Located in the “heart” of the Hudson River Valley, the towns of Red Hook and Northeast, in Dutchess County, New York, are home to a diverse mix of fruit and vegetable farms and dairies, respectively. The proximity of the towns to the New York metropolitan area and the steady increase in population potentially puts the area’s agriculture at risk. Interviews with thirty-two farmers about their vision of agriculture’s future role in Dutchess County demonstrate: there is a need to further strengthen the law to provide greater right-to-farm guarantees and protections from unwanted land uses within districts; the need to identify and explore new markets; county and local levels to promote agriculture should augment any state promotional programs; the importance of educating the non-farm population of the importance of agriculture economically, culturally and scenically; non-farm owners of farmland should be informed of the importance of keeping farmland in production; agricultural education programs should be encouraged; and, a countywide clearinghouse to match laborers with farmers should be considered.
Farming in Dutchess County: A Profile of the Future
American Farmland Trust
Northampton, MA: American Farmland Trust
July 01, 1987
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