Through the years HVADC has initiated and partnered with other regional stakeholders projects which promote agricultural entrepreneurship, support sustainability and enhance economic growth in the Hudson Valley.
This HVADC sponsored project, funded by an USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, was designed to assess the potential of establishing a carbon credit market between NYC and agricultural interests in the Hudson River Valley. The result of the research is a proposal for nonprofit entities, such as land conservancies, to acquire Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative rights at a wholesale price for the right to emit 1,000 tons of CO2, which in turn permanently retires them from circulation. These “wholesale blocks’ of 1,000 tons can then be broken down into “retail” quantities of 3 tons each, and resold to the public as Permanent Reduction Certificates. 3 tons of CO2 is roughly equivalent to the average use of a car for six months in terms of an individual’s carbon footprint. Assuming the wholesale price per ton is lower than the retail price per ton, (as has always been the case to date) the difference, i.e. the gain, can be used by the nonprofit to establish a GreenAg Fund that provides assistance to farmers wanting to reduce their GHG emissions.
HVADC partnered with Poughkeepsie City School District (PCSD), Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project to develop and secure an USDA Farm to School grant for 2012-2014. HVADC provided overall project management and grant administration duties and assisted in the identification and procurement of local sources of produce. PCSD responded exceptionally well to the program by developing a series of new menu items to highlight local produce. Students were educated in the preparation, uses, and nutritional benefits of different vegetables such as dark leafy greens and winter squash and the project team facilitated farm visits for hundreds of students; promoting community education and participation in the practice of eating locally produced food.
MID-HUDSON REGIONAL SUSTAINABILITY PLAN (MHRSP)
HVADC served as Co-Chair of the Ag & Foodshed working group for the MHRSP effort alongside the Rondout Valley Growers Association. The MHRSP was developed from the combined knowledge of stakeholders throughout the region to help guide the area towards a more sustainable future. HVADC assisted by bringing in producers and agribusinesses to provide a regional perspective on sustainable agricultural issues. These broad reaching issues ranged from energy and economics, to sustainable farming practices. Throughout the planning process, HVADC worked with leaders from several counties to ensure regional interests were represented.
HUDSON VALLEY FOOD HUB INITIATIVE
In early 2013, The Local Economies Project (LEP) released the Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative; the findings and recommendations of research conducted by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress and the Urban Design Lab at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. HVADC served as a primary member of the advisory team and assisted with many phases of the research. HVADC played a central role in facilitating listening sessions that were held throughout the valley, identifying farms and businesses for stakeholder interviews, and influencing the geographic footprint of the project.