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agriculture

Despite recent rains, Orleans still in moderate drought

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 August 2018 at 1:08 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: The farm fields and grass in Orleans County are greener after some recent rains. This photo shows a historical marker in Gaines, just west of the Gaines Basin Road bridge, which is the northernmost point on the canal. The sign was recently repainted by students in Tim Archer’s seventh grade service learning class at Albion, with Melissa Ierlan of Clarendon doing the lettering.

Orleans County farmers breathed a big sigh of relief with about an inch of rain two weeks ago, followed by another sizable rainfall.

But there hasn’t been much rain since. Orleans County, in fact, remains in a moderate drought, according to The National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“The rain we got was very, very beneficial, said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Orleans and Monroe counties.

The rain helped corn to grow and pollinate, and many farmers planted cabbage, cucumbers and green beans in last two weeks.

But with another dry spell, the groundwater is starting to get used up.

“We haven’t had the rain to make everything look real healthy,” Meyer said. “It’s been raining to the south of us. But our section in Niagara, Orleans and part of Monroe, it’s been skipping us.”

State-wide, New York is in better shape now than last week. As of Tuesday, 40.7 percent of NY was considered abnormally dry (down from 72.5 percent on July 24). The percentage considered in moderate drought didn’t change much, from 20.23 percent on July 24 to 20.08 percent on July 31, according to the Drought Monitor.

In Western New York, the area with moderate drought includes all of Orleans, most of Niagara and some of the western end of Monroe County.

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County’s Ag District adds 116 acres

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 July 2018 at 11:00 am

ALBION — The Orleans County Consolidated Agricultural District is growing by 115.66 acres.

The County Legislature last week held a public hearing on the additions for the countywide district. The Legislature then approved the acreage for the Ag District.

The changes go for a final OK in Albany by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets. That is expected in September or October.

The additions include:

• 4.10 acres on Greenman Road in the Town of Yates, which are owned by Sandy Knoll Farms

• 44.10 acres on Gray Road in the Town of Barre, owned by the Barre Sportsmen’s Club

• 0.86 acre on Gaines Waterport Road in Gaines, owned by Robin L. Root

• 54.80 acres on Gaines Waterport Road in Gaines, owned by Robin L. Root

• 11.80 acres on Horan Road in Ridgeway, owned by Timothy D. Marker.

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NY has boosted ag sales, including apples and cabbage, to Puerto Rico

Posted 24 July 2018 at 5:48 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced new agricultural trade partnerships between New York and Puerto Rico to strengthen both the Puerto Rican economy and the ties between the two communities as Puerto Rico continues to recover and rebuild.

The Governor pledged to help Puerto Rico rebuild their agriculture and food supply systems, and work with local farmers, the University of Puerto Rico, and other partners to provide technical assistance and expertise to rebuild the industry. Ten months after the devastation of Hurricane Maria, agricultural trade between New York and Puerto Rico is rapidly growing with the expansion of New York-grown apples, cabbages, and onions into Puerto Rico and watermelon, mangoes, and pumpkins grown in Puerto Rico becoming available in New York. Conservative estimates say these agricultural trade opportunities will exceed well over $1 million in economic benefit to both New York and Puerto Rico.

The Governor made the announcement while in Puerto Rico leading a delegation of SUNY and CUNY presidents and students, as well as nonprofit partners, labor leaders, and elected officials, to support the ongoing efforts on the island. This trip marks the Governor’s fifth trip to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, and part of the third deployment of SUNY and CUNY student volunteers since the initiative began.

“The people of Puerto Rico are our brothers and sisters and in the face of the federal government’s ongoing neglect, New York will continue to do everything in our power to help them rebuild their economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “This agricultural partnership will create opportunities for local farmers, stimulate economic growth, and help this vital sector recover, and will further strengthen the ties between Puerto Rico and the great state of New York.”

As established in the Build Back Better report assessing the hurricane damage, Hurricanes Irma and Maria severely impacted Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector, primarily made up of small, family-owned farms, with approximately 80 percent of the crop value destroyed, a loss of nearly $250 million to the Puerto Rico economy. The destruction of planted crops caused a loss of locally grown foods, limiting nutritional options, driving up food costs and contributing to food insecurity. In addition, over 2.2 million animals were lost to the storm and the agricultural infrastructure experienced damages in excess of $1.8 billion. This represents 40 percent of the total value.

