- Food Security -- December 8th
- This session focused on identifying the challenges and opportunities related to food security in Dutchess County and across our region, as well as underlining the important connection between food security and local agriculture/farming. Speakers included Lianna Booth (Regional Food Bank of the Hudson Valley), Jamie Levato (Fareground), Brianna Merrill (Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Devleopment Corp), Sarah Salem (Dutchess Outreach), Jordan Schmidt (Northeast Community Center), and Jeung-il Tsumagari (Red Hook Responds). Mary Ann Johnson (Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Devleopment Corp) was the moderator. A recording of the session is linked here and a resources document from the session is linked here.
- Agricultural Land/Uses Under Pressure -- August 11th
- Agricultural operations often feel “pressure” from outside entities – for example, the pressure to sell and/or develop land, the pressure to minimize perceived nuisances because of neighbor complaints, or the pressure to educate local governments on the rights and operations of farms. This session discussed these pressures and gave farmers some ideas on how to negotiate them. Speakers included Matt Sabellico (Sabellico's Greenhouses & Florist), Bob Ferris (DC Association of Realtors), Jennifer Fimbel (DC Ag Navigator), and Shelby Frangk (DC Planning). Eoin Wrafter (DC Planning Commissioner) was the moderator. A recording of the session is linked here.
- Local Foods and their Importance -- August 3rd
- Local food has seen a resurgence in our area as residents are increasingly concerned with where their food comes from. This topic discussed the current state of the local fresh food market and asked local farmers/agri-businesses about what the future might hold. Speakers included Amanda Dykeman (Dykeman Farm), Mark Doyle (Fishkill Farms), and and Lauren Kaplan (Poughkeepsie Farm Project). Each speaker represents a different sector of the local food economy -- farmer's market, farm stand, u-pick operation, and community-supported agriculture program. Mark Adams (Mark Adam's Greenhouses) was the moderator of this session and Dr. Sam Simon (Hudson Valley Fresh) gave an introduction. A recording of the session is linked here.
- Pathways for Agricultural Education -- July 29th
- This discussion focused on the educational “pipeline” that individuals can follow in pursuit of a career in agriculture, including formal schooling (K-12 and college-level), as well as informal educational opportunities and continuing education for adults. Speakers included formal and informal educators, and students in and administrators of agricultural education programs. Dr. Mark Condon (DCC Professor) moderated this session. A recording of the session is linked here.
- Communicating with Your Farmer, Landowner, or Assessor -- February 24th
- This session included a live panel discussion with five agricultural stakeholders – two farmers, an assessor, and two land conservationists. Discussion included the topics of Agricultural Value Assessment, both from the perspective of the assessor and farmer/landowner; lease agreements, including securing a farmer on leased land; and opportunities to enhance farmland preservation. Jennifer Fimbel (DC Ag Navigator) moderated this session. A recording of the session is linked here.
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