When public policy decision-makers and community leaders gather to set the course about food and farming – and its place in the local economy – RVGA brings to the table a strong, supportive voice in support of local agriculture. Here are some examples of our efforts to bring the grower perspective into the conversation:
- RVGA serves on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Agricultural Working Group – joining with representatives of NY food producers and farmers in Washington, D.C. for an annual in-depth discussion of federal farm and food policies, and meetings with USDA, other federal agencies, and national groups working on current agricultural issues and policies.
- We serve on the Mid-Hudson Regional Council’s “Green Circles” Committee, bringing the farmer perspective to the development of goals and the support of projects that will help build the viability of the farm economy in the Hudson Valley.
- We provide the grower perspective on Farm-to-School policies and practices to Ulster County School Board Association members, the USDA, local, state, and federal office holders who represent the Rondout Valley.
- We track and comment on right-to-farm laws and their implementation locally. RVGA co-sponsored a training for local officials on NYS Agriculture & Markets Law with the Ulster County Planning Department and its application in local planning and zoning. We advocate for the alignment of local land use laws with the NYS Agriculture & Markets statute, educate local residents about benefits of community agriculture, and seek to make local zoning Ag friendly.