As with Puerto Rico’s other rebuilding efforts, New York State is committed to helping Puerto Rico rebuild their agriculture and food supply systems stronger than before. Governor Cuomo will launch a comprehensive, targeted effort to work with local farmers, the University of Puerto Rico and other partners to assess immediate needs, provide technical assistance for short-term solutions and develop a strategic plan to bolster the agricultural industry, support food security and grow the Puerto Rico’s economy. As part of this initiative, the Governor will convene a team of experts, led by Commissioner Ball, that will meet with partners at SOMOS.

These actions will focus on:

• increased trade and exchange of food and agricultural commodities between Puerto Rico and New York,

• co-ventures in food innovation

• food security for underserved populations and exploring the development of food banks

• collaboration on best practices in food and beverage safety, as well as, standards and technical guidance for food safety.

Caribbean Produce, Puerto Rico’s largest produce distributor, has thus far imported 186,200 pounds of apples from across New York – including Rome, Empire, Red Delicious, Gala, Snap Dragon and McIntosh apples from New York Apples Sales and Hudson River Fruit. Caribbean Produce has also imported 126,000 pounds of cabbage from Torrey Farms in Elba, Genesee County, and 84,000 pounds of onions from Minkus Family Farms in New Hampton, Orange County, with plans to import New York-grown potatoes, carrots, turnips, beets, and more produce. Caribbean Produce is currently distributing Red Jacket Orchard juice from Geneva, Ontario County. Hudson River Fruit, Red Jacket Orchard and Minkus Family Farm are all a part of the State’s New York State Grown & Certified program.

New York has imported 100,000 pounds of seedless watermelons from Finca González and Soto Farms in Guánica, Puerto Rico, sold at retail in the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx, with additional containers planned in the weeks and months ahead. Caribbean Produce will soon export tropical pumpkin to New York from Finca Gonzalez, as well as mangoes from Gan Eden Farm in Santa Isabel. By conservative estimates, these partnerships will generate well over $1 million in economic impact in both New York and Puerto Rico in the long term.

Gan Eden Farm was one of the working sites for State University of New York Maritime, SUNY Albany and SUNY ESF students deployed as part of Governor Cuomo’s NY Stands with Puerto Rico Recovery and Rebuilding Initiative to assist with recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

These partnerships are made possible by the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism opened by Governor Cuomo in November 2015 in Old San Juan. NYSOTT promotes mutually beneficial tourism opportunities and strengthens economic ties between the state and the island. NYSOTT also operates the New York State Discovery Center, a Taste NY and I LOVE NY store promoting New York-made and produced products.

The distribution of Saratoga Spring Water, Asarasi Sparkling Tree Water and Roxy Mountain Maple Products in Puerto Rico also builds on a number of initiatives announced by Governor Cuomo in September 2015 designed to help Puerto Rico expand its economy and foster a mutually beneficial economic development relationship between Puerto Rico and New York State, including opportunities for business and technology development, agriculture, energy and infrastructure.

New York State and Puerto Rico have been actively engaged in conversations to grow and expand trade opportunities between New York businesses and Puerto Rico and vice versa.

“The Department was so pleased to be a part of the Governor’s Agriculture Trade Forum several years ago, where we had meaningful, positive conversations with our friends in Puerto Rico about the opportunities to work together,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “Today, while we stand strong alongside Puerto Rico during their recovery, I am proud to see that those discussions are now resulting in actions that will not only provide a boost to their rebuilding efforts but also be the bridge to new markets for New York growers.”

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Collins applauds emergency aid for farmers impacted by retaliatory tariffs

Posted 24 July 2018 at 5:37 pm

‘President Trump is a strong negotiator, and I have complete confidence in his abilities to grow our nation’s agriculture exports through competitive, long-term deals.’

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) applauded the Trump Administration for providing about $11 billion in aid to farmers impacted by recently imposed tariffs, with a focus on providing aid to the dairy sector in particular. Collins represents one of the nation’s largest dairy producing districts and has been an outspoken advocate for policies that strengthen the industry.

