What Can Neighbors Do?

What would you like the public to know?

Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Famr BUsiness Management Educator

Throughout my time as the Farm Business Management Educator at CCE-Chautauqua, I have been invited to speak at many different community events ranging from educational outreach programs, community based organization meetings, and school celebrations. Requests for these events usually start coming in about the time the sun starts shining and corn has to be planted.

I usually arrive at these speaking engagements armed with a host of fact sheets, research-based evidence of agriculture’s effect on economic development, locally produced snacks, and (if it’s raining) a volunteer from the farming community. We discuss the importance of agriculture to our economy, rural landscape, food system, and heritage along with the statistics on Chautauqua County agriculture, highlighting the over 800 farmers that work hard to produce safe, wholesome products in our area.

There are certain things I can expect at these meetings – someone will share with me their fond memories of growing up on a farm, someone will loudly announce to the group that they always buy their strawberries locally, and someone will always comment that I’m very passionate about agriculture (which I haven’t quite decided yet if that’s a good thing or just them nicely telling me that I talk too fast). I can also usually bet that I’ll get a few repeat questions – why are milk prices unfair to farmers; why do farms smell so bad; and where can I buy local foods? But the question I am most consistently asked is “How can I support our local farmers?”.

While I might have my “stock” answer to this question, I want to open up the floor to all of you. How can people in the general public help you and your farm? What are specific things you want your neighbors, community members, and leadership to take action on to support your agribusiness? How would you answer this question?

I’d like to compile a document/fact sheet/brochure that I can utilize at events that feature voices, insights, and photos directly from our farming community. If you have ideas to answer this question, please contact me at kaw249@cornell.edu or 716-664-9502 ext. 202. I’ve also set up on online form you can use available at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua/what-can-neighbors-do.

Thank you all for everything that you do to feed the world. 

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Last updated May 29, 2018