Agricultural Stewardship Association
Agricultural Stewardship Association Year in Review 2011-2012
Assisted eight local farm families with the protection of 2,015 acres of productive land to ensure its availability for future agricultural use. Worked with conservationists and partners to offer a variety of educational programs 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 protected their land by conducting site visits to each of the 80 properties conserved prior to 2011 to ensure the terms of their easements are being upheld. Developed a new 5-year strategic plan to guide our conservation work through 2018
Dear Members and Friends of the Agricultural Stewardship Association
his annual report is dedicated to the visionary conservationists who protected their land in 2011-12 and the many people whose support made it possible. Across our region, we are seeing a greater number and diversity of people supporting farmland conservation. 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. In FY 2011-12, members of our community came together to share their visions for our future and help ASA develop an ambitious new 5-year strategic plan. Families from the across the Capitol Region showed tremendous support during our campaigns to protect the Denison Farm and Quincy Farm. Through our programs and events, we worked with many talented partners and volunteers, shared the wonders of farms and nature with children and their families, and celebrated the traditions and heritage of our community. To all of those who supported our work this year, we thank you for your vision, passion, hard work and generosity. Tom Jilek, Chair, Board of Directors
Teri Ptacek, Executive Director
Thank you to the landowners who chose to make a tremendous gift to our community by protecting their land in 2011-12.
Quincy Farm, Easton
Stewart Farm, Easton
Quincy Farm, formerly known as Battleview Farm, is 49 acres of rich agricultural land located in Easton along the Hudson River across from the Saratoga National Historical Park. The farm has been in continuous agricultural production since 1777.
Cliff and Janet Stewart own Autumn View Acres, a dairy operation they started as a young couple in 1959. The Stewarts raised six children on the farm and while they’ve seen their share of hardship, they have many fond memories of family life on the farm. Today they milk about 130 Holsteins and have another 100 young stock. In 1999, the Stewarts protected 57 acres of their farm. Over the years their son Keith has taken on running the farm and now owns the cows and equipment and rents the land from his parents. He and his wife Sheri have four children of their own and are proud to be carrying on the family tradition. Now approaching retirement, the Stewarts are planning to transition the land to Keith. Working with ASA and the Town of Easton, they were awarded funding from the New York State Farmland Conservation Program to protect their remaining 234 acres of land and finalized the farm’s conservation. When the time comes, Keith will be able to purchase the land at its reduced agricultural value. Cliff and Janet will be secure in their retirement and pleased that the farm they’ve worked so hard to build will continue to be a farm for generations to come.
When it went up for sale, aspiring farmers Luke Deikis and Cara Fraver asked the Open Space Institute (OSI), a national conservation organization, for help. Acting as an interim conservation buyer, OSI purchased the farm from the Wright family at its appraised value. They enlisted ASA as their local partner, fronting the funds to purchase a conservation easement, and then sold the restricted property to Luke and Cara at its reduced agricultural value. Responsible for covering half the cost of the farm’s protection, ASA secured funding from Castanea Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, and through a public grassroots campaign. This rich, historic farm has been protected and Luke and Cara, a new generation of farmers, have started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) business and sell their produce at the Ballston Spa, Glens Falls and Schenectady farmers markets.
Cannon Cattle Ranch, Baum Property, Pittstown Matt and Peggy Cannon bought their farm in Pittstown in 1979 and named it the Cannon Cattle Ranch. They’ve made many improvements to the farm and grown the herd to about 115 milking cows and 90 young stock. They’ve
put a lot of hard work into building a successful family dairy farm and wanted to make sure it stayed a farm. The Cannons rented support land from their neighbor Theresa Baum, who was also determined to protect her property from future development. Working with ASA, both were awarded funding through the New York State Farmland Protection Program and additional funds from Castanea Foundation covered some of the transaction costs. ASA was able to help the Cannons protect their 358 acres, and Baum her 33 acres. Not only did conservation satisfy their shared desire to see the land remain in farming, but it’s also given the Cannons the opportunity to purchase the land they’ve rented from Baum at its reduced, agricultural value. Hooskip Farm, Petersburgh and Hoosick The 714-acre Hooskip Farm is located along the Hoosic River on Indian Massacre Road in Petersburgh and straddles the Vermont state border. John and Mary McMahon named it for the Hoosic River and Skiparee Mountain, much of which is part of the farm. They wanted to keep the farm small and self-sustaining and today, John and his son Dan milk 115 registered Holsteins, raise almost all of their feed on the farm, harvest timber and provide enough fire-wood to heat their homes. John explains, “If it wasn’t for Dan taking over, I wouldn’t still be farming. The hours are long and it requires patience and good health. It’s not a job—it’s a way of life”.