“By imposing tariffs on nations like China, President Trump is working to level the playing field between the United States and other countries that have taken advantage of us for far too long,” said Collins. “From the start, we were assured that the administration would take appropriate action to protect industries, like our nation’s agriculture industry, that may be impacted by the tariffs. Today’s announcement is a win for the dairy industry as President Trump continues to put American interests first and fight for fair trade deals.”

Unjustified retaliatory tariffs have disproportionately targeted American farmers, impacting prices and raising costs. The emergency aid will come from already authorized money from three separate programs that are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency. The USDA has broad authority to stabilize the agriculture economy during financially difficult times by purchasing excess supply.

Collins added: “As we work toward better deals that reduce our trade deficit, I support implementing policies that provide hardworking farmers with temporary assistance during this adjustment period. President Trump is a strong negotiator, and I have complete confidence in his abilities to grow our nation’s agriculture exports through competitive, long-term deals.”

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Lack of rain is hurting local crops, turning lawns yellow

Photo by Tom Rivers: The lawn in front of the Orleans County Courthouse has turned yellow due to a lack of rain the past month.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2018 at 11:41 am

The lack of rain the past month is already taking a toll on local crops and farmers fear their yields will be down.

Corn is already starting to tassel even though the plants are only 4 to 5 feet tall. Normally the plants are 8 to 9 feet high when they start to tassel, said Larry Meyer, director of the Farm Service Agency in Albion.

“The plants are stunted and yields will be down,” he said.

Orleans County is the state’s second-leading apple producer behind Wayne County. This is normally the time when the fruit starts to put on size, but without rain the fruit will be undersized, with smaller yields and less revenue for the farmers.

Orleans County is officially “abnormally dry,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which last updated the drought map on Thursday. The county has received very little rain since then, unlike neighboring counties.

“It’s pretty critical and we keep missing the rains,” Meyer said this morning.

This map from the United States Drought Monitor shows the majority of New York State is “abnormally dry.” The map was based on data from a week ago and shows 63 percent of state is at least abnormally dry – including 9.3 percent that is in moderate drought.

Orleans was in worse shape two years ago when it was officially in a drought. Meyer said the crop yields were down about 40 percent in 2016.

In mid-July 2016, the State Department of Environmental Conservation issued a drought watch for the entire state, encouraging residents to conserve water due to reduced groundwater levels. That was the first drought watch in New York State since 2002.

Last year there were record levels of moisture, and now the county and region are approaching drought-like conditions.

“We went almost 20 years without being on Drought Monitor,” Meyer said. “Then we had the extreme moisture last year. We’ve never had 3 years like this, back to back to back. It’s not good.”

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NY maple industry has boosted production 50 percent in past 5 years

Posted 8 July 2018 at 9:04 am

File photo by Tom Rivers: Bob Schumacher of Schumacher Farm in Ridgeway gives a tour of his sugar shack on Mill Road on March 19, 2016. Schumacher Farm was one of 160 maple farms in New York that participated in Maple Weekend.

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that New York’s maple industry hit a 74-year record in 2018 with the production of 806,000 gallons of maple syrup. The maple industry in New York has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last five years and continues to maintain the state’s standing as the second leading producer of fresh maple syrup in the nation.

“The maple industry is one of New York’s most important agricultural sectors, and it continues to grow year-over-year, infusing millions into the economy and bringing New York national recognition for its quality,” Governor Cuomo said. “The growth of the industry is an indicator of our fantastic producers, who work hard to make some of the best maple syrup in the country and the innovative and unique maple products that consumers are demanding.”

According to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York’s maple production constituted about 19 percent of the national total. The number of maple taps also continues to climb, with more than 2.73 million taps in production in 2018, the highest number of taps since 1943. New York producers also benefited from a long season in 2018 which lasted 52 days, compared to 43 days in 2017.

Maple Day at the New York State Fair

In celebration of New York’s growing maple industry, the New York State Fair will hold its first-ever Maple Day on Monday, August 27. Maple Day is sponsored by the New York State Maple Producers Association and will feature maple products, such as maple cotton candy, maple donuts, pancakes with maple syrup, and more, that can be sampled at locations across the Fairgrounds. Cooking demonstrations using pure New York maple syrup will be held throughout the day in the Wegmans Demonstration Kitchen and maple vendors will be sampling and selling products at the Taste NY Marketplace in the Horticulture Building. Maple Day joins Dairy Day, Beef Day, and Agricultural Career Day in a lineup of special days created at the fair to highlight and promote New York State agriculture.

