keepputnamfarming

PUTNAM COUNTY’S AGRICULTURAL & FARMLAND PROTECTION BOARD RELEASES NEW “KEEP PUTNAM FARMING” REPORT

PUTNAM COUNTY’S AGRICULTURAL & FARMLAND PROTECTION BOARD
RELEASES NEW “KEEP PUTNAM FARMING” REPORT

Original Research Includes Current Data on Farmers, Farmland and Local Community
Access to Farm Products; Recommendations Identify Opportunities for a Vibrant and
Diverse Agricultural Sector in Putnam County

Cold Spring, New York – May 9, 2016 – Founded in 1997, the Putnam County Agricultural and
Farmland Protection Board advises the County Legislature on actions that impact farms located in
the County’s Agricultural District. As such, a need for updated, “real time” data on the current state
of Putnam County’s agricultural landscape was identified by the Board as a way to inform the
County and local municipalities on opportunities, challenges and strategies to cultivate and
embolden its food and farming sector. Following two years of convenings and surveys, the Board is
releasing this research in its new Keep Putnam Farming report.
Based on Glynwood’s Keep Farming protocol, a community-based research method used in areas
throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond, the Keep Putnam Farming process began in earnest in
April 2014 with a Farmer Forum, a gathering to inform local farmers about the program, provide
them an opportunity to meet one another, and offer a venue in which to share their concerns.
Farmers reported that, prior to this meeting they had never met as a group with one another.
Glynwood’s role as an advisor and participant continued throughout the survey, data-gathering
and reporting process.
“There is a renewed energy regarding farming and accessing locally grown fresh healthy food,”
said MaryEllen Odell, County Executive. “Through the Keep Putnam Farming program and the
new Tilly Foster Farm Educational Institute we expect to bring state of the art training
opportunities to our local farmers, residents, and students as well as showcase Putnam County
farm products.”
In May 2014, letters were sent to Town Supervisors announcing the official launch of the project in
Putnam County. After informing farmers and community members about Keep Putnam Farming,
the next step was to begin the data collection phase of the program. By gathering current data
using surveys and interviews we are then able to enhance knowledge of local farming and
improving market connections.
“Through the efforts to Keep Putnam Farming Initiative we have identified active farms in
Putnam County so that we can work on strengthening the economic viability of our farms by
enhancing the awareness of all our local agricultural products and services for all our residents,”
said Lauri Taylor, District Manager, Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation. “Through the
new Hudson Valley Farmlink Network we can work on matching new farmers with existing
agricultural land. Putnam County plans to be at the table for the farm to table experience – do
you?” Ms. Taylor provided technical and outreach assistance on the Keep Putnam Farming
process.

Research (Excerpts)
Thirty-eight farms participated in the Keep Putnam Farming research process. Data and insights
into current farming activities were gleaned from surveys that described existing conditions,
challenges and opportunities for farming in Putnam County. The findings have been used as the
basis for recommended actions, including:
● Formalize the Putnam County Farmers Network
● Training, education and technical assistance programs for farmers
● Solutions to existing needs for processing service in Putnam County
● Increase and diversify market opportunities for Putnam County farms
● Update the Putnam County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Program

Four different agricultural sectors were covered by the survey process: Food, Food and Equine,
Equine and Nursery, and a demographic profile of respondents is included. Extensive results are
provided in the full report, but some highlights include:

Local Farmers:
● Almost one-third of the farmers who responded indicated they have been in the County for
10 years or less. Most are farmers growing food products and looking to build their business
and take advantage of the increased demand for local products;
● 58% of respondents own 20 acres of working farmland or less;
● Several equine farmers report that they are diversifying their farm operations to include
other types of livestock, vegetable and fruit production;
● 50% of respondents indicated they provide agritourism activities on their farms;
● Importantly, 83% of respondents were over the age of 50 years, with 63% of these farmers
over the age of 60 – suggesting that farmland succession is a pressing issue for this group of
farmers. Over 40% of farmers also indicated that the types of assistance they had the
greatest interest in receiving relate to farmland preservation and succession planning.

