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Cornell Cooperative Extension Touts Local Agriculture

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Farms in Broome County bring in $21 million to the local economy. During a Thursday presentation at the Koffman Southern Tier Incubator, members of Cornell Cooperative Extension talked about the economic impact agriculture has on the region.

The organization said initiatives like the weekly Broome County Regional Farmers Market and TasteNY helps raise awareness.

About 30 local business owners and consumers watched the presentation at the SUNY Business and Education Cooperative of the Southern Tier (BEST) as part of BEST's monthly business highlight meeting.

The audience also learned how they, too could get involved.

"I think it gives us some good contacts to talk to and possibly bring in some growth and new members to it, especially like the Amish community. They're here in this state and we need to connect them to the community." - Bill Howe, co-owner of Mugs Co-op in Mt. Upton, N.Y.

The farmer's market is held every Saturday next to Cutler Botanical Garden. Cornell Cooperative Extension's executive director appealed to those present to visit and learn about their community.

"The goal of presenting here today at SUNY BEST was to let people know about the great work that's happening at Cornell Cooperative Extension and to know that it's a community place where everyone can be involved. Agriculture is not just for farmers, it's for everyone who eats, so that means it's for all of us." - Victoria Giarratano, executive director of Cornell University Cooperative of Broome County.

The group said Broome County's 563 farms generate over $30.7 million dollars in sales each year.

For more on the Cornell Cooperative Extension, visit their website here.