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Agricultural Stewardship Association Year in Review 2012-2013


2012-2013 Highlights

Awarded Land Trust Accreditation. Of the more than 1,700 land trusts in the nation, ASA became one of 230 that are now nationally recognized as an accredited land trust. Completed three projects totaling 532 acres of productive land to ensure its availability for future agricultural use and assisted six additional farm families in moving their projects forward, which will conserve nearly 1,500 additional acres. Worked with local partners and farmers to offer a variety of educational programs, workshops and events for children, adults, and landowners giving them the opportunity to forge a connection to the land and develop a greater understanding of farming, forestry and land stewardship. Fulfilled our responsibility to the community and the landowners who have conserved their land by conducting site visits to each of the 93 properties protected prior to April 2013 to ensure the terms of their easements are being upheld and identify ways for ASA to be a resource with land management. Launched ASA’s Gifts of Real Estate Program and began implementing a new 5-year strategic plan to guide our conservation work through 2018.

Dear Members and Friends of the Agricultural Stewardship Association

T

his annual report is dedicated to the visionary conservationists who protected their land in FY2012-13 and the many people whose support made it possible. During this period ASA has made great strides in strengthening the organization so we can better serve our farming communities in the future. We demonstrated our commitment to being a sound land trust that seeks excellence and understands the responsibility of managing perpetual easements by obtaining accreditation from the national Land Trust Alliance Accreditation Commission. We are off to a great start in implementing our Strategic Plan 2018 with increased efforts to build a broader base of financial support and reach more people to connect them to the working farms and woodlands in Washington and Rensselaer counties. We have advanced several land protection projects while also exploring other ways to ensure that farmland accessibility and affordability are being considered in our projects. ASA also launched its Gifts of Real Estate Program, whereby generous donors give us real estate with the intention of ASA selling it to fund our land protection and outreach efforts (see our website for current properties for sale). All of these endeavors are helping to position ourselves to be a truly sustainable local community organization. Food security, economic growth, the protection of natural resources and quality of life are issues that are motivating people to join the farmland conservation movement and support ASA. These lofty, yet attainable goals, requires ASA to have staying power. We need your continued support to ensure that together we can achieve them. To all of those who supported our work over the past year, we thank you for your passion, enthusiasm, generosity and commitment to local agriculture.

Katherine Roome Chair, Board of Directors

Teri Ptacek Executive Director


Land Conservation

Thank you to the landowners who chose to make a tremendous gift to our community by protecting their land in 2012-2013. Slocum Farm, Easton Ed Slocum’s 321-acre family farm on Route 40 in Easton backs up to Willard Mountain and overlooks the Hudson River. It contains a high percentage of prime agricultural soils and a woodlot that is managed for high-quality timber harvest. It is traversed by a tributary of Ensign Brook. Ed operated a small dairy up until 2004 when he decided he had to sell the cows. Fortunately, Ed found a way to stay in farming. He now leases his fields to several neighboring farms, one of which he also works for. His land is used to raise feed and pasture heifers, and one of his three daughters keeps her horses there. He’s kept all his machinery and admits that he sometimes thinks about building a new barn and getting started with a dairy again.

In May 2012, ASA completed this state farmland protection project. With its protection, there is now a contiguous 1,500-acre block of high-quality farmland along the Route 40 corridor that has been conserved. In addition to state funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, Castanea Foundation funding was used as well as a bargain sale by the landowner to make the conservation of this farm possible. Breese Hollow Dairy, Hoosick This property incorporates an active organic dairy (but also sells eggs, grassfed beef and pastured poultry) which is

owned by David and Diane Phippen. Breese Hollow Dairy was certified organic seven years ago. It’s adjacent to the former Stearns Farm, a property that was protected in 2011 with ASA. The project closed in May 2012 and added 163 acres of conserved land along Breese Hollow Road.

David explains that raising grass-fed cows has its advantages. “We don’t need to rely on machinery as much, aren’t as affected by oil prices and typically get more for our product. There’s no one way to do dairy farming, but for our situation, being grass-fed and organic works well.” Diane says their customers include local residents as well as people who are willing to drive a bit for the opportunity to see where their food is raised. Being good stewards of their land is important to the Phippens. Several neighboring farmers had previously conserved their lands. After meeting with ASA to discuss the details, the Phippens were inspired to do the same. The project was awarded a grant from the Federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program, and ASA secured additional funding from Castanea Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, Rensselaer County and the Whipstock Hill Preservation Society to complete the farm’s conservation. Including the Phippens’ 163-acres, ASA has now helped farmers protect over 1,700 acres within one mile of Breese

