Kunekune Piglets Arrive at Tilly Foster Farm

August 26, 2014


There are two new four-footed residents at Tilly Foster Farm. The latest additions, a pair of Kunekune piglets, were picked up and delivered by veterinary technician Teresa Delahanty on Monday. The yet to be named mini pigs join the flock of chickens presently residing at the 199-acre county-owned property on Route 312 in Brewster.


“The arrival of the piglets reaffirms Putnam County’s commitment to housing a variety of animals at Tilly Foster Farm for the public to enjoy,” said Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker. “As we move forward with plans to make the farm financially viable through public-private partnerships with organizations such as Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES, we are cognizant that the farm is a local treasure that brings joy to our residents both young and old.”


The Kunekune are considered a small heritage breed of pigs. While still rare in this country, they were a popular breed centuries ago. According to the Livestock Conservancy, Kunekune were among the “livestock breeds that were raised by our forefathers . . . breeds of a bygone era before industrial agriculture . . .” Kunekune were “carefully selected and bred over time to develop traits that made them well-adapted to the local environment. . .”  The Kunekune were first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1992 and it wasn’t until 1996 that these friendly grazers were imported to the United States.


Delahanty confirmed that Kunekune (pronounced “Cooney- Cooney”) were chosen for Tilly Foster Farm because of their friendly dispositions, their mini-esque size and their non-rooting and non-roaming characteristics. Delahanty and her friend, Lisa Walker, who raised the farm chicks until they were old enough to be placed at the farm, made the round trip drive to Bel Canto Farm just outside of Ithaca on Monday.


“Kunekune are very friendly, easy to manage little pigs,” said Delahanty “and they will be able to feed mostly on pasture grass unlike other breeds.  They won’t grow to be taller than 24 inches, very child-friendly.”


The pair, both female, is only eight weeks old.  They will be placed in the enclosed pen directly across from the hand-made chicken coop near the end of the farm’s entryway.


With the Putnam County Antique Machinery Association holding their Antique Tractor, Gas Engine and Farm Implements Show, which include antique cars and trucks, on Sept. 13 and 14, visitors will be able to view the old farm equipment, visit the growing chicks and welcome the new piglets to Tilly Foster Farm. 


Tilly Foster Farm, located at 100 Route 312 in Brewster, is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


To see the latest pictures of the chicks and piglets or find out about upcoming events, visit Tilly Foster Farm online at www.PutnamTillyFoster.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tillyfosterfarm.


PHOTO CAPTION: Lisa Walker (left) and Teresa Delahanty (right) hold the two new Kunekune piglets before bringing them to Tilly Foster Farm.


Putnam to Partner with BOCES at Tilly Foster Farm

Putnam to Partner with BOCES at Tilly Foster Farm
Equine Program in the Planning

At the August 20 meeting of the Physical Services Committee Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker announced a plan whereby Putnam County would partner with Putnam Northern Westchester BOCES to bring an educational component to the county-owned Tilly Foster Farm. The first of five planned courses would start in September 2015.

“Education was one of the many suggestions voiced during our Tilly Foster Task Force meetings,” said Walker “and now we’re moving forward with BOCES to do exactly that.”

BOCES Director of Career & Technical Education Catherine Balestrieri addressed the committee at the standing-room-only meeting. Explaining that the Yorktown BOCES Center’s culinary courses were “maxed out” in offerings and space, Balestrieri said the Tilly Foster Farm location offered the ideal for a new culinary arts experience for future students.

“By locating at Tilly Foster, we can offer a unique culinary program which will include internships at many of the surrounding restaurants in this particular area,” she said.

The Culinary Arts course would be held in the building known as The Lodge on weekdays with three sessions of classes running from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. While The Lodge already has a commercial kitchen, it is presently unusable. The County will work closely with BOCES who will supply additional equipment including refrigerators, freezers, a six-burner stove, dishwasher, ice machine, work tables, cabinets and cooking utensils.

Walker and Highways and Facilities Commissioner Fred Pena said preliminary plans for building out the kitchen to create additional work space were already prepared. The plans were first introduced to the public at the July Country Fair. The Legislature had already approved a $300,000 bond for work to be done on the 199-acre farm and a portion of that will be used to build out the Lodge kitchen to suit the number of students who will be working there.  Additional bathrooms will also be added to The Lodge facility in order to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The plans can be viewed on the Tilly Foster Farm webpage at:  www.PutnamTillyFoster.com and on the County’s website at: www.putnamcountyonline.com.