Local Residents:
To better understand the degree to which local food is purchased and consumed in Putnam
County, surveys were conducted with Putnam residents and food service providers:
● 75% of respondents indicated they look to see where their food is grown when grocery
shopping. However, they most frequently shop at large supermarkets and only 11%
participate in CSA (Community Supported Agriculture.)

Institutions & Restaurants:
Seventy-two restaurant owners and chefs completed surveys at the annual Food Operators
Seminar conducted by the Putnam Board of Health in March 2015. These food businesses
represent a large potential market for local products.
● While only two of the restaurant owners indicated that their establishment has a policy for
purchasing local products, all indicated that they would like to purchase local food from
Putnam farms. The two items they are most interested in purchasing are vegetables and
eggs. They would also like greater access to local meat and poultry.
The full report is available online at putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamfarming.

About Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District:
Established in 1967, the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District provides technical
assistance and programs to residents, landowners and units of government on the conservation,
wise use, and development of soil, water, and related resources. The District is a resource
management agency, coordinating and implementing resource and environmental programs at the
local level in cooperation with federal and state agencies. For more information visit:
www.putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamgreen.

About Putnam County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board:
Putnam County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board was formed in 1997 to advise the
County Legislature on actions that impact farms located in the Putnam County Agricultural
District and develop plans and programs to assist farmers throughout Putnam County. For more
information visit: www.putnamcountyny.com/keepputnamfarming.

About Glynwood:
Glynwood’s mission is to ensure the Hudson Valley is a region defined by food, where farming
thrives. The organization works to advance regenerative agriculture that benefits the natural
environment, energizes local economies, enhances human health and strengthens rural
communities. The agricultural nonprofit’s Keep Farming program is a community-based initiative
that engages a diverse set of stakeholders in gathering and analyzing data about the current state of
agriculture in order to better understand current conditions and challenges faced by local farmers.

CLICK HERE TO SEE REPORT

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Contact info:
Lauri Taylor
Putnam County Soil & Water Conservation
(845) 878-3480 ext. 48104
lauri.taylor@putnamcountyny.gov

lifeiswhyamericanheartassociation

Thank you for making this year’s Heart Walk amazing!

Our County Executive MaryEllen Odell revived a very nice Thank You message from Dawn Dorien – Chair, 2016 Putnam Heart Walk Executive Committee 

Hi MaryEllen,

You did it!

This year’s Putnam Heart Walk was our best ever — thanks to you. Thousands of passionate, caring people came together to send a message: We want healthier lives, free of heart diseases and stroke, and we’re walking to make it happen! You gave the best gift one can ever give — life.  From the bottom of our hearts, “Thank you!” We’re still wrapping things up, so don’t forget to get every donation in online or at our office to count toward your final total.Log into your HQ and make your last call for donations now, and don’t forget to thank supporters and share your Heart Walk story and photos. MaryEllen, I’m going to remember this day for long time. I loved the spirit and energy. I hope you did, too, and that you keep this cause close to your heart. 

We’re on our way to a healthier future, thanks to you. With gratitude,

Dawn Dorien
Chair, 2016 Putnam Heart Walk Executive Committee

P.S. Look out for our next email that will include preliminary totals from the Heart Walk. We can’t wait to share. Can’t wait either? Visit our website and check out where we are right now.

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County Executive MaryEllen Odell is once again pleased to invite Putnam County residents to the Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, on Saturday, May 14th

Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day

Brewster, NY, April 26, 2016—County Executive MaryEllen Odell is once again pleased to invite Putnam County residents to the Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, on Saturday, May 14th from 11 to 3 at the County’s TOPS (Training and Operations) building on the Donald B. Smith Campus, 112 Old Route 6 in Carmel. Admission is free.

