Assemblymember Barrett Supports Innovative NYC Plan to Protect Hudson Valley Farmland

Assemblymember Didi Barrett (D-Columbia, Dutchess) announced she has sent a letter to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in support of an initiative spearheaded by fourteen City Council Members seeking to secure a long term food source for all city residents by investing in Hudson Valley farms and farmland. The proposal urges New York City to put $5 million in the city budget to protect regional farms that deliver food to underserved neighborhoods throughout NYC.

“The Hudson Valley is home to many small and mid-size family farms that regularly supply many of New York City’s farmers markets and community supported agriculture initiatives,” said Assemblymember Barrett. “The fact is many of these same farms are at risk to development and this --literally groundbreaking – initiative would ensure a source of local nutritious food to city families while supporting our local agricultural economy and preserving our world class farmland.”

Since women often are the ones making food decisions for families, Assemblymember Barrett reached out to her women colleagues from New York City to sign on in support. They all share the belief that ensuring safe, healthy and nutritious food is vital and that investing in a local food system is beneficial to New York City and the Hudson Valley.

"Conserving farmland in the Hudson Valley is critical to ensuring that New York City has a sustainable regional food system," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "We have an innovative plan in place to protect our access to fresh, local food, and the investment we make today will pave the way for New York to be a stronger, more resilient city. I thank Assemblymember Barrett for her advocacy on this important issue."

Steve Rosenberg, Executive Vice President of Scenic Hudson, Executive Director of the Scenic Hudson Land Trust, and author of Scenic Hudson’s groundbreaking Foodshed Conservation Plan said, “Securing New York City’s Foodshed by conserving working farms in the Hudson Valley will ensure access to fresh and nutritious food for New York City residents who need it most and enhance the viability of the farms on which the city depends. The initiative will be the first of its kind in the nation to formally link urban communities in need with the farmers who provide the food through a strategic conservation plan. The program will also leverage federal, state and philanthropic funding and strengthen relationships between the city and the surrounding region.”

“We are not upstate and downstate, but one state of New York and this pioneering initiative underscores that fact,” said Barrett.