Agricultural Stewardship Association YEAR IN REVIEW 2009-2010
Protecting Farmland in Washington and Rensselaer Counties
Dear members and friends, Twenty years ago ASA was founded by a group of farmers and citizens who were concerned that increasing development pressure could lead to a significant loss of farmland and threaten our vibrant farm economy and source of local food. It turns out that their deep appreciation for this irreplaceable resource and commitment to protect it was shared by many in the community. Over the years support from our members has allowed ASA to grow into a professionally staffed land trust with the capacity to assist landowners across Washington and Rensselaer counties, steward a multitude of conservation easements and offer events and programs that provide the community an opportunity to visit these treasures. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, we are pleased to have assisted landowners with the protection of 10,700 acres on 73 properties.
Land Conservation Thank you to the landowners who protected their land and made a tremendous gift to the community in 2009-2010. Each protected farm helps us forge a strong local economy and sense of place while ensuring that we and future generations will have a source of fresh, healthy food, clean air and water, and beautiful working landscapes that nourish and inspire the soul. Brotherhood Farms, Easton As one of ASA’s founding members, George Houser’s determination to protect his own land from development led to the birth of ASA and inspired many of his neighbors along the Route 40
2009-2010 Highlights Helped seven local farm families protect 1,264 acres
of productive land and ensure its availability for future agricultural use.
Worked with landowners to further 19 projects in
progress, totaling 4,310 acres.
Hosted a variety of educational programs for children
and adults on conserved farms to provide an opportunity to see first-hand what makes them worth protecting.
Fulfilled our commitment to the community and
the landowners who’ve protected their land by visiting all of the properties that had been conserved prior to 2009 to ensure the terms of the easements are being upheld. corridor in Easton to conserve their land as well. With this last 302-acre parcel, which has been in the family for at least 205 years, the Housers have completed protection of their 1,030-acre farm. George and his wife Earline feel very strongly that they have done right by their family, community and the land that they love. George explains, “It’s beyond personal. People have to have food and the land to grow it. Together, I feel like we accomplished a great thing.”
Castanea Foundation provided funding to purchase the easement on this portion of Brotherhood Farms, the Housers donated a potion of the easement and a grant from the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership Program covered transaction and stewardship costs.
Moses Farm, White Creek and Hoosick Rich and Kathy Moses firmly believed that “Rich, fertile lands should always be farmland”. They choose to protect their historic Eagle Bridge farm, home of renowned artist Grandma Moses, because they understand its value as a place to grow food. The Moses Farm conservation easement permanently protects 171 acres of high quality soils. So far, three generations of the Moses family have been engaged in growing vegetable crops and selling them at their popular farmstand. “The future is bright for vegetable farming,” said Rich. “Vegetable farming is a growth sector of regional agriculture due to increasing interest in safe, healthy, local foods.” Rich and Kathy have three children of their own, any one of whom might decide to continue the farming tradition. Thanks to their parents’ foresight, the family farm will always be available to support new generations of farmers. Conservation of the Moses farm
was made possible by a grant from the NY State Environmental Protection Fund, Castanea Foundation and a donation by the Moses family.
Mahoney property, Jackson Mark T. and Quimby Mahoney moved to the former Ed Levin property from Massachusetts to retire and be closer to one of their daughters and her family. Their property includes a beautiful historic house and cluster of barns, as well as 47 acres of farmland which is leased to a neighboring dairy farmer for crop production. Having come from an area irrevocably changed by development, Mark said, “We wanted to be sure it could never be chopped up into housing lots.” The Mahoney’s donated their easement. Stone Wall Hill Farm, Stephentown Dale Riggs and Don Miles own Stone Wall Hill Farm, home to the locally famous farm store known as “The Berry Patch”. The farm produces an abundance of berries, vegetables and flowers which are sold from the farm store and also at the Troy Farmers’ Market. Don and Dale are first generation farmers but they love their land as though it had been in the family for decades. While living in other states Dale said “We saw land gobbled by residential and commercial development, which is what happens to areas where people don’t value viable farmland. I would never want that to happen to land that I had worked and nurtured!” The NY State Environmental Protection Fund, a private family foundation, and generous donations from the community and customers enabled the protection of Stone Wall Hill Farm.
