ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION

Whether it was it for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or the Open Space Institute, I had been buying and selling land to preserve it in perpetuity for historic preservation, habitat protection and recreational use. The work was non-adversarial, amply funded and spiritually rewarding. But it became clear when seeking to protect working lands – i.e. farms –that the traditional conservation paradigm had to shift and that the non-profit model needed for-profit partners. It wasn’t enough to preserve the land base by purchasing and safeguarding development rights. Farms – whether small or big – are businesses that require all critical components of any product-based retail or wholesale operation – access to capital, efficient management and consistent markets.   

Jennifer Grossman is the Founder & President of FarmCo New York, a Catskill’s based company creating economically-viable and environmentally-conscious family farm business ventures. She has more than 20 years of strategic environmental legal experience in public and not-for-profit sectorsand is a conservation consultant working with the NRDC to design a New York Regional Food Initiative.