Tuesday, March 26, 2024

CCE Essex Awarded Grants to Expand Local Food and Agriculture Educational Programs

Ausable Forks Elementary School students on a field trip

Now hiring for two new local food youth educator positions

Lewis, NY – Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County (CCE Essex) was recently awarded over $550,000 in grant funds to grow educational programs for its Adirondack HarvestFarm to School and 4-H programs.

In the fall of 2023, CCE Essex was awarded a three-year grant through the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program for its Adirondack Harvest, Agriculture, and Farm to School programs. The funds will expand successful projects that enrich public understanding of local agriculture and food systems, build economic opportunities for small farms, increase local food access, attract new consumers to regional farmers’ markets, provide opportunities for youth to learn about local food and farming, and champion farms who utilize climate-resilient and wildlife-friendly practices.

Elizabeth Lee, Executive Director of CCE Essex says, “This funding will help us continue to see increased local food purchasing from schools and institutions, higher attendance at farmers’ markets and local food events, and improved profits for farms and businesses. Long-term, we hope that our outreach will stimulate sustainable revenue growth and enhanced environmental stewardship for local farms.”

CCE Essex is now seeking to hire a year-round full-time Local Food Educator and one seasonal summer full-time Power of Produce Club Educator.

Lee says, “We are looking for candidates who are excited about agriculture, local food, and working with youth to join our team.”

CCE Essex was also awarded three grants through the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP). One program will expand the Adirondack Harvest program’s work developing and growing the Adirondack Cuisine Trails and inspiring cross-border agritourism by working with partners in Montreal, Ontario and Vermont. Another project will support the Farm to School program to create a curriculum for high school students highlighting minority groups’ impacts in agriculture in the Adirondacks. The third project will support the 4-H program to develop a storytelling program that will connect youth with folks historically involved in the Essex County Fair.

Lee says, “These three distinct projects will help us expand our work to connect community members with the local farms that feed them. Each project will expand awareness and appreciation of the historical and current agricultural offerings in the area.”

“Thank you to our funders, partners, and County Legislators for your continued partnership and  support that makes our work impactful for the communities we serve.”

About CCE Essex:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability and social well-being through our Adirondack Harvest, 4-H, Farm to School, Master Gardener Volunteer, and senior fitness programs.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States National Park Service (NPS) under assistance agreement (P23AC02038-00) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

Photo at top: Ausable Forks Elementary School students on a field trip facilitated through CCE Farm to Institution program visits Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy, NY to learn how maple syrup is harvested and made. Photo by Katie Kearney. 

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.

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