July 17, 2009

Contact: Bernadette Logozar, Rural & Economic Development Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County, 518-483-7403; additional contacts in last paragraph

Local Food Guides Available for Northern New York Counties

Local food guides for all six Northern New York counties are now available online at www.nnyagdev.org.

The North Country’s Cornell Cooperative Extension associations; GardenShare, based in St. Lawrence County; and Adirondack Harvest, the community-based local foods organization serving 13 northern counties (including all six NNY counties) have assembled the guides.

The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program invites people to discover farm stands, u-pick, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture, organic growers and stores selling local foods across Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Bernadette Logozar, rural and agricultural development specialist, says, “These guides are your roadmap to fresh, nutritious flavors of all kinds of foods. We most often think of local foods as fresh fruits and vegetables, but we have Northern New York farmers producing cheeses, honey, maple products, meats, eggs and more.”

Lowville Farmers’ Market Manager Dolores DeSalvo with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County answers the question “Why buy local?”

“Local foods are fresh. They do not spend days traveling to reach our marketplaces, and so they have less carbon footprint impact, and when you buy local foods from local farmers, you know where your food has been grown and packaged. Buying local foods supports area farms and keeps our dollars in our local economy,” DeSalvo says.

Adirondack Harvest Coordinator Laurie Davis says, “The Northern New York region produces a wide range of products. These Local Foods maps and guides enhance consumers’ experience of North Country agritourism and provide an economic boost to our local farm producers, and the farmers’ markets are a great social venue as well.”

Although the direct market segment of agriculture is still fairly small compared to the cash receipts from the total agricultural industry as a whole, spending food dollars locally can add up quickly.

“Research indicates that direct market farmers tend to spend the money they earn locally as well. Dollars spent on local food products circulate within the community eight to 15 times, drastically improving the value of your purchase. In 2008 there were $1 million dollars of sales at the local farmers markets across NNY, if those dollars spent circulated 8 times, that is an $8 million contribution to the North Country economy this is a nice boost to the NNY economy from a segment of agriculture that makes up less than 1% of agricultural industry in this region,” states Logozar.

Find downloadable editions of the local foods guide at www.nnyagdev.org, or, for a paper copy, contact: Cornell Cooperative Extension:
• Clinton County: Amy Ivy, 518-561-7450
• Essex County: Anita Deming, 518-962-4810 x409
• 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, 315-379-9192
• Adirondack Harvest: Laurie Davis, 518-962-4810 x404. #