Land Conservation Continued The farm’s rich history and superb soils inspired John and his family to protect their land. They protected 371 acres in Pownell with the Vermont Land Trust and then worked with ASA and Rensselaer County to apply for funding through the New York State Farmland Protection Program to protect the adjacent 343 acres in Petersburgh. John has inspired a number of neighboring farmers to protect their land as well. Including the portion of his farm in Vermont, there are now 1,492 acres that have been or are in the process of being protected in this rich river valley.
Jermain Hill Farm, White Creek Alex and Marine Zagoreos bought Jermain Hill Farm with several partners in 1977. It’s a beautiful 319-acre farm that connects the Mount Tom State Reforestation Area to the Little White Creek. They fell in love with the farm and eventually bought out their partners. Marine and Alex share an interest in birds and they manage some of their land for grassland and song bird habitat, leaving a few fields uncut until July when the nesting period is over. Alex said that an ornithologist who visited the farm recently counted 75 distinct species of birds including two golden eagles which they see regularly.
Alex has been active with a number of conservation organizations and is currently chair of Audubon New York. He and Marine believe strongly in protecting the natural resources that make New York such a rich state. They made the important decision to donate an easement on their farm because, as Marine put it, “We love it so much that we want to make sure to leave something that won’t change much for our children, their children, or whoever’s children are here to take care of it.” Clark Family Farm & Stearns Brothers Farm, Jackson, Petersburgh and Hoosick As a third generation dairy farmer, Guy “Skip” Clark appreciates the value of good cropland. To support his family’s growing operation, Skip rented a rich, flat parcel of land on Route 313 just outside the village of Cambridge, which borders the Eldridge Swamp State Forest. He also rented land in Hoosick Falls, and Petersburg from the Stearns brothers. When both properties came up for sale, Skip turned to ASA for help acquiring them. The Castanea Foundation, ASA’s conservation partner, purchased both parcels. They continued to rent to Skip while they worked with ASA and Washington and Rensselaer counties to secure funding from the New York State Farmland Protection Program to conserve all 540 acres. The Whipstock Hill Preservation Society contributed additional funding to help with the protection of the Stearns’ farm. Conservation enabled Skip to purchase both parcels from Castanea at their reduced agricultural value.
Denison Farm, Schaghticoke The 164-acre Denison Farm in Schaghticoke, owned by Brian and Justine Denison, is home to a 510-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and provides great produce for the Troy and Saratoga farmers’ markets. Brian and Justine are committed to mentoring new farmers and wanted to make sure their farm would be protected and available for the next generation of farmers. ASA secured a majority of funding for the farm’s conservation through grants from the Federal Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program, the Castanea Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The final portion of funding came largely from the farm’s many loyal customers. CSA members Matt and Dana Kopans explained why they supported the campaign. “Just about everyone who joins a CSA knows the reasons to support local farming: it helps build community, it strengthens the local economy, local food tastes better, etc. But we support local farms for two very specific reasons - our twins, Zack and Eden. Watching our kids grow up so quickly it’s very clear that what we feed them is, in a very literal way, making them who they are. In this economy, our family, like so many others, needs to invest carefully, and we want to do whatever we can to ensure that Zack and Eden grow up healthily and in a healthy community. ASA and the Denisons are helping us to do both.”
