County Executive Mike Hein And The Ulster County Economic Development Alliance Set Next Building Ulster County Together Breakfast For April 27th At 8:00 AM

Posted April 11, 2016

Quarterly Series For Business And Community Leaders Welcomes Bob Dandrew Of The Local Economies Project For A Talk On Farming And The New Economy: How “Local” Means Business For Ulster County

Kingston, NY — Building on the success of past quarterly breakfasts, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein is pleased to present Bob Dandrew of the Local Economies Project at the next “Building Ulster County Together” breakfast on Wednesday, April 27th at 8:00 AM at the Best Western in Kingston. Bob will discuss the Hudson Valley Farm Hub’s model of linking farmers with processors and distributors to build and grow locally-owned and sustainable businesses.

“In many ways working landscapes define Ulster County,” explained County Executive Mike Hein. “Agriculture has long been a key industry in our county’s economy, providing a livelihood for generations of farmers, growers and food and beverage producers.”

In recent decades, however, few industries have been so drastically transformed by a combination of environmental, social and economic factors. In the late 20th century, after a long trend of consolidation and industrialization, the Mid-Hudson region began to see a resurgence of small-scale farming. According to Hein “over the past two decades, the amount of land under cultivation in Ulster County has stabilized at around 71,000 acres. Today, agriculture remains one of our County’s most successful industries, with county fruit and corn production ranked third in the state and apple production ranked 15th in the nation.” And the momentum continues to build as “sustainable” and “local” agriculture is becoming the new normal.

“The work that Bob and the team at the Local Economies Project are doing is vital to the future of our County’s economy,” added Suzanne Holt, the County’s Director of Economic Development. “Ulster County is positioning itself as a strategic location for the food and beverage industry, with a highly potent mix of high-quality growers, innovative processors, and access to distribution in one of the world’s largest markets – New York City. LEP is at the center of that system, helping us rethink farming in the new economy.”

This breakfast will feature a discussion with Bob Dandrew, Director of the Local Economies Project at the New World Foundation, one of several organizations driving the growth and transformation of local agriculture in Ulster County.

The Local Economies Project (LEP) was founded in 2010 with a mission to build a more resilient food system in the Hudson Valley. LEP’s strategic approach places equal emphasis on environmental, economic and social goals.  It supports regional agriculture through grant making, program development, and research in collaboration with a broad network of partner organizations.  As part of this, LEP is managing the development of the Hudson Valley Farm Hub, a major center for resilient agriculture on 1,255 acres of prime farmland in Hurley, New York.

This breakfast is sponsored by the Ulster County Executive, Ulster County Economic Development Alliance and the Local Economies Project of the New World Foundation.  Advanced registration prior to April 20th is encouraged, and can be completed online at http://ulstercountyny.gov/building-ulster-county-together-April-2016-breakfast.

Registration cost is $20 and includes breakfast. Anyone who is unable to pay online with a credit card may register by calling the Ulster County Office of Economic Development at (845) 340-3556 or emailing oed[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us.