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County Hosts 2022 Agricultural Forum at the Dutchess County Fair
ThinkDIFFERENTLY 4-H members proudly show animals at Fair

Published: 8/25/2022

Poughkeepsie … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Dutchess County Legislature Chair Gregg Pulver hosted today’s 2022 Agricultural Advisory Committee Forum at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck. They were joined by members of the Agricultural Advisory Committee, which includes local farmers, agri-business representatives, agricultural and land conservancy organizations, and others to discuss issues and policies surrounding Dutchess County agriculture and farming.

New York State Senator Sue Serino, Assemblymember Didi Barrett and County Legislators Tony D’Aquanni, Edward Hauser, Deirdre Houston and Don Sagliano joined more than 50 local farmers, elected officials and representatives from various agricultural and land conservancy organizations at today’s forum. Following the forum, members of the ThinkDIFFERENTLY 4-H program for children of all abilities had the opportunity to show their animals at the Fair, where County Executive Marc Molinaro presented each a medal for their participation.

Land in agriculture comprises over 100,000 acres in Dutchess County, which is almost a fifth of the County’s total acres. Accounting for nearly $44 million in market value products, local agriculture is one of the County’s primary industries.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Since Dutchess County’s formative days, agriculture played a pivotal role in our community’s development, and hundreds of years later, farming remains critical to our county’s success. Particularly in recent years, farmers have found their passion to be a challenging labor of love, and the County’s Agricultural Advisory Committee continues to work tirelessly to advocate on farmers’ behalf to keep our agricultural legacy alive. We thank the committee members, and those they represent, for their efforts to ensure farming remains an integral part of Dutchess County for generations to come.”

Members and attendees listened to a presentation by Kelly Young, Director of Agricultural Development, from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets about opportunities for agriculture in New York State and the role of the Department in supporting farmers as a local and regional economic generator. Forum attendees also heard updates from the Dutchess County Agricultural Advisory Committee on a number of topics, including agricultural education, next year’s Agricultural Districts 8-Year Review Process, and the 2022 Farming in Dutchess Virtual Series, including upcoming sessions this fall:

•  New and beginning, and urban farmers – Oct. 4th, 7 p.m.
•  Regenerative farming and soils health, Oct. 12th, 6:30 p.m.
•  Ag value assessment and ag districts programs, Oct. 13th, 6 p.m.
•  Purchase-of-development rights and conversation easements – Oct. 25th, 5 p.m.
•  Agricultural education, Nov. 9th, 5 p.m.

Additional details about upcoming sessions will be available online once finalized.

Chairman Pulver, a multi-generational farmer in the Town of Pine Plains, said, “Farming has always been both a challenging yet rewarding endeavor, though recent nationwide factors have made it more difficult than ever for many. Our Agricultural Advisory Committee, however, remains resolute in its advocacy for Dutchess County farmers, and we are fortunate to have such a dedicated panel working on farmers’ behalf, making agriculture the priority it rightly deserves to be. Regardless of the obstacle, this committee continues its honorable work to keep farming alive and well in Dutchess County.”