Statement of Purpose
People love the streams and open fields of the Catskill Mountains, and they love the family farms that are at the heart of the area’s cultural heritage. Take away the farms, and the Catskills would be a very different place.
Yet Catskill farms are being taken away.
The number of farms is decreasing every year. With land prices rising and development pressure building, many young farmers can’t afford to buy land. As the farming community shrinks, those farmers who do remain on the land lack the support from a community of farmers they need to thrive.
Farm Catskills - a Sustainable Community in a Working Landscape
Farm Catskills is a not-for-profit community organization conceived by Catskill farmers to protect and promote agriculture and the farming way of life in the Catskills. Our goal is to preserve farmland for farmers and provide tangible support to the farmers of today and tomorrow.
Recognizing that the farms and the surrounding Main Streets are interconnected, Farm Catskills partners with area residents, businesses, organizations and schools to preserve and nurture the rural heritage of the region and create a sustainable economy.
- Make good farmland affordable for farmers through innovative tools such as agricultural easements, Options to Purchase at Agricultural Value, community land trusts, and partnerships with non-farmer landowners in the region
- Partner with conservation land trusts, community development organizations, historical organizations and individuals to pursue our goals
- Inform federal, state and local officials about how they can protect family farms and open space
- Increase public awareness in both rural and metropolitan areas about the value of family farms and sustainable farming communities
- Build a strong grassroots base of community members who support local farms and the food they grow
- Help new farmers access resources needed to farm successfully
- Increase local participation in agriculture through efforts such as farm-to-school programs, edible classroom gardens, agritourism and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- Promote the development of infrastructure to process and distribute locally grown food