Hollow Dairy and taken a significant step towards ensuring agricultural viability in the area. Reiss, Salem New York City residents Marcia and Charlie Reiss were visiting the race track in Saratoga when they saw an ad for a canoe trip outfitter and decided to take a paddle down the Battenkill. They enjoyed it so much they drove back the next day to explore the region’s back roads and discovered the home of their dreams for sale on Roberson Road in Shushan. It was a Greek revival built in 1840 with 47 acres of high quality farmland along the Battenkill, which has been in agricultural production since before the Revolutionary War. The Property is directly across the Battenkill from the 519-acre Batten Kill State Forest which is also adjacent to the 455-acre Goose Egg State Forest. Adjacent to Goose Egg State Forest is another conservation easement held by ASA. The neighborhood block of conserved lands combining these two state forests and easements total approximately 1,084 acres. Marcia explains, “When we drove down Roberson Road for the first time sixteen years ago, we were struck by the beauty of the open fields and mountains across from the house. We later learned that it contains some of the best farming soil in the region. The land has been this way for centuries and we want to preserve it for generations to come.” In December 2012, Charlie and Marcia donated an easement on the 47 acres along the Battenkill. They currently lease their fields to Skip Clark, a local dairy farmer who has also protected his land with ASA.


Outreach and Education FY 2012-13 was a banner year for outreach and education efforts. We offered a variety of programs to connect people from all over the region to our working landscapes and give them meaningful opportunities to learn about local farms, food and land conservation. A grant from the New York State Conservation Partnership Program enabled ASA to hire a part-time employee in Troy to develop new programs in Rensselaer County. Our program coordinator, Ellie Markovitch, facilitated new partnerships with various organizations and used farm tours, food, and photography to build her community programs involving pre-teens, teens and adults. Come maple sugaring season, ASA filled a bus from Troy for a Maple and Milk Tour of the conserved Cannon Cattle Ranch in Pittstown. ASA also expanded its popular Farm Photography for Kids sessions where kids visit local farms, learn the fundamentals of photography from professionals, and exhibit their work at the Washington County and Schaghticoke fairs. ASA held additional programs including: a nature walk

Stewardship

In 2012-2013 ASA’s stewardship team worked with landowners to conduct site visits to all 93 (14,212 acres!) of our previously conserved properties. In addition to annual site visits, ASA staff worked with landowners to address questions about their easements, assisted with the notification or approval process for certain activities on the land, and promoted good land stewardship practices by hosting workshops and programs based on feedback from our easement landowners.

with naturalist Howard Smith at White Oak Farm, a guided bird walk at Jermain Hill Farm, a native plant workshop at Fiddlehead Creek Native Plan Nursery in Hartford, and a presentation on the natural history of the slate valley by Bernadette Hoffman, a naturalist and educator at the Pember Museum. And expert mycologist, Sue Van Hook, taught an avid group of inspiring mushroom farmers how to grow their own mushrooms at St. Croix Farm. We also held three major events. In July we held our Barbeque and Bands Family Picnic at the Washington County Fairground to honor the families who had recently protected their land. With more than 400 riders and 60 volunteers, the 2012 Tour de Farm of the Saratoga Battlefield was a tremendous success. Hosted by ASA and Saratoga P.L.A.N., Tour de Farm gave bicyclists the opportunity to visit conserved farms, ride through beautiful farm landscapes and eat a fantastic local foods picnic at Hand Melon Farm. ASA also had a record turnout for our 11th annual Landscapes for Landsake Art Exhibit held on Columbus Day weekend at Maple Ridge and curated by artist Serena Kovalosky.

These landowner workshops, which we also offer to the public, are becoming increasingly popular. ASA partnered with Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District to host a presentation on natural stream systems and how landowners can protect and restore stream corridors, a workshop on farm pond management and offered two levels of chainsaw skills and safety courses with expert instructors from The Game of Logging.


2012-2013 Financial Report

Individual & Business $245,279 42%

Investment $44,195 7%

Government $140,670 24%

Foundations $158,127 27%

Program Easement Acquisition $253,324 32%

Program General $390,660 50%

Management & General $119,909 15%

Fundraising $20,824 3%

In 2012-2013 ASA closed on 2 projects utilizing $124,282 in revenue received in the previous fiscal year. The above was derived from our 2012-2013 unaudited statements, which may not conform to GAPP. Please see our 2012-2013 audited statements that reflect our finances according to GAPP. Agricultural Stewardship Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization and a NYS registered charity. Audited financials are available upon request from ASA or the Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.


Thank You!