“Putnam County is a great place to live,” said Odell. “Our county is frequently cited as one of the best counties in the state to raise children and that’s because we are committed to keeping Putnam safe through the efforts of police, local government, social service agencies, private partnerships and extraordinary volunteer fire departments and service groups.”

This year, Putnam Hospital Center has joined long-time sponsors Eric Gross and Durant’s Party Rentals as an Expo sponsor.  “Putnam Hospital is an integral part of this community,” said Odell. “As a leader in the health care industry, it recognizes the benefits of being proactive in protecting and promoting children’s health.”

“This event is about community, meeting and celebrating all the people and organizations who give so much of their time to serve children and families,” added Anthony Sutton, commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services. “We’re looking forward to showing residents the latest in Fire Prevention and Safety Services.”

The Children’s Expo is co-presented by the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County (CAC) and the Bureau of Emergency Services of Putnam County. “It’s an easy way to educate families on health and safety issues, as well as the supports and services available to them in the community, all while having fun,” said Marla Behler, program coordinator of the CAC.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Office will once again be offering Operation SAFE CHILD.  Operation SAFE CHILD cards contain a child’s name, biographical information (date of birth, gender, height, weight, hair color, eye color, etc.), and a fingerprint image of both index fingers. The card is made in less than two minutes and can be easily carried in a wallet or purse.

This year’s event will also include Home Depot’s free Kids Workshops which offer fun and useful building projects.  The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety while they help to instill a sense of accomplishment. In addition, more than 40 exhibitors will be on hand to offer a wide range of: activities for children (camps, theatre, martial arts, etc.,), programs including social media safety, medical, physical and mental health services, car seat checks, emergency services programs as well as live demonstrations (jaws of life and underwater rescue, tanks, fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, canine units and more).

This year’s entertainment features performances by nationally acclaimed Master Storyteller Jonathan Kruk, crowd favorite All About Animals, magician and balloon artist, Jocko, and DJ Ron Blanco. In addition there are games, a giant bouncy house, face-painting, raffles, food and lots of free giveaways!

“The CAC is dedicated to preventing child abuse and ensuring safety and treatment for abused children. By increasing the public’s knowledge, our hope is to promote safety and prevent tragedies,” said Behler.  “The Children’s Expo & Public Safety Day, now celebrating its eleventh year, was organized with this objective which continues to be the primary goal of the event.”

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The Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County opened in 1999 to handle child abuse allegations in a coordinated way in order to minimize additional trauma to the young victims. A multidisciplinary team of child protective service workers, prosecutors, law enforcement investigators, medical care providers, victim advocates and therapists work together to provide all necessary services in one place. The CAC also provides education for the community to reduce the incidence of serious childhood injuries and death.

The Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services helps protect residents by operating the 911 Communications center. The Bureau is also host to Fire, EMS and Emergency Management training in the County. BES has a state of the art Emergency Operations Center where officials manage natural and man-made emergencies. BES also fields special teams to investigate cause and origins of fires, a Team to respond to Hazardous Materials Incidents, Fire Police to provide traffic control, security, and preserving evidence. There is also a Communications Team that uses specialized equipment to assure that County agencies and agencies providing mutual aid can speak on the same radio frequencies. The Bureau works closely with Senior Services, The Department of Health and the CAC to be a force multiplier in keeping Putnam safe.

 

MEO pinwheels

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

April Is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

Brewster, NY – April 11, 2016 – Every kid deserves a great childhood that’s carefree and full of promise. The Child Advocacy Center and Prevent Child Abuse New York “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign are using pinwheels to plant that message in Putnam County with the help of County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Pinwheels are a happy and uplifting token of childhood. They are meant to convey that every child deserves the chance to be raised in a healthy, safe and nurturing environment,” said Odell. “Putnam County is a great place to raise a family. Join us as we plant a pinwheel garden to show that our community supports children.”