Outreach and Education
ASA continued to expand its outreach and education efforts to offer a wide variety of programs for kids, families and landowners as well as three major public events. We built on the success of our Farm Photography for Kids program, offering kids aged 7 to 16 the opportunity to visit 6 diverse, local farms where they learned the fundamentals of photography from professional photographers. Their photos of pigs, sheep, cows, chickens, tractors and trucks were displayed in a special exhibit at the Washington County and Schaghticoke fairs. Naturalist Howard Romack led a family nature walk on Joslin Lane Farm in Buskirk and mycologist Sue Van Hook took about 50 fungus fans in search of wild mush-
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 2011-2012 ASA’s stewardship team worked with landowners to conduct site visits to all 80 (11,665 acres!) of our previously conserved properties. We also prepared to apply for accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance (LTA), a national organization which sets standards and practices for more than 1,700 land trusts across the country. The application process requires a thorough review of all of our existing easements, policies and practices to ensure they meet the highest standards. Receiving accreditation will strengthen our organization as it grows and reassure the public, and the landowners
rooms on the conserved Sanders property in Salem. ASA held its annual dinner with special guest, New York Times editor Verlyn Klinkenborg, in April. In July we teamed up with Saratoga P.L.A.N. to host our second annual Tour de Farm bicycle ride through the agricultural landscapes and historical sites surrounding the Saratoga National Historical Park. 253 riders helped raise approximately $8,500 for farmland conservation at the event. ASA also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its signature Landscapes for Landsake art exhibition in October. Host Larry Sconzo, artist Harry Orlyk, and conservationist Barbara Glaser were honored for their part in the show’s success. Artists generously donated 50% of the proceeds from the sale of their work and local businesses sponsored the event in support ASA’s conservation efforts.
who have entrusted us with their easements, that our land protection efforts are permanent. Through our stewardship program we offered several programs to assist landowners in the stewardship of their land. We partnered with the Adirondack Wildlife Refuge & Rehabilitation Center to host a Barn Owl and Kestrel Pest Management workshop at the conserved Steel Farm in Kingsbury. We worked with the Washington County Soil & Water Conservation District to give landowners an overview of all of the federal grant and contractual agreement programs designed to protect agricultural land and wildlife. We also partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Rensselaer Land Trust and the Rensselaer Plateau Alliance to offer forest owners a workshop on succession planning.
Statement of Activities, March 31, 2012 Temporarily REVENUE AND ADDITIONS TO NET ASSETS Unrestricted Restricted
Gifts and contributons
Events, net of expense
Capital Support Contributions, grants & pledges for easement acquisition
Investment Income and Reserves
Gifts and contributions to stewardship and defense funds
Interest on cash & cash equivalents
Change in fair value of remainder interest in real property Realized gains and losses on investments
Unrealized gains and losses on investments
340,535.67 1,211,881.00 1,552,416.67
NET ASSETS RELEASED FROM RESTRICTIONS
676,990.00 -676,990.00 1,017,524.67
TOTAL REVENUE AND ADDITIONS
EXPENSES AND REDUCTIONS IN NET ASSETS
Management and support
TOTAL EXPENSES AND REDUCTIONS
NET INCREASE (DECREASE) IN NET ASSETS NET ASSETS, beginning of year
71,568.67 534,891.00 606,459.67 773,349.00 1,018,469.00
316,688.67 1,308,240.00 1,624,928.67
NET ASSETS, end of year
Statement of Financial Position
Individual/ CORPORATE $679,104 ASSETS
Cash and cash equivalents
Sources FOUNDATIONS of Funds
Contributions receivable from:
Remainder interest in real property
Pledges and grants receivable
Investments, at fair value
Furniture and Equipment, net
INVESTMENTS/ OTHER $28,467
$370,338 24% GOVERNMENT $474,507
1,655,752.56 LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS
Liabilities Accounts payable and accrued expenses
PROGRAM/ Easements Purchased $497,733
Uses of Funds
1,624,929.00 Total liabilities and net assets
4% PROGRAM/ GENERAL $336,269
8% MAnagement & General $78,415
We gratefully acknowledge our members who gave $500 or more between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. We also thank our many other supporters whose gifts play a crucial role in our success but whose names are too many to list. Daniel and Hideko Stone Top Chef Masters 3 John Umlauf Bill and Sarah Wade Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP Alexander and Marine Zagoreos
Foundations Anonymous (1) Castanea Foundation Charles R. Wood Foundation The Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region Gordon Foundation The Hedbring Foundation Horowitz Family Foundation, Inc. McCarthy Charities, Inc. Nordlys Foundation, Inc. The Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Inc. The Pew Charitable Trusts Whipstock Hill Preservation Society, Inc.
