The HVADC Cultivator
HVADC Partner Spotlight:
Steve Rosenberg of Scenic Hudson
After 31 years of impactful and compassionate service, Steve Rosenberg is stepping down from his position as Scenic Hudson Senior Vice President, and Executive Director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust. It is hard to imagine what the Hudson Valley would look like today without the invaluable environmental conservation efforts of projects Rosenberg has helmed or had a hand in throughout the region, including programs to preserve and protect farmland and the families that steward them. His support of Hudson Valley farms and HVADC initiatives has been impactful, to say the least.
“Steve saw the value that strong healthy farms have on the environmental sustainability of the Hudson Valley long before HVADC was conceived. His vision, and wisdom have helped turn Scenic Hudson into a true force of nature,” Said Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “Steve will be missed but his programmatic legacy is such that we are more than confident Scenic Hudson will continue to flourish and grow.”
Rosenberg oversaw programs that provide conservation easements to farms, protecting them permanently from overdevelopment, as well as those which help retiring farmers find new owners who will continue farming traditions on historically agricultural land. Since 1992 Scenic Hudson has protected more than 18,000 acres of farmland on over 125 family farms. Beyond Scenic Hudson’s own initiatives, the group has also been instrumental in funding food systems improvement programs, especially those that help those suffering from food insecurity. Recently Scenic Hudson funded a joint program of HVADC, FeedHV and Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, to provide over 70,000 pounds of fresh local dairy products to food banks across the region.
“I think it goes back to when we were all starting to connect the dots between conserving local farms and improving the supply chain to people eating,” said Rosenberg. “HVADC has a wonderfully complimentary relationship with us, helping farmers get what they need to succeed. Farm land conservation is part of an overall package for what needs to be in place for a secure regional food system.”
Rosenberg says Scenic Hudson conceptualizes its conservation plan as a mission to preserve the Hudson Valley’s regional identity. A robust agricultural industry is the reason people are here and want to come here, so it must be protected, he added.
“Strengthening agricultural resiliency is essential to our future,” said Rosenberg. “The capital available to farmers through conservation easements and HVADC programs allows farmers to invest in themselves.”
Rosenberg said that, unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the cracks in the food system at every level and Scenic Hudson felt it had a mandate to help in any way it could, including projects like the FeedHV dairy donation program. He said he knows the team at Scenic Hudson is impassioned to continue this important work.
“Working with HVADC has been a great pleasure,” Rosenberg added. “It’s a really can-do organization. Everybody knows Todd is exactly where he needs to be. He raises the flag for farmers everywhere he goes.”
Rosenberg, a self described, “recovering attorney,” grew up in Miami. As a youth he watched the as the beautiful natural environment around him was transformed rapidly by development. Looking back at his career now, he says he is extremely proud of farmland and food-shed protection programs he’s led.
Rosenberg said he has no plans for the future yet. He’s taking a little “break from the action” and will reengage in some capacity down the road. Luckily, he says he has no plans to leave the Hudson Valley.
HVADC wishes him well and thanks him for 30+ years of leadership.