Robe-Jan Farm, Schaghticoke Robert and Jane Herrington both grew up on farms, and met as teenagers at a country dance. They married in 1947 and began saving to buy a farm of their own. Bob worked for other farmers and also drove a milk route until they were able to purchase their farm in 1957. The Herrington’s raised four children on the farm and over the years, Robe-Jan’s starter herd of 18 gradually grew to 60. When milk prices dropped and Bob’s health deteriorated, the Herrington’s never considered giving up the farm. Bob was an avid hunter with a firm belief in conservation, whether of wildlife or of the land, and was determined to protect his family farm. Sadly, Bob Herrington passed away before he reached that goal. His wife Jane finalized the permanent protection of Robe-Jan Farm, fulfilling Bob’s wishes for the future of the land he cared for so much. The NY State Environmental Protection Fund, the Town of Schaghticoke and Rensselaer County provided funding for the conservation of Robe-Jan Farm. The Herrington family donated a portion of the easement.
Evergreen Farm and Maple Lane Farm, Hoosick and Petersburgh Collaboration between Dave Green and The Willbrant family resulted in the conservation of Evergreen Farm and Maple Lane Farm. These farms are the first of five contiguous farms being conserved along the rich Hoosic River corridor in northeastern Rensselaer County. Fifth generation dairy farmer Dave Green began expanding his operation in 1990, eventually almost tripling the size of his herd. To support this growth, he leased land from his neighbors, the Willbrants, for crop production. Having retired from farming, the Willbrants were happy to rent their land to their trusted neighbor Dave. By selling development rights on Evergreen Farm, Dave was able to purchase the conserved Maple Lane Farm from the Willbrants who have been granted a life estate. Dave has the security of owning the land his operation depends upon and the Willbrants have the satisfaction of knowing their land will continue to be farmed. Funding from the NY State Environmental Protection Fund and a private family foundation and donations by the Green and Willbrant families made the protection of these farms possible.
Outreach and Education ASA offered a number of events and programs in 2009-2010 designed to connect the public with our work and the lands we’ve helped protect. We held four public events; our annual dinner, a Barn Dance and Pig Roast Picnic with the Pember museum at the Hogan barn in Hampton, and our 8th Landscapes for Landsake art exhibition. Approximately 1,250 people attended an event or program to learn about the importance of agriculture’s economic, environmental and historic value to the region. A group of children and adults joined naturalist Howard Romack for an exploration of the wild side of the conserved Elihu Farm in Easton. Noted mycologist Sue Van Hook led a large group on a Wild Mushroom Hunt in the conserved Klein forest in Jackson. Sue also gave an in-depth lecture at the Greenwich Library on how to identify wild mushrooms. ASA partnered with the Southern Adirondack Audubon Society to host a bird watching tour of the Washington County Grassland Important Bird Area. Participants learned about some of the birds this area sustains and why protecting their habitat is critical. And John and Peg Underwood hosted a tour of the sugaring and saw mill operation they run on their protected forested property in Hebron.
Stewardship As the number of protected properties grows, so does ASA’s responsibility to steward them and ensure that the conservation goals set forth in the easement are being upheld. In 2009-2010 ASA’s stewardship team, in partnership with the landowners, conducted site visits to all properties under easement. This year we began investigating collective easement defense insurance that will protect the organizational assets in case of litigation. Hank Howard and Edie Brown, who donated an easment on their Greenwich property, home to Owl Pen Books, in 2006 said “We look forward to Janet’s visit every year and the opportunity to walk the property with her, note changes and share our plans for its future. Conserving our land was a big decision and we feel secure knowing that ASA is a responsible organization with the ability to protect it far into the future.”
