LAND CONSERVATION IN 2017: Farms and Food

Friday, December 1, 2017 -- Scenic Hudson

Eating fresh, nutritious food—a must for maintaining a healthy lifestyle—relies upon local farm families committed to conserving their productive lands

Organic milk and cheese... Just-picked vegetables... Pasture-raised poultry and pork... This is just a sampling of foods supplied by the eight valley families who partnered with us, fellow land trusts and others to preserve their fertile fields last year. Many have been farming the same land for generations—some since the 1700s. All of the farms contribute to stunning views from rail trails or scenic roads, strengthening local tourism economies.

In addition to saving this beautiful working land and rural traditions, each conservation easement furnished critical funds to the families. The proceeds have enabled farmers to expand or upgrade operations, purchase additional farmland and, in one case, offer low-cost, long-term leases to people interested in starting up small, “incubator”-style farms.

Rick Osofsky, co-owner of Ronnybrook Farm

“My family is pleased that we have succeeded in our goal to preserve our farm for our children, our grandchildren and any future generations to carry on a legacy of farming. It is so wonderful to look out on our open fields now and know they will continue to grow corn or hay and pasture cows and, just as important, remain open and beautiful. Our thanks to Scenic Hudson, Columbia Land Conservancy and Dutchess Land Conservancy for giving us the gift of a way to achieve this.”
—Rick Osofsky, co-owner of Ronnybrook Farm