February 26, 2010

Contact: Team Leader Bernadette Logozar, 518-483-7403, also see list at end of release

NNY Direct Marketing Team Encouraging Growth of Local Foods Interest

“If every household in this region was to spend $40 four times a year on locally made, grown and produced products this would be a $24.48 million dollar influx in to the local agricultural economy!” says NNY Direct Marketing Local Foods Team Leader Bernadette Logozar.

The NNY Direct Marketing Local Foods Team is a team of Cornell Cooperative Extension educators from New York’s six northernmost counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence.

Logozar, the NNY local foods specialist and a rural and agricultural economic development specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County, says, “This team of educators is providing information and outreach related to raising, buying, eating and enjoying local food in Northern New York.”

Team members bring diverse backgrounds in nutrition, community food security, livestock, business management, horticulture, ag economic development, and direct marketing to the benefit of farmers and consumers across the NNY region.

Logozar notes, “The number of farms in Northern New York selling direct to consumers has increased since 1992 from 273 farms to 619 farms with a corresponding increase in direct sales from $1.2 million to $4.16 million, and there is more room to grow that economic impact in the region.”

Among the programming efforts the NNY Direct Marketing Local Foods Team is planning for 2010 are:
• a consumer-focused conference titled “Eating Local Yet? Finding & Using Local Food”
• educational workshops to help farmers know how to sell meats at farmers markets
• updates on regulations farmers need to comply with
• a technology symposium to help farmers interested in selling via the Internet,
• local foods and farmers markets calendars, and
• “Meet the Farmer” dinners.

Logozar says a regional needs assessment showed the need for resource development for farmers, consumers and local foods educators.

“This Team effort is helping farmers in such areas as developing products and websites and the mechanics of direct-to-consumer business development. It is providing consumers with information to help them find and make local food purchases, and it is providing resources and professional development to educators to help them work with both farmers and food buyers,” Logozar says.

NNY Direct Marketing Local Foods Team members have resources available for growers and community leaders interested in making local products available at local markets.

A new Fruits and Vegetables Farmer Discussion Group has begun in the Plattsburgh area. Group leader Anne Lenox Barlow says, “The discussion group setting provides growers with the opportunity to distribute information, offer morale and technical support, and share resource leads.”

Contact Lenox Barlow at Cornell Cooperation Extension Clinton County, 518-561-7450, for the date of the next Fruits and Vegetables Farmer Discussion Group meeting.

Team members coordinate their efforts with local and regional foods programs such as Adirondack Harvest ( www.adirondackharvest.com )  and the small grants program of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (www.nnyagdev.org).

For more information on the NNY Direct Marketing Local Foods Team, contact the following Cornell Cooperative Extension educators:
• Clinton County: Amy Ivy, Anne Lenox Barlow, 518-561-7450
• Essex County: Anita Deming, Laurie Davis, 518-962-4810
• Franklin County: Bernadette Logozar, 518-483-7403
• Jefferson County: Rosalind Cook, 315-788-8450
• Lewis County: Dolores DeSalvo, 315-376-5270
• St. Lawrence County: Katherine Lang, Betsy Hodge, 315-379-9192.

Online resources include the Regional Foods section of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at http://www.nnyagdev.org/ncrf-home.htm  nd the NNY Regional Local Foods Initiative Blog at http://berdie.wordpress.com.  #