New York State Grown & Certified

The New York State Grown & Certified program recently expanded this past winter to include the New York maple industry. Since February 2017, the number of maple producers in the program has nearly tripled, from 14 to 37. For a complete list of producers in the program, click here.

New York State Grown & Certified promotes New York’s agricultural producers and growers who adhere to food safety and environmental sustainability standards. For maple, the syrup must be sourced from New York maple trees and processed in New York State. To meet the food safety standards, participants must have successfully completed a maple food safety class, developed in partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Western New York Maple Producers Association, and must follow food safety best practices that are subject to an onsite audit.

In addition, the maple producer must participate in an environmental management program that promotes sustainability and keeps forests healthy and productive, such as the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management program, which is administered through the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, or the Certified Tree Farmer, administered by the American Tree Farm System.

“Maple is agriculture’s first crop of the season and its certainly one that we do extremely well here in New York,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball. “Thanks to our dedicated maple producers, more of whom are joining the NYS Grown & Certified program, New York continues to be a top producer in the country, with record production figures and number of taps in recent history. We are pleased to promote the industry through Grown & Certified and at the State Fair, where more than 1.1 million people will get to taste some of the very best maple syrup and maple products in the country.”

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Gillibrand says Senate-approved Farm Bill will strengthen NY’s rural communities

Posted 5 July 2018 at 6:42 pm

Press Release, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that several provisions she secured in the Farm Bill have passed in the Senate. These include new grant programs to help invest in New York’s rural economies and $77 million for dairy farmers who paid millions of dollars into an insurance program that did not help them when milk prices dropped.

Gillibrand worked in the Senate Agriculture Committee to include these provisions in the Senate Farm Bill to strengthen New York’s rural economy and protect farmers, and helped ensure that they were passed by the full Senate.

“New York has one of the best agriculture traditions in the country, and this year’s Senate Farm Bill will help feed families all over our state, it will protect our farmers and producers, and it will strengthen our rural economy,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “I was proud to work hard to make sure that this year’s Senate Farm Bill had New York’s best interests at its core. I will continue to fight to make sure the final Farm Bill that is eventually signed into law serves every New Yorker, and I am very pleased that my Senate colleagues have passed this legislation.”

Below are the provisions that Senator Gillibrand successfully included in the recently passed Senate Farm Bill:

Dairy Insurance Refunds

Gillibrand secured a provision in the Senate Farm Bill to refund more than $77 million in insurance premiums to farmers who paid millions of dollars into an insurance program, the Dairy Margin Protection Program, that did not help them when milk prices dropped. This provision in the Senate Farm Bill was modeled after Senator Gillibrand’s Dairy Premium Refund Act, which she introduced in February.

Another provision also directs the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to present dairy farm data in order to better describe the health of the dairy industry and help ensure that policy makers understand which types of dairy producers are most at risk of farm failure.

Rural Broadband

The Senate-passed Farm Bill includes a provision to make grant funding available for rural broadband projects in high-need areas. This provision, based on Senator Gillibrand’s bipartisan Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act (B-CROP Act) would help encourage more high-speed broadband deployment to high-need areas by awarding grants in combination with the current loan funding available through the USDA’s Rural Utilities Service.

Federal funds would target the highest-need rural and tribal areas, allowing for grants of up to 50 percent of a project’s cost, and up to 75 percent for remote, high-need areas, to be awarded in combination with the current loan funding available through USDA. The Senate Farm Bill also increases the annual funding level of the USDA broadband program to $150 million.

Rural Jobs and Investment

The Senate-passed Farm Bill includes a bipartisan provision led by Senator Gillibrand to expand access to much-needed resources and investment for rural entrepreneurs in Upstate New York to start and expand local businesses. This provision is based on Gillibrand’s Rural Jobs and Investment Act and would create a new grant program to invest in local efforts to launch new companies and create new jobs in New York’s rural communities. It would also expand the use of the USDA Community Facilities Program to invest in business incubators, makerspaces, and job training centers to provide additional resources for communities to support their entrepreneurs.

