The HVADC Cultivator


                                      HVADC Executive Director Todd Erling                                 Janet Crenshaw. Publisher of Valley Table and Mary Ann Johnson,                                                                                                                                                      at the fall kick off for Hudson Valley Restaurant Week

HVADC On the Road



Seven counties is a lot to cover. Covering Dutchess, Columbia, Rensselaer, Washington, Orange, Sullivan and Ulster counties, HVADC has that regional reach, and as a result,  almost every day either HVADC Executive Director Todd Erling or Deputy Director Mary Ann Johnson are on the road traveling around the region.  Todd and Mary Ann engage in multiple committees, county and state level boards, and a slew of events where they share information, resources, creative problem solving, and HVADC expertise.  Here is just a glimpse of where their travels took them these past months and the events they attended.


Mary Ann’s calendar highlights included: 


October: Mary Ann attended the Hudson Valley Women’s Leadership Conference at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, hosted by the Accelerator, a certified New York State incubator focused on bringing manufacturing back to the mid-Hudson Valley. Two panel discussions offered conference attendees valuable insight from regional industry professionals and lessons on how to accept and understand change; use past experiences to propel forward; and how to motivate and mentor to help others to rise to their fullest potential; and nurture an environment that creates success and cooperation.  “This was a great opportunity to showcase the work HVADC does for farms and local food businesses in the Hudson Valley. I particularly enjoyed the Jennifer Howland’s keynote address on overcoming unconscious bias. With the growing cultural diversity in producers, this presentation helped to remind the audience to raise our awareness” said Mary Ann, who participated in the networking session.  For more information on the day, please visit

November: In support of the first networking event for the new class of Peers in HVADC’s Farm and Food Funding Accelerator (FFFA) program, Mary Ann and HVADC Program Associate Jennifer Bock, attended the event to kick off the region’s favorite week of the year; Hudson Valley Restaurant Week, which was held at Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner.  “We are big supporters of Valley Table magazine, which is also the media sponsor of the FFFA program, and all the vital work they have done in our region around food,” said Mary Ann. Six of the peers from the new class of the FFFA, as well as the FFFA advisors attended and exhibited at the event,and received great exposure to the Valley’s finest chefs.
October-November: Mary Ann participated in the Introduction to Agricultural Lending course offered by the American Banking Association. This foundational course provided insight into national agricultural lending standards set by the Farm Financial Standards Council and trends throughout the country. Mary Ann successfully completed the course to prepare for future management of the HVADC AgriBusiness Loan Fund.  
Todd’s calendar included the following stops:


October: Todd spent the day in Philadelphia with Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) presenting the “Blue Print; Building a Better Business Assistance Network for Farms and Food Businesses” at the It Takes a Region Conference with the theme of “Cultivating a Transformative Food System” and speaking about the National Associations of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and the Northeast Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NEASDA) and also spoke in a break-out session as well titled “Movement Building, Collaboration and Political Access in the Northeast.”


November: Todd attended the Hudson Valley Future Summit at SUNY-New Paltz, a summit devoted to exploring the region’s future and goals. This year's theme was "The Dynamic Hudson Valley" and included six Fireside Chats: Creating, Living, Making, Playing, Sustaining, and Working in the Hudson Valley. Todd spoke in the “Sustaining” Fireside Chat about how HVADC contributes to keeping the Hudson Valley “livable and vibrant.”  Peter Buffett, Co-President of the NoVo Foundation and Co-Chair of the NoVo Foundation Board of Directors was a Featured Keynote Speaker, and delivered a presentation "Present Tense, Future Perfect."

December: Todd attended the annual awards ceremony for New York Regional Development Council as a Regional Council member of the Capital Region (CREDC) and also a working partner with Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council (MHREDC). CREDC grantees were awarded a total of $67 million and MHREDC was awarded $88 million. Eleven agricultural related projects within the two regions award total nearly $6 million with the Capital Region sponsoring $1,557,078 and Mid-Hudson supporting $4,434,756. HVADC clients and partners including Capital Roots, Arrowood Farms, Bread Alone Bakery, Gopal Farm and Cyre, Inc (aka Pika’s Farm Table) secured $3,561,218 in funding. 



Photo source: Jennifer Bock, HVADC