The HVADC Cultivator

HVADC People: 
Duane Stanton

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Duane Stanton is HVADC’s new Business Services Coordinator. As a team member, his business administration knowledge set and intrinsic passion for helping people makes him a valuable new asset. Moving forward, Stanton will be instrumental in providing client services for the Incubator Without Walls program and will be involved with HVADC’s loan administration. 

Stanton grew up in the south New Jersey suburbs of Philadelphia. His father worked at a General Electric plant and his life was pretty far removed from farming and agriculture, he admits. But he excelled at systems and went to school for business, graduating from the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Still, at that time even the business of agriculture was far from his mind. 

“I was in sales then,” he recalled. “It felt terrible squeezing money out of people.”

The natural world, however, did excite him and, in the COVID summer of 2021, Stanton embarked on a road trip with some friends to experience the American wilderness at over 20 national parks. While on that trip, Stanton was surprised to find himself as entranced by farmland, as by forest. 

His interest grew and he independently began studying sustainable farming practices, production and distribution. 

While visiting his girlfriend’s family here in the Hudson Valley, Stanton met HVADC Deputy Director Mary Ann Johnson. He said he found that the mission of HVADC, and its Business Technical Assistance (BTA) programing, lined up intrinsically with his growing professional interests. Johnson encouraged Stanton to apply for the open position and Stanton impressed with both his acumen and enthusiasm for helping agricultural entrepreneurs. 

“We are pleased to welcome Duane to our HVADC family,” said Johnson. “It takes all types to form a robust team to provide a diverse range of BTA to our agricultural community. While he may not have grown up with his fingers in the soil, Duane’s business experience has already proved to be an invaluable asset to our clients looking for assistance.

In August Stanton accompanied HVADC leadership to agricultural forums at both the Dutchess and Washington County fairs. He said the experience gave him valuable perspective of the breadth of complex issues facing farmers today. 

“I’m really excited to work on the Incubator Without Walls program,” Stanton said. “My Grandmother always instilled in me to be good to your neighbors. Farmers have an incredibly hard job so making that job a little easier for them is something I’m passionate about doing. “

Outside of work Stanton says he enjoys, hiking, traveling, bird watching and tabletop gaming. He says sitting down and getting to know people around a table is what he enjoys most about gaming and life, and that drive to build connections is at the core of what attracted him to joining HVADC.

For more information about the Incubator Without Walls programs that Stanton will be involved with, visit https://www.hvadc.org/iww and https://www.hvadc.org/hvadc-agribusiness-loan-fund-program.