In addition, Gillibrand’s provision would also expand access to capital for rural entrepreneurs by encouraging investment in rural areas. Currently, the USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program helps address these capital challenges, but this program is limited in the types of industries that it can invest in, as well as the amount of capital it can attract. Gillibrand’s provision would improve the program to allow investments across all industries, encouraging more capital to be invested in rural entrepreneurs.

Aquaculture

Gillibrand also included a provision to protect Long Island shellfish producers by expanding their insurance coverage options. Shellfish producers are at high risk of losing their crops and equipment because of weather, diseases, and changes in the marine environment. Gillibrand’s provision would treat the different growth stages of shellfish and other aquaculture species as separate crops, which would allow the Whole Farm Revenue Insurance Program policies to be more comprehensive and fair for shellfish producers.

Shellfish production is a growing industry in New York. Clam production in the state increased by more than 70 percent between 2012 and 2013, and in 2017, the New York shellfish industry was valued at $16.2 million.

Barley

The bill directs the National Agricultural Statistics Service of USDA to document barley production in New York State. This would ensure that producers have the information they need to decide on future plantings. The information would also be valuable for growers because it would provide sufficient data for crop insurance companies to expand insurance offerings and eventually offer a malting barley endorsement.

Banning Dog and Cat Slaughter

Senator Gillibrand introduced an bipartisan provision with Senator Toomey (R-PA) to ban the slaughter of dogs and cats for human consumption. This provision was cosponsored by Senators Rubio (R-FL) and Blumenthal (D-CT) and a similar provision is included in the House Farm Bill.

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Gillibrand wants Farm Bill amendment to help struggling dairy farmers

Staff Reports Posted 26 June 2018 at 9:39 pm

Press Release, U.S. Kirsten Gillibrand

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today proposed an amendment to this year’s Farm Bill that would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to authorize $300 million in emergency relief funding for dairy farmers immediately.

Dairy farmers across New York are suffering from historically low dairy prices and are forced to shoulder an increasing amount of debt in order to continue operating their farms. This funding would be authorized through the USDA Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). The USDA has the authority to provide direct financial assistance to struggling agricultural industries, and last month, Gillibrand called on the USDA to utilize this authority once more for dairy farmers in New York and across the country.

After receiving a negative response from the USDA, Gillibrand is now introducing an amendment to the Farm Bill to require the USDA to assist New York dairy farmers during this crisis. This authority was used most recently in 2016 and 2018 to support and protect cotton farmers.

“Dairy farms are at the heart of New York’s rural economy, but milk prices are so low that more than 1,200 dairy farms have shut down in just the last decade, and many more are on the brink of failing. This is a crisis right in our own backyard,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m proud to introduce this amendment to require the USDA to immediately provide financial assistance to our dairy producers. I want this emergency funding to go directly to the farmers who need it, so they can keep producing milk without going bankrupt. The USDA should do the right thing and give our dairy farmers the help they need now.”

Dairy farmers could receive $8,000 on average directly from the USDA if Gillibrand’s amendment were to be included in this Farm Bill. New York is the third-largest dairy producing state, with more than 4,400 dairies producing nearly 15 billion pounds of milk each year. These farms are the bedrock of the agricultural economy and rural communities throughout the state. Every dollar of on-farm milk sale generates $2.29 in the local economy, and for every full-time worker on a dairy farm, another 1.5 jobs are created in other parts of the food industry.

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Collins votes in favor of 2018 Farm Bill

Posted 21 June 2018 at 5:11 pm

Press Release, Congressman Chris Collins

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today voted for the 2018 Farm Bill that he said will strengthen and grow the Western New York dairy economy. In recent years, the dairy industry has faced significant challenges, including an overall decline in milk consumption due to unfair trade practices with nations like Canada. Provisions in the Farm Bill make commonsense reforms to safety net programs put in place to help farmers during a downturn.

Collins has been a staunch advocate for expanding the current H-2A visa program that has not met the need of dairy farmers to find a legal, experienced workforce. Provisions to address issues with visas were not included, although Collins was assured by House Leadership that a separate bill to solve these problems will be considered in July.

