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Food hub talk

April 23, 2014

There seems to be general agreement that the time has come for the creation of a Sullivan County food hub. There are unresolved logistical questions, but the question of where to situate it has become political. Legislators Kathy LaBuda, Jonathan Rouis, Ira Steingart and chair Scott Samuelson want to move ahead with the IDA proposed location in Glenwild, with the purchase of property owned by Butch Resnick. Legislators Cindy Gieger, Alan Sorensen, Cora Edwards, Kitty Vetter and Gene Benson have reservations about both the location and whether the cost of the property is justified.

On Wednesday, April 16, Geiger led a meeting of the Ag Advisory Committee to discuss food hubs. Aside from farmers, the committee is comprised of representatives from organizations active in the issues and activities regarding the purveying of locally grown food. It became clear during the meeting that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) plan put the cart out of sight of the horse. The farm community knew next to nothing about the IDA plan.

Most of the farmers who would be served by a hub are on the western end of the county, an inconvenient distance from the IDA choice. And it was widely agreed that multiple locations, ones that could serve both as hubs for sending food as far as New York City and as accessible local retail locations, made more sense.

Given the location possibilities raised at this meeting, and the logistical problems yet to be addressed, the IDA’s intention to move ahead with the purchase of Resnick’s Glenwild property seems ill advised.

Roy Tedoff
Hortonville, NY