Catskill Mountainkeeper recognizes that collaborative efforts and support amongst local organizations is key to the success and longevity of the Catskills. Here is a listing of some of the local organizations working on farming and food issues in the region:
Local Farm/Food Organizations
CADE (Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship) – a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of successful farm enterprises and related businesses in New York.
Catskills CRAFT – provides opportunities for beginning farmers to connect and learn from existing farmers through farmer-to-farmer learning, and also provides access to the social network and culture of local farmers.
Catskills FarmLink– connects Catskills land with those interested in farming it and offers extensive resources for landowners and interested farmers.
Farm Catskills – non-profit community organization conceived by farmers and concerned community members working to protect and promote agriculture and the farming way of life.
FarmHearts – non-profit organization dedicated to helping local family farms
NOFA-NY – an organization of consumers, gardeners, and farmers working together to create a sustainable regional food system that is economically sound and economically viable.
Pure Catskills – a buy local campaign for farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, retailers and community organizations in Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster Counties of New York State.
Slow Food UpDeRiVa – local chapter of Slow Food that works to protect and promote our local food heritage and preserve the culinary identity and traditions of the region.
Sullivan County Farm Network – works with farmers and non-farmers who want to expand agriculture and the availability of local food in Sullivan County.
Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) – works with farm and forest landowners in the NYC Watershed region to protect water quality. WAC uses land conservation techniques such as whole farm plans, forest management plans, and conservation easements to help farmers, forest professionals and private landholders address water pollution concerns.
The following sites provide excellent information and resources for those interested in learning more about agriculture and food systems.
American Farmland Trust – working to stop the loss of productive farmland and promote healthier farming practices in the U.S.
ATTRA – works to help people reduce the environmental impact of farming by providing information and research services about sustainable agriculture and farm energy.
Cornell Cooperative Extension – offers agricultural programs and resources targeting diverse audiences in areas of dairy and livestock production; field crops and nutrient management; fruits, grapes, and vegetables; and farm business management, economics, and policy.
Farm Bill Primer - provides up-to-date information on the status of the 2012 Farm Bill. Includes four interactive Congressional Agriculture Committee maps and a ‘Who Cares’ page.
Know Your Farmer Know Your Food - The KYF Compass is a digital guide to USDA resources related to local and regional food systems. The Compass consists of an interactive U.S. map showing local and regional food projects and an accompanying narrative documenting the results of this work through case studies, photos and video content.
The Glynwood Center – helps communities integrate their natural resources, cultural heritage, and economic development, and additionally provides resources on community and agriculture
Just Food – connects local farms to NYC neighborhoods and communities to provide city residents of all economic backgrounds with fresh, seasonal, sustainable grown food
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group – a regional network of organizations and individuals working together toward a more sustainable and secure regional food system
NY Farm Bureau – a non-governmental, volunteer organization financed and controlled by families for the purpose of solving economic and public policy issues challenging the agriculture industry
Regional Food Hub Resource Guide – presents a series of key questions about the current state of food hub development and examples from operating food hubs. It also outlines the role that food hubs can play in regional food systems; their innovative business models; and their economic contributions to local communities. It describes dozens of funding opportunities and other resources, best practices, and additional strategies for anyone interested in developing regional food hubs.
SARE – grants and education to advance innovations in sustainable agriculture
Small Farms Program – work to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment.
USDA – provides leadership and resources on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management
USDA Beginning Farmers Programs – The Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides direct and guaranteed loans to beginning farmers and ranchers who are unable to obtain financing from commercial credit sources.
USDA – Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food – a guide to local and regional food