“Our nation’s dairy farmers are struggling and we have to do everything we can to keep this industry alive in Western New York,” said Collins. “I’ve met with local farmers who have told me on numerous occasions that the Margin Protection Program was simply not working and was based on flawed logic. The reforms passed in today’s bill are going to help these farmers better utilize this program as we continue to make reforms that will boost this industry.”

This legislation would provide greater coverage to dairy farmers through the Margin Protection Program (MPP) and will allow a farmer to participate in both the livestock and dairy protection programs. Additionally, the program will be relabeled the Dairy Risk Management Program (DRMP).

The newly created DRMP eliminates the current 25% minimum coverage level and allows producers to elect levels in 5% increments. It will also add higher coverage levels of $8.50 and $9.00 per CWT, a provision Collins advocated for in a 2017 letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (TX-11).

The legislation will also require the United States Department of Agriculture to study the accuracy of milk and feed costs used to determine the margin. This was implemented in response to the large amount of farmers that were unable to utilize the program because of ineffective calculations.

“Since I have gotten elected to Congress, our region’s agriculture industry has been a main priority and I’m committed to continuing to do what is best for our farmers,” Collins said. “While we still have work to do to turn this industry around, I’m pleased with the reforms we passed today.”

For more information on H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, click here.

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New farmers’ market debuts on Thursday in Clarendon

Posted 20 June 2018 at 12:07 pm

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent

CLARENDON – A new farmers’ market in Clarendon is a dream come true for Nyla Gaylord, a Clarendon native who also is a proponent of home-grown food.

In the spring, Gaylord suggested the idea of opening a farmers’ market in Clarendon and on Thursday afternoon, her idea will become a reality.

The Clarendon Farmers’ Market will debut on the grounds of the Clarendon Historical Society and will be open from 3:30 to 7 p.m. every Thursday until the end of October.

Six vendors have already signed up, and more are welcome.

“Locating the market at the Historical Society complements the friendly ‘old time country’ feeling the market seeks to promote,” Gaylord said.

She first became interested in starting a market last winter when she canvassed local farmers’ markets in search of a local venue to sell the eggs she raises on her family farm.

“I’ve always enjoyed raising chickens and envisioned I would spend my early retirement years working part time selling eggs and other farm products I could produce on my own property,” Gaylord said. “I was surprised to learn the smaller farmers’ markets in Orleans and adjoining counties were not accepting new vendors. While my research supported the idea there is a growing demand for locally produced food, it seemed there was no local venue for small producers to get the food to consumers. So, the best alternative seemed to be starting one in Clarendon.”

Melissa Ierlan, historian for the town of Clarendon and president of the Clarendon Historical Society, has always been a supporter of new ideas to promote the town and its history, Gaylord said.

“Melissa pointed out the antique farm equipment and facilities at the Historical Society would be an ideal backdrop for the old fashioned public market I envisioned,” Gaylord said. “We surveyed about 35 residents and got their input on what should be offered, where and when. It seems Thursday afternoons will not conflict with other public markets and community events. We hope to attract commuters who travel Route 31A, as well as local residents and groups of tourists.”

With the support of the Clarendon Historical Society and the town of Clarendon, Gaylord wrote two proposals for funding for advertising and staff for the market. And while they were not funded, Gaylord said she made some valuable contacts and learned a lot about starting and running a market.

“Clearly, it’s a lot of work, but I decided ‘if it is to be, it is up to me,’ and jumped in to do what is needed to make it happen,” Gaylord said. “This is my home town and we need something like this to help build community, stimulate the local economy and make fresh food easily available to our neighbors, many of whom are older and have limited transportation.”

In the future, the market will accept Food Stamps and the Senior Nutrition Farmers Market coupons.

Vendors will offer eggs, baked good s, vegetables, crafts and more.

Opening day at the Clarendon Market will also feature music by the bluegrass/gospel group, the Fox Den.

Interested vendors and musicians who would like to take part in the market are encouraged to contact Gaylord at (585) 703-0564 or e-mail Clarendonfarmersmarket@aol.com. There is no fee to set up a table, but donations to help with the cost of advertising are gratefully accepted.

Clarendon Historical Society is located on Route 31A, just east of the center of town.

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