We gratefully acknowledge the individuals and funders who contributed $250 or more between April 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. We also thank our many other supporters whose gifts play a crucial role in our success but whose names are too many to list. Foundations

Anonymous (3) Adirondack Trust Company Community Fund Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust Castanea Foundation The Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region The GE Foundation Gordon Foundation Nordlys Foundation The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Inc. Robert H. Wentorf Foundation, Inc.

Government

New York State Conservation Partnership Program* New York State Council on the Arts Town of Pittstown Rensselaer County USDA Farm and Ranchland Protection Program

Harvest Hero

Anonymous (2) William and Sarah Wade Earthshare Jenny Holzer and Michael Glier Charles and Marcia Reiss Kathy and Hugh Roome Sterling

Londa Weisman and Sidney Knafel Alexander and Marine Zagoreos

Champion

Margaret and David Horn Carole Lewis Currin Compliance Services, LLC The Phantom Laboratory

Cream of the Crop

Anonymous Ackley & Ross Funeral Home Aghamora Farm a division of Beech Hill Farms Gene and Jean Ceglowski The Chazen Companies Stephan and Gina Deibel Cutler Durkee and Jennifer Wren Alexander Ewing and Winnifred Senning Farm Credit East The Fort Miller Group Philip Gitlen and Melody Mackenzie Field Horne Kenneth and D. Nancy Johnson Constance Kheel Jeannine Laverty Josh Levy and Pam Magnuson Juliet Katherine Fund, in Honor of Kathy Roome McCarthy Charities, Inc. Maryann McGeorge and Susan Sanderson

Land Trust Accreditation

The McGraw Hill Companies, in Honor of Kathy Roome Moses Farm - Richard and Kathy Moses Peg Olsen Owl Pen Books Don Pompliano and Kathy Taylor Teri Ptacek Daniel and Hideko Stone John Umlauf Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP

Benefactor

Anonymous The Adirondack Trust Company Allenwaite Farm Matthew and Phoebe Bender Douglas and Linda Bischoff Capital Tractor, Inc Cargill John and Sue Corey Albert H. Garner and Annie Paulsen Elizabeth Gilmore Glens Falls National Bank and Trust, Co. James and Cheryl Gold Liz Gordon and Thomas Christenfeld Terry Griffin and Peter Deming Gregory Hansen Juniper Farm KC Consulting, Eric Kranz and Martha Culliton Joan and By Lapham

After several years of creating and revising policies and strengthening our internal systems, practices and protocols to ensure they meet the highest standards, ASA applied for Land Trust Accreditation in 2012. The lengthy and rigorous process involved a twophased application procedure, binders full of documentation, and a phone interview by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent commission of the Land Trust Alliance. ASA was notified in April 2013 that we had been awarded Land Trust Accreditation, which is a real tribute to our supporters, funders, volunteers and easement landowners that have helped us grow into the professional organization that we are today. About 230 of the more than 1,700 land trusts nationally were accredited in the spring of 2013. Receiving accreditation will strengthen our organization as it grows and will reassure the public, and the landowners who have entrusted us with their easements, that our land

Tupper Limbert Meika Loe and Matthew Alinger Longlesson Farm Robert and Bliss McIntosh Annie Miller and Don Minkel Nolan and Dickinson, CPA’s William Ralston and Joan Bleikamp Richland Farms Peter and Ingrid Schaaphok Peter and Courtney Simon Sally and Jeff Small Hal Spiezio Stewart’s Shops Stirling Brook Farms Stone Hill Farm - Gregory Hansen Robert Taylor TD Bank, NA Anne Van Ingen and Wes Haynes Elizabeth Lynne Van Nest Washington County Farm Bureau Wiley Brothers Mary Ellen Williams

Steward

Anonymous (2) Barbara Ahern and Conard Holton Robin Andrews Booth’s Blend Compost Janet Britt and John Dojka, Jr. Cambridge Lantern Works The Chronicle George E. Foster Bruce and Rudy Goff Carol Hand Noel and Judy Hanf Sherry Hawley Barbara Hennig Sabrina Hitchcock Judy and Edward Hughes Vincent Kelleher and Richard Bump Mitch and Doris Levinn Lewis Waite Farm and Alan Brown Realty Ruth Leys and Michael Fried Thomas and Rebecca Meath Naturally Grass Fed, LLC New Minglewood Farm Chris Lincoln and Tammara Van Ryn Richard and Dari Norman


