- Agricultural Education and Experiences in Dutchess County: Educator and Student Perspectives -- November 9, 2022
- This session reviewed existing high school agricultural programs and their benefits, providing information on how to begin developing a program in your district. Local youth representatives from two programs were able to be in attendance, offering their insights from the student perspective. A recording of the session is linked here.
- Purchase-of-Development Rights Programs and Conservation Easements -- October 25, 2022
- This session provided an overview of conservation easements and purchase-of-development rights (PDR) programs, potential funding opportunities to support these endeavors, and additional tools including the preemptive purchase right and regenerative agriculture initiatives. Also within this session, attendees heard from Dutchess County Farmer, Ken Migliorelli, who has first-hand experience with PDR programs and conservations easements. Other panelists included: Becky Thornton (President) and Erin Hoagland (Director of Conservation) from Dutchess Land Conservancy, Eoin Wrafter (Commissioner) from Dutchess County Planning, and Mike Knutson (Senior Land Project and Conservation Easement Program Manager) from Scenic Hudson. A recording of the session is linked here.
- Regenerative Farming & Soils Health -- October 12, 2022
- The Dutchess County Soil & Water Conservation District led a discussion on the basics of soil health, the causes and effects of erosion, and the ways to increase soil health on your land. The class also introduced potential funding opportunities to implement soils health projects. By fostering soil health on our Dutchess County lands, we create healthier forested areas and crop lands, and enhance the quality of our ground water. A recording of the session is linked here.
- New & Beginning, and Urban Farmers -- October 4, 2022
- This session focused on the challenges and opportunities faced by new and beginning, and urban farmers in our region. Speakers included Keegan Donovan from Millbrook Beef and Dairy in Millbrook, NY (Dutchess County); Karen Washington from Rise and Root Farm in Chester, NY (Orange County); Emily Watson from Plan Bee Farm Brewery in Poughkeepsie, NY (Dutchess County); and Brud Hodgkins from Indoor Organic Gardens of Poughkeepsie in the City of Poughkeepsie, NY (Dutchess County). A recording of the session is linked here.
- Food Security -- December 8, 2021
- 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 11, 2021
- 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 3, 2021
- 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 29, 2021
- 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 24, 2021
- 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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