Friday, September 30, 2011

Support Your Local Farmers: A call to action from our members.

Few New Yorkers are unfamiliar with the plight of our local farmers upstate.  Hurricanes Irene and Lee, reaped an enormous amount of damage upon them.  The timing could not have been worse.  The flooding of fields just weeks before the fall harvest is catastrophic to the finances of our beloved local growers.

Most of these farms rely upon credit to get themselves through the spring, summer and into the fall.  Fall's harvest is how most farmers pay down their debt, buy new equipment, order seed for the spring, and (hopefully) provide themselves a small cushion to get through the winter.  This is an over simplified description of how roughly 36,000 New York State farmers go through season after season, year after year.  The margins are nearly as thin as it gets.  In spite of it all, they accounted for $4.7 BILLION in sales in 2010 (per New York Farm Bureau).  That is an average of $130,000 per farm.  So when Richard Ball of Schoharie Valley Farms "estimates that losses in gross revenue will be in the $100,000 plus range", one can better put their difficulties into perspective.

These farmers need whatever help they can get.  Agriculture does not fall under FEMA.  Much of their assistance will call upon renegotiating loans from the USDA or FSA (Farm Service Agency).  In light of this, there are many other supportive groups and efforts emerging.  Please take the time to look at the links (any words highlighted in blue) below*.  Times are tough for many people right now.  Not everyone can contribute; but please consider passing some of this information along.  

Evolutionary Organics:  
Check out this novel, and very transparent, approach Kira is taking.     Click Here

Benefit organized by Blue Moon Fish (Grand Army Plaza Fish Monger) 
November 6th 2pm-8pm at Southpaw on 5th Avenue 

Cooperative Recovery Fund:
Three cooperative development organizations have come together to organize a relief fund. 

*This is a list in progress.    Any suggested additions are welcome, please email me at