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Farm Hub supplants Gill Farm as agricultural incubator

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Yesterday, the Local Economies Project (LEP) of the New World Foundation announced the creation of a multi-faceted Farm Hub in New York’s Hudson Valley. LEP has a commitment to sustainable agriculture, environmental renewal, and economic vitality in the Hudson Valley. Their Farm Hub, to be established at Gill farm in Hurley, NY, will serve as a regional center for farmer training, agricultural research and the demonstration of innovative farm technologies.

The announcement, made at Cornell Cooperative Extension's Kingston, NY, office, said that the 1255 acre Gill Farm will be sold to a not-for-profit that is expected to keep it farmland forever. According to an article in today’s Daily Freeman, the purchaser, NoVo Foundation, plans to transfer title to the non-profit Green Acres LLC for operation as a Farm Hub. It is expected to become the largest agricultural incubator in the nation.

A quick google search returned information on agriculture incubators in different states and regions of the US, all designed to foster, promote and preserve agriculture. Here in the northeast, a 2010 study on the feasibility of establishing an agricultural incubator to serve the region determined that “there are numerous organizations in the region providing support for farmers. The missing link in the maze of programs, institutions, and organizations is a land based incubator for farmers ready to start their business.” Green Acres LLC is the non-profit that will fill that gap.

An agricultural incubator can provide new and existing farmers access to land, capital, equipment, technology, business planning and marketing strategies. Ulster County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension will be coordinating the new agricultural incubator.

The Daily Freeman also reports that John Gill, the current owner of Gill farms, will become the farm manager, and the Gill Farm Stand on Rt. 209 will continue operations.

For more information, contact: Manager of Community Relations, Local Economies Project.

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