CCE-Chautauqua Announces STW Meeting on WNY Food Hub

Local Farmers Invited to Learn About New Sales Opportunities on January 20th 

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (January 12, 2016) -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Agriculture Program is excited to announce an upcoming opportunity to learn about Western New York’s premier Food Hub on January 20th. Farmers and growers from the greater Southern Tier West region, including Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany Counties and the Seneca Nation of Indians, are encouraged to attend an informational meeting on Wednesday, January 20 in Salamanca to learn about new sales opportunities through the newly established Western NY Food Hub. This opportunity is organized by Southern Tier West, with support from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County.

The Western NY Food Hub is operated by Eden Valley Growers and will source vegetables and fruit from farmers in the 12 counties of WNY. With the established distribution network of Eden Valley Growers, local produce can find its way to wholesale buyers in Buffalo, greater Western New York, all of New York State, and even the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

The food hub will provide an opportunity for smaller growers to participate in an expanded market economy. Eden Valley Growers is committed to strengthening the economy for the region’s farmers and is pleased to be able to work with farms of all sizes with the Western NY Food Hub. The meeting will present topics to include history of the food hub, organizational structure and distribution network of Eden Valley Growers, criteria required to sell to the food hub, farmer payment policies, and free trainings to help growers meet criteria and increase their capacities. There will be adequate time for questions and answers with the project personnel as well as networking and strategizing next steps.

Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, encourages our area farmers and producers to attend. “This is an exciting opportunity for not only Western New York, but for Chautauqua County. With over 1500 farms in the county, agriculture is our number one industry. However, it is a constantly changing environment, and many growers are looking for markets beyond the roadside stand. I think that many farms in our area can benefit tremendously from an incredible partnership with organizations like Cornell Cooperative Extension, Southern Tier West, Eden Valley Growers, and the Field & Fork Network. This new market could mean increased profitability and accessibility to locally produced foods. We encourage all Chautauqua County growers, both small and large, to attend.”

The meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 20th at 6 pm at the Center for Regional Excellence, 4039 Route 219, Room #100 (BOCES). The meeting is hosted by Eden Valley Growers, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Field & Fork Network, and the site host is Southern Tier West and Fresh Local WNY. Sandwiches and beverages will be provided. RSVPs are appreciated so that organizers can plan to accommodate everyone.

Please RSVP for the meeting to Kimberly LaMendola at klamendola@southerntierwest.org or call 716-945-5301 x2211. For more information about the Western NY Food Hub, please contact Dave Walczak at Eden Valley Growers, dnwedenvalley@roadrunner.com or Cheryl Thayer of Cornell Cooperative Extension at cbt32@cornell.edu . For information on Chautauqua County Local Foods Initiatives, ride-sharing, or general questions, please contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll at 716-664-9502 ext. 202 or kaw249@cornell.edu.

The Agriculture Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a subordinate governmental agency with an educational mission that operates under a form of organization and administration approved by Cornell University as agent for the State of New York. It is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The association is part of the national cooperative extension system, an educational partnership between County, State, and Federal governments. As New York’s land grant university Cornell administers the system in this state. Each Cornell Cooperative Extension association is an independent employer that is governed by an elected Board of Directors with general oversight from Cornell. All associations work to meet the needs of the counties in which they are located as well as state and national goals. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.

Contact

Katelyn Walley-Stoll
Agriculture Program Community Educator, Farm Business Management
kaw249@cornell.edu
716-664-9502 ext. 202

Last updated January 19, 2016