The HVADC Cultivator
CCE Sullivan County
The Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) program has endured as one of the most vital resources for farmers in the Hudson Valley and throughout the state. CCE Sullivan County (CCESC) has continued to be an invaluable partner to HVADC to both find new and individualized ways to offer Business Technical Assistance (BTA) to farms and food businesses in the Sullivan community, and collaborate on programming.
Since 1913, CCESC has responded to the needs of local residents with unbiased, research-based information, tools and education that people have come to depend on and trust. Its programs are developed in direct response to community input, and are based on the most current information available from Cornell University and other Land Grant universities across the nation.
“Sullivan County has a rich agricultural tradition and for the past century CCE has been a big part of our farmers’ success,” said Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “The CCE staff is dedicated and so important to their community and to us.”
CCESC is also working on food insecurity issues, convening regular roundtable meetings with county officials and stakeholders on how to best support community members in need. CCESC recognized the value of including HVADC’s food security program FeedHV as resources for the county stakeholders. HVADC staff is a consistent participant in the roundtable meetings and is now working with CCESC to bring more farm fresh food to Sullivan’s food insecure population.
FeedHV sources and connects excess food from farms, food producers, restaurants, markets, institutions and other partners and delivers them through a network of volunteers to regional organizations with food assistance programs to the people and families who need it most.
CCESC also actively participates in the leadership of the Catskills Food Hub, a 5,250 square
food-aggregation and distribution center for local and regional products including fresh produce, packaged meat and dairy products, and shelf-stable pantry items. The Hub is a non-profit entity with a mission of education and working with local farmers and producers to provide the knowledge and safety standards necessary to expand their retail and wholesale markets, thus growing the agriculture economy in the region. The Hub was established to improve the viability of local agriculture, access to fresh food, and the health outcomes for Sullivan County and the region. HVADC has been closely involved with the Hub over the years, providing access to technical assistance programing.
“CCESC and HVADC are working together to find ways to provide technical assistance to diverse landscape of farms,” said Melinda Meddaugh, CCESC Agriculture and Food Systems Issues Leader. “For these farmers business planning is huge. When developing business and marketing plans you need a whole array of things. HVADC has brought a ton of resources to the table.”
CCESC is itself a trove of resources for farms and agriculture businesses in the region. The organization’s programing and leadership is fundamental future success.