Government Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor New York State Conservation Partnership Program* New York State Council on the Arts Decentralization Program** Rensselaer County Town of Easton Town of Schaghticoke
Cream of the Crop Anonymous (8) Ackley & Ross Funeral Home Carolina Eastern-Vail, Inc. Nan and Tom Carroll The Chazen Companies Stephan and Gina Deibel Earthshare Alexander Ewing and Winnifred Senning Philip Gitlen and Melody Mackenzie Liz Gordon and Thomas Christenfeld Margaret and David Horn John Stokowski & Sons Juniper Farm Ruth and Sandy Lamb Josh Levy and Pam Magnuson Maryann McGeorge and Susan Sanderson The McGraw Hill Companies Owl Pen Books The Phantom Laboratory Kathy and Hugh Roome Phil Sweeney Rupert Veterinary Clinic Saratoga Casino and Raceway Select Sothebys International Realty
Anonymous (5) The Adirondack Trust Company Mr. James Alcott Atticus Communications Matthew and Phoebe Bender Douglas and Linda Bischoff Arthur Brod, Jr. Cargill Gordon Chaplin John and Sue Corey Farm Credit East Bertram Freed and Caroline Eastman Albert H. Garner Glens Falls National Bank James and Cheryl Gold Terry Griffin and Peter Deming Frederic Guile Denene Hisgen Kenneth and D. Nancy Johnson Barbara and Ken Kaufman KC Consulting Mineke and Andrew Knapp Matt Kopans and Dana Gliserman-Kopans Russell and Elizabeth LaCroix Joan and By Lapham Carol and Douglas Leith Susan Lepler and Michael Force Mitch and Doris Levinn Lewis Waite Farm Tupper Limbert Margaret Meath Moses Farm Nolan + Dickinson, CPAs, PLLC Jack and Cynthia Parillo Teri Ptacek Don Pompliano and Kathy Taylor Don and Lois Porter William Ralston and Joan Bleikamp Robert Reilly and Alexandra Streznewski Sally and Jeff Small Stewartâ€™s Shops Stirling Brook Farms TD Bank, NA Carlos Torres Elizabeth Lynne Van Nest Wiley Brothers Tim and Kathleen Wiley Mary Ellen Williams Anne and Ethan Winter Michael and Katherine Zdeb
In Kind Services Catherine Littell Spoonful Catering Susan Sanderson Gary Stine
Volunteers Lynda and Michael Armstrong Stacey Arnold Mark Beauharnois John and Gigi Begin Karen Bilowith Lynn Bittner Jim Bogue Jay and Judy Bridge Nancy Brown Dr. Paul Byron Bob Cheney and Cambridge VOSCA Jeff Cook Clem and Mary Dee Crowe John and Minette Cummings Brian Dansin Kim Davidson Maggie Denison Sirrell Fiel Cathy Firman Betsy and Mary Foote Elizabeth Gormley John Hand Jon Harris Dorothy Harrop ML Healy Christine and Matthew Hoffer Jennifer Jennings Judith and Ivan Kazen Pam Keniry John Kettlewell David Kievit Jana King Evan Lawrence Ed and Millie Lawrence Kim Littell Jennie Lyttle Quimby Mahoney Amy Maxwell and Salem Future Farmers of America Diane McGlauflin Robert and Bliss McIntosh Beth Meer Annie Miller Randy Oâ€™Dell Bob Odess Cliff Oliver Christina Puerto Lisa Randles Leah Remington John Rockwell Steve Romero Jim Ruhl Colleen Sacala Jim Schanz Rachel Skellie Dick Skellie Monique and Jamie Smith Renee St. Jacques Julia Stokes Katie Stone Kristin Williford Jessica Ziehm Ben Zipperer
*The New York State Conservation Partnership Program is administered by the Land Trust Alliance and funded through the Environmental Protection Fund ** Administered locally by the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council
Board of Directors 2011-2012 Mary Ellen Williams Chair, Greenwich Tom Jilek Vice Chair, Salem Tara Nolan Treasurer, Eagle Bridge Stephan Deibel Secretary, White Creek Art Brod Poestenkill & Easton Gene Ceglowski Rupert, Vermont Thomas Christenfeld Easton Megan Galbraith Cambridge Phil Gitlen Easton Dave Horn Easton Seth Jacobs Argyle Alyssa J. McClenning Northumberland Cynthia Parillo Pittstown Katherine Roome Greenwich Erica Sellar Ryan Greenwich Justin Stevens Greenwich Margaret Stokowski Granville 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 Sarah Kane, Administrative Assistant
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Agricultural Stewardship Association
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ASA Annual Report for fiscal year 2011-2012