Legislature & Executive Back $50,000 To Fund Important Nonprofit Organization
New City, NY (July 15, 2019) – The Rockland County Legislature and County Executive have approved $50,000 in funding to the Rockland Farm Alliance for operations and maintenance for 2019.
“The Rockland Farm Alliance is one of our county’s important nonprofit organizations, providing both educational programs and agricultural advocacy in addition to continuing a decades-long tradition of growing food at the historic Cropsey farm,” Legislator Harriet Cornell said. “I’m so pleased that we were able to provide this important financial assistance to the Farm Alliance.”
The Legislature voted 14-0 Tuesday to approve $50,000 in funding. The Legislature tapped various budget lines in its department budget to provide the money to the RFA.
County Executive Ed Day signed the agreement Friday saying, “I am pleased that both branches of Government were able to work together to provide funding to the Rockland Farm Alliance for 2019. Not that long ago there were farms all over Rockland as most people made their living from the land. This action will help preserve an important part of our agricultural history.”
The RFA has never asked for nor received County funding before, but for the past eight years has cared for the Cropsey Community Farm property on South Little Tor Road. The 25-acre parcel was preserved – and saved from development – through an intermunicipal agreement more than a decade ago between the County and the Town of Clarkstown.
In January 2017, the Blauvelt-Cropsey Farm was named to the National Register of Historic Places. Two Blauvelt brothers established the farm in 1769, when they built the Dutch Colonial home at the site.
The farm had 10 subsequent owners between 1850 and 1890, when Jim Cropsey’s grandfather Andrew, a Brooklyn lawyer, purchased the property. The property passed to Andrew’s son, Wallace, then to Jim Cropsey, who fully farmed the site.
Jim and Patricia Cropsey agreed to sell it to the County and Clarkstown instead of private developers, helping to preserve it.
The property also boasts a historic Revolutionary War-era Dutch barn, one of the few remaining structures from the 1700s in Rockland, that is currently undergoing a massive $1.5 million restoration.
The Rockland Farm Alliance has been growing organic food and selling it through a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – program to individuals and families, at farmer’s markets and to restaurants. It also provides fresh produce to local food pantries.
RFA also conducts educational programs, including a summer Junior Farmer camp for children, and it advocates on various agricultural issues.