While the first course offering will be Culinary Arts where students will learn to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners in a commercial kitchen using professional equipment, Balestrieri said BOCES would also like to offer several more programs in the near future. Those classes include New Visions

Environmental Science & Sustainability, Animal Care, Animal Care Skills, and Horse Science and Management, all of which will be held on the farm premises.

Animals have already begun to return to the former dairy and horse-breeding facility and more are due in the near future. Presently residing in a handcrafted chicken coop built by Mahopac Falls Eagle Scout Thomas Quinn, is a flock of 21 colorfully feathered and frizzled fowl. The eight-week-old chicks are under the care of Teresa Delahanty, a veterinary technician, who now lives on the farm with her family.

Soon to be introduced to the farm will be a pair of Kunekune piglets. This breed, while rare in the United States, is known for its friendly, docile nature and ease in interacting with humans.  The history of these smaller pigs is not entirely clear, but it is thought they were brought to New Zealand from the Far East. The Kunekune were first introduced to the United Kingdom in 1992 and it wasn’t until 1996 that these friendly grazers were imported to the United States.

Delahanty explained that the KuneKune’s friendly disposition and grazing tendencies, rather than the destructive rooting habit of most pigs, made them an ideal breed for the farm.

The female piglets will be approximately 8 weeks old when they arrive. Like their two-legged counterparts on the farm, the piglets need names. To add your name suggestion, visit Tilly Foster Farm’s Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/tillyfosterfarm and leave a comment under the photo of the Kunekune piglets.



Shakespeare Festival Performs for Seniors

August 18, 2014


Shakespeare Festival Performs for Seniors


Putnam’s senior citizens were treated to a special performance of Much Ado About Nothing by members of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival last week at the Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac.  Mahopac and Cold Spring seniors mixed it up on Monday, Aug. 11 while Putnam Valley and Carmel seniors intermingled at the County owned golf course on Wednesday, Aug. 13. Seniors arrived at 10 a.m. in in order to have time to get acquainted with each other before having lunch and enjoying the show.


A special presentation was made at the Aug. 13 gathering when County Executive MaryEllen Odell honored graphic artist Michael Cicale, a Putnam Valley resident who created the new red, white and blue logo for the county’s Office for Senior Resources, with a proclamation. 


Photo captions:



Photo #1: County Executive MaryEllen Odell (right) reads a proclamation honoring graphic artist Michael Cicale of Putnam Valley who volunteered to create a new logo for the county’s Office for Senior Resources. Cicale was accompanied by his wife, Lorraine,( left) for the presentation.



Photo #2: From left to right: County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Office for Senior Resources Patricia Sheehy thank members of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival for their performance of Much Ado About Nothing. The actors, Michele Vazquez Knight who also serves as  Assistant Director for the 2014 tour of Much Ado About Nothing, Bonnie Antosh, Daniel Tracy, Lindsay Tanner and Stephen Bauder. The troupe performed on Aug. 11 and Aug. 13 at the Putnam County Golf Course.


Suicide Prevention

The completed suicide this week of Actor/Comedian Robin Williams has stirred the emotions of many who are shaken by the idea that a person so personified with laughter could be so depressed that he would take his own life. Additionally, the death of a person in recovery from both mental illness and chemical dependency is concerning to those who have also walked that path and are working hard at their own recovery. It is at times like these that we all need to remember that help is available, and that in Putnam County there are many resources available to everyone that provide help and hope.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell and Commissioner of Mental Health, Social Services and Youth Bureau Michael Piazza want Putnam County residents to be aware of the following resources:

“Putnam County Cares” is an app available on your mobile phone. Within that app is “SPEAK; Suicide Prevention Education and Awareness Kit.”

The Putnam County Crisis Hotline – 845 225-1222 is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-TALK

Immediate Evaluation and Crisis Intervention is available at the Emergency Room of Putnam Hospital Center 24 hours a day 7 days a week,

For persons who are depressed and wish to seek counseling, Mental Health Counseling is available at:
Putnam Family and Community Services – 225-2700
Putnam Community Services of Rockland Psychiatric Center – 278-2500.