Board of Directors 2012-2013 Galen Rhode, North Bennington Variety Ed Pelz Remus Preda and Lisa Randles Richland Farms Erika Sellar Ryan and Matt Ryan Carol Serotta Lee Shapiro and Patrick Gill Carla Skodinski and Michael Fieldman Timothy Smith Rebecca A. Sparks St. Croix Farm, Inc. David and Jane Suttle Toolite Farms, LLC Annette Van Rooy and Jippe Hiemstra Kenneth Vittor and Judith Aisen W J Brundige Insurance Diana and John Waite Tim and Kathleen Wiley Anne and Ethan Winter

Monthly Giving

Douglas and Linda Bischoff KC Consulting - Erich Kranz and Martha Culliton Long Days Farm, Deborah Jaffe and Edwin Schiele Tara Nolan Stone Hill Farm, Gregory Hansen

Matching Donations

El Paso Corporation The GE Foundation The McGraw Hill Companies Verizon Foundation

Jeff Gaess Forever Farmland Legacy Fund

Margaret Horn and David Horn

In Kind Services & Donations

Heather Bellanca Chobani Curtis Lumber Custom Crafted Signs Denison Farm

Maple Ridge, Larry Sconzo Max London’s NY Fine Arts Appraisers Pattison Koskey Howe and Bucci Retirement and Benefit Partners, Inc. Sue Sanderson Spoonful Catering

Volunteers

Corrina Aldrich Bradley Allen Sarah Ashton Phylis Bader Boreal John and Gigi Begin Linda and Doug Bischoff Jim Bogue John Boreal Molly Bray Hayes Ashley Bridge Judy and Jay Bridge Nancy and Alan Brown Bob Cheney and VOSCA students Alane and Emma Chinian Thomas Christenfeld Jeff Cook Liz Coyne Mary Dee and Clem Crowe John and Minette Cummings Brian Dansin Leonard Dilisio Clara Edwards Kelly Jo Eveland D’Artagnon Fearon Sirell Fiel Cathy Firman Nancy Fitzpatrick Cathy Fleming Emma Foster Carole Foster Veronica Fraiolibr Ian Franzen Karl Gauzewitz Jamie Greenberg Jon Harris Tom Harris Dot Harrop ML Healy Laura Hitchcock Christine, Maxwell and Matthew Hoffer

Tom Jilek Chair, Salem

Katherine Roome Vice Chair, Greenwich

Field Horne Kathy Idleman Seth Jacobs Stuart Kauffman Judith Kazen Dave Kievet Barb King Ed and Millie Lawrence Evan Lawrence Meghan Leishman Olivia Logue Courtney Luskin Jane Luskin Jenny Lyttle Kassie Madulka Bob Maggio Mark and Quimby Mahoney Chuck Marshall Amy Maxwell and Salem Future Farmers of America Brandon Miles Annie Miller Milissa Monroe Susan Montague John Mooney Randy Odell Ellen Pemrick Walter Piekarz Jessica Riehl Holly Rippon-Butler Rick Rosen Emily Roy Paul Ruger Jim Ruhl Matt Ryan Jim Schanz Lucas Sconzo Berne Shaw J’Mae Shemroske Kaitlin Sicke Susan Smith Casey Stein Renee St. Jacques Mike Taylor Joanne Van Genderan Bernie Weisen Mary Ellen Williams Ben Zipperer

* Funding for the New York State Conservation Partnership Program is provided by the Environmental Protection Fund in collaboration with the Land Trust Alliance and the State Department of Environmental Conservation **Administered locally by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council

Erika Sellar Ryan Vice Chair, Greenwich Tara Nolan Treasurer, Eagle Bridge Stephan Deibel Secretary, White Creek Art Brod Poestenkill & Easton Gene Ceglowski Rupert, Vermont Liz Gordon Easton Noel Hanf Jackson Greg Hansen East Nassau & Easton Dave Horn Easton Cynthia Parillo Pittstown Dave Sampson Troy Justin Stevens Greenwich Stuart Ziehm Cambridge

ASA Staff Teri Ptacek Executive Director

Renee Bouplon Associate Director Chris Krahling Project Manager Janet Britt Easement Steward Meegan Finnegan Senior Manager of Communications and Programs Ellie Markovitch Rensselaer County Program Coordinator Sarah Kane Administrative Assistant


You Can Help Ensure a Future for Agriculture in our Community

Photos: Ian Creitz, Stuart Kauffman, Ellie Markovitch, Jessica Riehl, Lawrence White and Mary Ellen Williams

Donate now s Volunteer s Conserve your land Make a bequest s Give through your workplace s Give monthly Participate in a program s Give a gift membership

Agricultural Stewardship Association

2531 State Route 40 s Greenwich, NY 12834 s TEL 518-692-7285 s asa@agstewardship.org Visit us online at agstewardship.org

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