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The Rockland Farm Alliance (RFA) is a project of the Lower Hudson - Long Island Resource Conservation and Development Council Inc. The RFA is a non-partisan group that includes farmers, nursery growers, horse stable operators, chefs, advocates for local food, educators, elected officials, representatives of environmental advocacy groups, and anyone interested in sustainable farming in Rockland County.

The Alliance was formed after a series of focus group meetings in 2007 sponsored by USDA's Resource Conservation and Development Program. The meetings were coordinated with the assistance of several new generation farmers, elected officials, land trusts and businesses interested in production of local healthy foods and agri-tourism. At these meetings local officials were surprised to learn that there were farms still operating in Rockland. Everyone agreed that there needed to be a group formed to advocate for local farming and the following statements were developed:

Vision: "Bringing Farming Back to Rockland"

Mission: To Preserve, Create and Enhance sustainable agriculture and
farm culture in Rockland County by supporting farmers through a local
network and information exchange that engages the public about locally
grown food.

Goals:
1) Maintain and enhance farm viability and profitability in Rockland County
2) Promote ethical, ecological and economically sustainable farming practices
3) Develop networks with farms and the food industry (farmers markets, schools, CSA's, and restaurants)
4) Explore and establish methods for the sharing of general information, equipment, and processing capabilities
5) Collaborate with organizations and individuals that have similar goals and objectives


 

The Purpose of this farm related project is to address change in ways that conserve local agriculture and natural resources, while strengthening economic well-being. The use of Glynwood Centers' Keep Farming program will help Rockland County in many ways, but most importantly, it will help the municipalities gain a deeper understanding of the forces impacting sustainable development. The Hudson River Valley has been identified by the American Farmland Trust as one of the top ten regions threatened by Urban Sprawl. With this understanding, Rockland can create a balance between agriculture, conservation and development that is essential to preserving the vitality and character of the area. This project can be the model for how other suburbanized communities can identify its agricultural resources and maintain and bring new farming ventures to their community.

www.rocklandfarmalliance.org/

Americorp workers at Camp Hill farm in Pomona NY

John McDowell receiving a grant from the Hudson River Greenway. Mark Castiglione Acting Executive Director at the podium & John on the microphone.

The Rockland Farm Alliance in partnership with the Village of Chestnut Ridge will contract with Glynwood Center to conduct their Keep Farming Program.

Keep Farming: Connecting Communities, Farmers and Food was developed by Glynwood Center to help communities identify the many ways in which agriculture contributes to their well-being, generate broader public support for local farmers, and develop action strategies tailored to local resources and situations.

Through Keep Farming's unique community building process, community residents begin a dialogue with local farmers that results in the creation of an informed constituency prepared to take action in support of local agriculture.

www.rocklandfarm.org/

 

The Lower Hudson – Long Island Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization made up of volunteers working in partnership with local communities and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service. Providing assistance to Urban and Rural Communities throughout Brooklyn, Dutchess, Manhattan, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Rockland, Staten Island, Suffolk, The Bronx, Ulster and Westchester.