Events and associated evidence about agriculture and the local food movement can be found here in the Scenario Framework Navigation Tool.
This is a potentially large opportunity just now getting rolling. There has been a lot of progress over the last 10 years but it is just a small fraction of the historic footprint of farming. At the moment it is chaotically healthy but there are projects where better coordination helps, like establishing a meat processing facility. Mapping of soils in old farming areas, now forest, is getting underway.
There are many more projects than these but they’re not coordinated. A focused strategy group needs to look at what’s been done, what works, what does not work, what needs to be revisited, coordinated across the North Country more than within the Blue Line. The goal should be a roadmap to create a regional food system that can be implemented county-by-county.
- CGA Local Food Strategy group continue to meet (CGA Core Team member Ray Curran is the point person for this, subject to change after that)
- Develop Adirondack North Country regional food system plan (not being worked now)
A USDA certified distribution center, think of it as a food hub, is needed where buyers and sellers of farm products transact in wholesale volumes. It would be best if linked to some kind of distribution route into the forested center of the Park w/o farms and marginal food stores.
- Fund and build two regional distribution hubs (There is one in process in St Lawrence Cty)
New farmers need help acquiring land and selling development rights in the form of conservation easements can make a significant difference. Regulations aimed a large industrial farms often don’t apply well to smaller specialty farms.
- Expand programs aimed at easements on agricultural land (OSI is doing this)
- Work with State and Federal regulators to adapt farm and food processing rules to new farming and livestock approaches in our region