Local Farmers & COVID-19
How to help local farmers:
COVID-19 has drastically affected Dutchess County’s food industry, leaving many farmers in vulnerable economic positions. We all know how important our farms are, especially when thinking about local food security and availability. We hope you will support our local farmers by buying directly from farm stands and farm markets. If you already have a favorite farm in mind, please reach out by phone, visit their website, and check out their social media to see how you can purchase their goods during this time, and always.
If you are looking for local farm to support, please use any of these online resources:
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County’s Farm Store Resources Spreadsheet for a directory of local farm stands across the county.
- Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County’s Map of Farms, Farm Markets, and Food Pantries for a regularly updated map of local farm stands currently open for business.
- Scenic Hudson’s Farm Food Directory for another regularly updated directory of local farm stands across the Hudson Valley.
- The Farmer Market Federation of New York’s website for a statewide list of farmers markets.
- Dutchess County Tourism’s Covid-19 Consumer Updates which includes links to directories of currently open farm stands, farmers markets, restaurants, and attractions like parks and trails.
Another great option is to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. CSA memberships are a great way to receive a regular supply of fresh food while offsetting the operational costs of local farmers. Visit Hudson Valley CSA to find a list of local CSA programs near you.
If you are interested in supporting independent agriculture at a local or national level, make a contribution to the American Farmland Trust Farmer Relief Fund or check in with Jennifer Fimbel, the Dutchess County Agricultural Navigator to see if she has suggestions on how you might help locally.
Resources for local farmers:
For emergency access to capital for farmers whose incomes have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit:
- Small Business Administration Coronavirus Relief Options.
- Cornell Small Farms Program.
- Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) Farm Technical Assistance Grant.
For a directory of livestock farmers in the region who are willing to help if neighboring farms need a hand or support, visit COVID-19 Hudson Valley Livestock Directory.
For additional questions, reach out to Jennifer Fimbel, the Dutchess County Agricultural Navigator.
In addition, check out Dutchess County’s Agricultural Resources Inventory Application (ARIA), a searchable online tool that includes information on a variety of agricultural agencies and organizations, food hubs and distributors.
How to support local emergency food relief:
The closing of schools that provide free lunches and rapidly increasing unemployment has led to a clear and growing need for emergency food relief in our community, and across the country. Donating to organizations connecting available food to those who need it is a crucial step in supporting relief efforts.
If you would like to donate food or money to alleviate hunger in Dutchess County and beyond or you are in need of emergency food relief, please visit:
- Dutchess Outreach, an advocate and provider of hunger and relief services across the county.
- FeedHV, a regional food rescue and harvesting network dedicated to meeting the needs of Hudson Valley neighbors while mitigating the impacts of food waste.
- Food Bank of the Hudson Valley an organization dedicated to alleviating hunger, while preventing the waste of wholesome food.
- Red Hook Responds for a list of community resources.