The Pinwheel Garden will be planted on Friday, April 15th from 1-4 p.m. in front of the Sybil Ludington Statue at Lake Gleneida on Route 6 in Carmel.
“The CAC has long advocated that education is imperative to preventing child abuse and continues to partner with local agencies to implement innovative programs to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional health and wellbeing of the children of Putnam County,” said CAC Program Coordinator Marla Behler. “As more prevention education programs become available, it is clear that people understand the importance of early and comprehensive prevention of abuse, not just responding to it after it occurs.”
According to Prevent Child Abuse America, research documents pervasive and long-lasting effects of child abuse and neglect on children, their families and society as a whole. Effective child abuse prevention programs ensure the health of children and families, allowing children to grow into adults who prosper and contribute to society.

The “Pinwheels for Prevention” campaign is based on the belief that communities must be more proactive to prevent abuse. It’s not enough to simply respond to cases of abuse through prosecution and intervention—programs and policies that focus on child development, engage communities and create conditions that give parents the supports they need to succeed are essential. These programs and policies include strategies such as home visiting, parent education, mutual self-help support, mental health treatment and substance abuse treatment.
Among the tips provided by Prevent Child Abuse New York are acknowledging that parenting is a tough job. Reassure a parent coping with a difficult situation in public. Help amuse a restless child. Bea a good neighbor and get to know the families in your neighborhood and point out the special things they do for their children. For your own kids, be patient and really listen when they speak to you, and make it a priority to spend time with them, undistracted by work and the other demands on your time.
For more information on child abuse prevention programs call the Child Advocacy Center of Putnam County at (845) 808-1400 or Prevent Child Abuse New York at 1-800-CHILDREN.

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Odell to give State of the County Address March 10 at Putnam County Golf Course

Odell to give State of the County Address March 10 at Putnam County Golf Course

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will present the State of the County address at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at Putnam County Golf Course, 187 Hill Street in Mahopac.  Prior to the address, there will be a Putnam County Market Place which will open at 5:30 p.m.

As she has in the past, Odell has chosen to highlight a particular theme for the year. Odell has decided that 2016 will be “The Year of Business Development.”

“One of the greatest secrets out there is that Putnam County is the perfect place to live, work and play,’” said Odell. “We can no longer keep the secret to ourselves.  Putnam County has so much to offer the business community. Business development is about promoting and supporting our existing businesses, encouraging companies to consider expanding or relocating to Putnam County and identifying solutions to the obstacles, such as infrastructure, sewer and water, which have previously prevented growth in our business community.”

Danbury Mayor Mark D. Boughton will be joining Odell to unveil a partnership between Putnam County and the City of Danbury for a Regional Economic Initiative.

In addition, the Putnam County Market Place will highlight businesses, organizations and not-for-profits from throughout county that make Putnam the place to live, work and play.  Organization that would like to participate in the Putnam County Market Place can contact Heidi Kuhland at 845-808-1150 x49406 or Heidi.kuhland@putnamcountyny.gov.

For further information about Putnam County’s many services and departments, residents may visit the County website at: www.putnamcountyny.com/soc2016.

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Sons of the American Legion Post donated a TV to Veterans

Sons of the American Legion Post donated a TV to Veterans

On Sunday February 21st members of the Sons of the American Legion Post 1080 Mahopac donated a 48” SMART LED TV to the veterans at the Putnam County Vincent Leibell Veterans Home in Carmel. The new TV was installed in the homes community room for all of the veterans to enjoy.
This donation was made possible from the largely supported February monthly breakfast the Sons hold the first Sunday of every month.
The sons monthly breakfast fundraiser is open to the public and proceeds are donated back to the community with similar donations to the veterans Holiday

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Statement from Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell in Response to News Regarding Trace Tritium Level at Indian Point

Statement from Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell in Response to News Regarding Trace Tritium Level at Indian Point

The recent news of a localized tritium level elevation found in groundwater monitoring wells at Indian Point has raised many questions concerning potential health impacts.

