating in the Open Space and Farmland Protection Program. I was brought up in Pleasant Valley in the 1930s and I am pleased to see the County’s plan to protect open land come to fruition. We have all jointly set the example in New York State of how this can be done successfully.” Dr. Leone added, “We hope our neighbors in this area of Red Hook become involved in the same spirit of preserving our beautiful farmland. It really feels good to know we’ll all continue to enjoy this wonderful region.”
According to Steve Rosenberg, Executive Director of Scenic Hudson Land Trust, “Linden Farm is part of the 'breadbasket' of Red Hook -- prime, productive farmland that should only grow crops, and never houses.” Scenic Hudson paid 50% of the project's costs to guarantee that the farm always remains open and available for farming.
"Protecting Linden Farm continues to build a critical mass of protected farmland, and helps secure the economic underpinnings of Red Hook's agricultural future. We are grateful to Dutchess County for partnering with us to safeguard this critical farm," added Rosenberg.
Linden Farms is located at the intersection of Pitcher Lane and Budds Corners Road, an area of densely concentrated farmland threatened by encroaching development and population growth that exceeds the rate of increase for Dutchess County overall. Its farm operation significantly contributes to the agricultural infrastructure in the Town of Red Hook and to their economic base. The terms of the agreement restrict any future development on this land.
County Executive Steinhaus initiated the county’s Open Space and Farmland Protection Matching Grant Fund, the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley, in 1999. Since that time the County has committed $7 million to protect these resources. To date, the County has completed seven Open Space and Farmland Protection Program acquisitions and is moving forward on five additional proposals that will preserve approximately 1,790 acres for future generations.