Statement of Activity April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010 Most of ASA’s operating income derives from individuals and grants which provide the funds necessary to carry out ASA’s day to day programs including conservation easement acquisition, stewardship and education and outreach.
Operating Revenue by Category $440,870 Program Income 15%
Investments Net Assets Released 1% 10%
Individual Contributions 16%
Foundation & Government Grants 52%
Operating Expenses by Category $407,391
Land Protection 40%
Fundraising 4% Management & Support 12%
Outreach & Education 31%
Allocation of Capital Funds $625,430
Source of Capital Funds for Easement Acquisition & Stewardship - $625,430 Net Assets Released 5%
Foundations 26% Individual Contributions 4%
Government Grants 65%
Land Stewardship 13%
Stewardship& Defense Fund 10%
Special Thanks We would like to thank three of our members for generously hosting two spectacular receptions in fiscal year 2009-2010 to promote ASA’s farmland conservation efforts. Cookbook author and restaurateur Suvir Saran, and Charlie Burd welcomed guests to their home at American Masala Farm in Hebron for wine and culinary treats. And Elizabeth Gambee Osborn invited guests to Eagles Rest Farm in Hebron to stroll through the “Gallery in the Garden” featuring paintings by local artist and farmland chronicler Harry Orlyk. Special thanks to Harry for donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his paintings to ASA’s farmland protection program.
Easement Acquisition Expenses 90%
We gratefully acknowledge our members who gave $250 or more between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2010. We also thank our many other supporters whose gifts play a crucial role in our success but whose names are too many to list. Please see our newsletters for a full list.
Foundations Anonymous (2) Castanea Foundation The Conservation Fund Gordon Foundation Nordlys Foundation
Government Natural Heritage Trust New York State Agriculture & Markets New York State Conservation Partnership Program Rensselaer County Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership Town of Schaghticoke Washington County
Cream of the Crop Anonymous (5) Agamora Farm a division of Beech Hill Farms Caffry & Flower, Attorneys at Law Noel and Judy Hanf Laurie and Jim Higgins John Stokowski & Sons, Inc. The Phantom Laboratory Mark and Quimby Mahoney McGraw-Hill Companies Peg Olsen Don Pompliano and Kathy Taylor Kathy and Hugh Roome
Benefactor Anonymous (5) James Alcott Norman and Gertrude Allen Douglas and Linda Bischoff Matthew Bender IV Nancy and Alan Brown Richard Bump and Vincent Kelleher Grace Campbell Veronique de La Bruyere Gina, Stephan and Ajanta Deibel Alexander and Wynn Ewing Philip Gitlen and Melody Mackenzie K.C. Consulting, Erich Krantz and Martha Culliton Constance Kheel Longlesson Farm - Melanie and Bob Mason Juniper Farm St. Croix Farm, Inc.
Mary Obering William Ralston and Joan Bleikamp Stone Wall Hill Farm James R. and Gretchen D. Ruhl Reynolds Real Estate Richland Farms Curt and Fleur Strand Robert Taylor Mary Ellen Williams
Steward Anonymous (3) Randall Adams Don and Tracey Boyd Planners East Incorporated Alan Brown Realty William Brown and Sheila Tuttle William Brundige Cindy Carway Gene and Jean Ceglowski Concra Appraisal Associates Dickinson & Company CPAs El Paso Corporation Farm Credit East Barbara Linell Glaser and Paul Zachos Terry Griffin and Peter Deming Barbara Hennig Kenneth and D. Nancy Johnson IBM Matching Grants Program Judith Kleinberg and Ivan Kazen Joan and By Lapham LaVelle & Finn, LLP Ralph Lee and Casey Compton Mitch and Doris Levinn Josh Levy Chris Lincoln and Tammara Van Ryn New Minglewood Farm Washington County Cooperative Insurance Maryann McGeorge and Susan Sanderson Bliss and Robbie McIntosh Rich and Kathy Moses, Moses Farm Ed Pelz Naturally Grass Fed Lisa Randles and Remus Preda Premier Dairy Service Teri Ptacek Mary Sautter and Peter Genier, Old Mill Apiaries Tim and Lisa Smith Margaret Stokowski Jane and David Suttle