I have spoken with representatives for the plant operator, Entergy, and they’ve been happy to address in depth, each and every question I posed. They are cooperating with Federal and State agencies and are keeping local officials informed of developments.  There are over 3 dozen groundwater monitoring wells on the Indian Point site. Samples are routinely taken to monitor any for the presence and concentration of any contamination.  The recent elevated Tritium levels were discovered during this sampling and Entergy immediately went to work to identify the source. It has been determined that an underground pipe had leaked during the cleaning of a holding tank for the upcoming refueling of the Unit 2 reactor. A small amount of water from that leaking pipe made its way into the nearby monitoring well.   The trace of tritium was discovered during a routine sample from that monitoring well.  It was 1/1000th of the amount that the federal government requires to be reported.  Entergy informed the public of the level because they are conscientious, which is to their credit.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is closely monitoring Entergy’s management of this event and is working with them to assure that there remains no danger to drinking water sources or public health. The NRC has a 24/7 presence at Indian Point and it should be emphasized that they have termed the trace tritium level “insignificant”.

I appreciate Indian Point’s diligent response to this discovery and I also appreciate the honest, transparent and open manner in which they are dealing with it. My staff and I will continue to closely monitor the progress of this investigation and any clean up or remediation needed to contain the leak. Again, I fully support the continued operation of this crucial source of electricity for our county, region, and state.

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Seven women first to enter carpenters’ union apprenticeship program

Seven women first to enter carpenters’ union apprenticeship program

ROCK TAVERN – Seven young women are the first to enter the pre-apprenticeship program sponsored by the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and the Sisters in the Brotherhood.

They began their training at the carpenters training hall in Rock Tavern on Thursday.

Carpenters council representative Edward Cooke said the new program will afford these young women the opportunity in a new career.

“We were able to put together some training and help these women get a first foot forward into the construction trades so that they can do it safely and they can do it properly and they can start on the way to a new career,” Cooke said.

Rahinee Valverde, 25, of New Rochelle is a single mom with two children who joined the program. Her 7-year-old son was thrilled with his mother’s new career.

“He can’t wait for me to bring the tools home and play with them,” Valverde said. “He’s really excited. He’s never heard of women carpenters so I first told him, he was shocked. Now he’s really excited.”

The Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board and the carpenters’ union helped fund the program.

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Odell Supports Search for Outstanding Senior Citizens

Odell Supports Search for Outstanding Senior Citizens

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell is supporting Director of the Office for Senior Resources, Patricia Sheehy, and the Putnam County Senior Citizens Advisory Board as they seek nominations for this year’s SENIOR CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD.

“We are fortunate to have a very active senior population,” said Odell. “Selecting one man and one woman from among so many seniors who do so much to make a difference and enhance the lives of Putnam residents will be an exciting challenge.”

This year’s nominating theme is “Recognizing Seniors Who Demonstrate the Power of Making a Difference through Civic Engagement.”

Candidates must be 60 years of age or older and residents of Putnam County.

Two seniors from each of New York’s counties will be honored at a luncheon on May 10 in Albany. Putnam’s winners will also be honored at the annual Putnam County Senior Volunteer Ceremony this spring.

Nominations should be made on an official form which can be obtained from the Office for Senior Resources or downloaded from their website: http://www.putnamcountyny.com/osr.

Completed nomination forms must be received by Friday, February 12, 2016. Forms may be mailed to: Senior Award, Putnam County Office for Senior Resources, 110 Old Rt. 6, Building No. 1, Carmel, NY  10512  or faxed to (845) 808-1942 or emailed to: sherrie.gilmore@putnamcountyny.gov.

Employees of federal, state, county, or local municipalities who provide services to senior citizens are not eligible to be nominated.  Previous recipients of this award are also ineligible.

For more information or to request a nomination form, please call the Putnam County Office for Senior Resources at (845) 808-1700.

Click here to download the
Senior of the Year Nomination Form 2016