Promoting sustainable economic growth in the Catskills through agriculture
A critical component of Catskill Mountainkeeper’s mission is to facilitate sustainable economic growth in the Catskills. Since agriculture, our region’s number two industry behind tourism, has the strongest potential to fuel this growth, we have created the Catskill Food Initiative.
Unfortunately, our once vibrant agricultural economy has been in serious decline. The number of farmers has dramatically decreased and many consumers don’t have easy access to healthy food. The downward trend is starting to improve but our “recovery” has been slow and tentative. Despite experiencing a small agricultural renaissance with new farms starting and existing farms expanding, this growth has often been thwarted because too many farmers go out of business because they lack an understanding of the current marketplace and the jobs that are created often go to people from outside our region.
To address these issues, Catskill Mountainkeeper has created a comprehensive multi-faceted strategy to stimulate agricultural production that focuses on four critical components – the consumer, farmer, retailers and the agricultural infrastructure.
In this section you will find out more about Catskill Mountainkeeper’s agricultural programs and the ways in which you can help support local Catskills agriculture.
(Note: Our current focus is primarily on supporting farmers and consumers. We look forward to expanding our programs and will be adding in additional components to support retailers and improve agricultural infrastructure once these first two segments of our program are fully functional.)