Four Orange County farms receive $2.8 million in grants from Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program

Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus and Department of Planning Commissioner David Church have announced that four Orange County farms, including three in Warwick, have received $2.8 million in grants through the Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program.

These state grants help local farmers protect valuable, at-risk farmland from future development and maintain the land’s use for agricultural purposes.

“Agriculture remains a critical part of our economy,” Neuhaus said. “The fact that four of our farms received this financing award reflects the importance of farming here in Orange County.  It’s also a reflection of the hard work of a team of farmers, town and county officials who submitted applications for quality projects to New York State.”

The four farms in Orange County that will receive grants are:

Sycamore Farms, Town of Wallkill ($1.8 million): Wallkill will permanently protect Sycamore Farms, a 203-acre fruit and vegetable operation. Sycamore Farms offers a Community Supported Agriculture program and it has a farm stand with a kitchen capable of preparing a variety of value-added products such as baked goods, jams, jellies, preserved fruit, heirloom tomatoes, and other products prepared from produce that are sold at the farm stand. The landowners will contribute $4,625 toward this project.

Newport Bloom Farm, Town of Warwick ($487,100): Warwick will permanently protect the 79-acre grass-fed beef and pastured pork operation. The farm also lies within a priority area designated for protection by Scenic Hudson within the Hudson Valley / New York City “foodshed.” Open Space Institute Land Trust will contribute $151,750 toward this project.

Peter J. Oprandy Trust, Town of Warwick ($352,525): Warwick will permanently protect the 175- acre hay operation. The farm also lies within a priority area designated for protection by Scenic Hudson within the Hudson Valley New York City “foodshed.” The Town will contribute 25 percent of the purchase price of the conservation easement and it will seek an award for the remaining 50 percent of the purchase price from the Federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

Brown Farms, Town of Warwick ($184,325): The Town will permanently protect the 83-acre grain and forage crop operation. The farm also lies within a priority area designated for protection by Scenic Hudson within the Hudson Valley/New York City “foodshed.” The Town will contribute 25% of the purchase price of the conservation easement and it will seek an award for the remaining 50% of the purchase price from the Federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program.

The Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program provides funding to local partners, such as municipalities, counties, soil and water conservation districts and land trusts, to help landowners in the region protect viable farmland from being used for purposes other than farming.

“The land preservation funding for these four farms is great news for farm families and everyone in Orange County,” Church said. “Orange County remains committed to agriculture and our farm families and their businesses.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or jrodriguez@orangecountygov.com.

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