Anne H. Van Ingen Anne and Ethan Winter Stuart and Jessica Ziehm
Landscapes for Landsake 2009 Sponsors The Chazen Companies Agard & LaPan Land Surveying Charles R. Wood Foundation Owl Pen Books The Fort Miller Group, Inc. Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP Betterbee, Inc Stewart’s Shops Caroline Eastman and Bertram Freed Green Pea Market Premier Dairy Service LLC Wiley Brothers Ackley & Ross Funeral Home Battenkill Veterinary, PC Black Dog Wines & Spirits Ltd Booth’s Blend Compost Caffry & Flower, Attorneys at Law Cambridge Auto Parts, Inc. Cambridge Valley Gym Capital Tractor, Inc Concra Appraisal Assoc Consider Bardwell Farm Dickinson & Company CPAs Farm Credit East Glens Falls National Bank Helping Hands Physical Therapy, LLC Main Street Pediatrics, PC Saratoga Living Magazine Schutze Family Dentistry Surya Polo Club, LLC Throop Integrity Builders Battenkill Riversports and Campground Walker’s Farm, Home and Tack
Thank you to our Volunteers and Program and Event Partners Volunteers Carolyn Braun Judith Bridge Mary Dee and Clem Crowe Cathy Firman Brian Gilchrist Doug Gruse ML Healy John Homkey Elizabeth Huntly Don and Kathy Idleman Ivan Kazen Judith Kleinberg Ed and Millie Lawrence Evan Lawrence Florence Leon Judy Leon Kim Littell Leah McCloskey Lorraine Merghart-Ballard Annie Miller Becky Molloy James O’Hearn Cindy Parillo Beth Saunders Karen Sheldon Rachel Skellie Randy Squires Jared Stamm Frank and Terry Ziehm Jessica Ziehm
Program Partners Elihu Farm - Bob and Mary Pratt Laurie LaFond Little Theatre on the Farm Pember Museum Howard Romack Larry Sconzo and Laurie Simon Southern Adirondack Audubon Society John and Peg Underwood Sue Van Hook
Help Ensure a Vibrant Future for Farming in Our Community
Become a member of ASA and help your neighboring farmers protect their land and your source of local
Volunteer your time and talents to help with outreach events, mailings, professional and technical matters.
Be a Conservation Leader by protecting your land and its conservation values. Make a bequest by leaving a gift of land or other property to ASA in your will. Give through your workplace and ask your employer about matching gifts or workplace giving through EarthShare.
Give monthly through your credit card and provide a reliable stream of support for land conservation. Honorary or memorial giving is a meaningful way to honor a friend and give a gift to future generations. Gift memberships for friends and families are a great way to show you care about them and your
For more information about ways you can support local farmland conservation, please contact Executive Director Teri Ptacek at (518) 692-7285 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Directors 2009-2010 Seth Jacobs, President, Argyle Sean Quinn, Vice President, Easton Tom Jilek, Treasurer, Salem Mary Ellen Williams, Secretary, Greenwich Gene Ceglowski, Rupert, Vermont Thomas Christenfeld, Easton Stephan Deibel, White Creek Phil Gitlin, Easton Remus Preda, Argyle Jim Ruhl, Clifton Park Margaret Stowkowski, Granville Stuart Ziehm, Cambridge
ASA Staff Teri Ptacek, Executive Director Renee Bouplon, Associate Director Chris Krahling, Project Manager Janet Britt, Easement Steward Meegan Finnegan, Communications Jennifer Jennings & Judy Leon, Consultants Photography: Lawrence White, Jeremy Green, Meegan Finnegan, Mary Ellen Williams
Agricultural Stewardship Association 14 Main Street, Suite 100 Greenwich, NY 12834 ph: 518-692-7285 fx: 518-692-7720 email@example.com www.agstewardship.org
Annual report for the Agricultural Stewardship Association