For those seeking help for Alcohol and other Drug Abuse please call:
Arms Acres – 225-3400
Putnam Family and Community Services – 225-2700
St. Christopher’s Inn – 335-1000

For information and referral you may also call The Mental Health Association/Putnam at 278-7600, and
The National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependencies – 225-4646.

If you have any questions, you may also call the Putnam County Department of Mental Health, Social Services and Youth Bureau at 845 808-1500 ext. 45201.


Names Needed for Tilly Foster Chicks

August 14, 2014

Names Needed for Tilly Foster Chicks


Teresa Delahanty, the veterinary technician who now resides at Putnam’s Tilly Foster Farm, has chosen names for some of the 21 chicks that arrived last week and are now residing in the beautiful, handmade chicken coop donated by Eagle Scout Thomas Quinn.


“As I spend more time with these babies, I am learning their personalities and the names just come to me,” Delahanty said. “We have Sassafras, who is a bit on the sassy side but likes to give hugs. She really does. She wraps her little neck around mine when I hold her close. It’s so adorable. Then we have Rosie, a reddish colored chick and she is a real sweetheart who just loves to be held.”


Other names Delahanty has chosen include Sophie, Fiona, Alice and Tina – for one chick who reminds Delahanty of singer Tina Turner. Another chick was dubbed Lady in Red.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell named the only identified rooster Walker for her Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker. The Walker family raised the chicks from day-olds and donated the brood to the farm.


While she has enjoyed choosing some of the names, Delahanty wants to share the fun with the public and so she is asking for help in finding names for the remainder of the flock which is comprised of Frizzle Cochin, Buff Silkie Bantams, Golden Polish, Buff Laced Polish, Red Star, Barred Rock and Ameracaunas.


Pictures of the yet to be named month-old chicks can be found on the Tilly Foster Farm Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tillyfosterfarm ). Participants will be able to leave their name selections and those with the most ‘likes’ will be given to the chicks. The naming fun will continue through August 29.


Residents are asked to check to Tilly Foster Farm website at www.PutnamTillyFoster.com for updated postings of news, events and photos of goings-on at the 199-acre county-owned farm located on Route 312 in the Town of Southeast.



Tilly Foster Farm’s New Social Sites

MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive

(845) 808-1001


August 12, 2014


Letter to the Editor:


Tilly Foster Farm’s New Social Sites


Since we held the public hearings concerning Tilly Foster Farm, Putnam County has been busy implementing Phase 1 of the comprehensive plan that you helped to create. 


One of the projects we are most excited about is the reintroduction of low maintenance farm animals to the Tilly Foster Farm. Teresa Delahanty, a veterinary technician, is caring for the new chicks which were brought to the farm this past Saturday. The chicks are currently living in the nursery coop which was built by Tom Quinn as part of his Eagle Scout Project for the Boy Scouts. 


The county is also preparing for the arrival of the pigs and alpaca that will call Tilly Foster Farm home within the coming weeks. Over the next few months, other animals such as goats, rabbits and cows will also move to Tilly Foster Farm.


The county has also designed www.PutnamTillyFoster.com, a website devoted to the news and happenings of Tilly Foster Farm. To complement the website we have also created social media profiles on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/tillyfosterfarm), Twitter(https://twitter.com/TillyFarm) , Instagram (http://instagram.com/tillyfosterfarm), Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com/tillyfosterfarm/) and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/108624981001339538955/posts/p/pub) as tools to help spread the word about what is going on at Tilly Foster Farm. 


We welcome you to like, follow and share our pages and check back regularly for updates on what is going on at Tilly Foster Farm.


MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive


Saturday 1 p.m. Ceremony to Honor Jim See

MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive

(845) 808-1001


August 11, 2014


Saturday 1 p.m. Ceremony to Honor Jim See


The public is invited to attend a tribute to former Putnam County Corrections Officer James (Jim) See and the dedication of Jimmy See Memorial Lane at 1 p.m. during the Nimham Pow Wow on Saturday, August 16. The event will take place at the entry of Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park, 200 Gipsy Trail Road, Kent (Carmel) New York.  Mr. Gil Tarbox, (Passamaquoddy/Micmac), of the Nimham Mountain Singers, Kent Historical Society member and Veteran, will be one of the speakers at the ceremony.


47 Graduate from Putnam Firefighter Training

MaryEllen Odell

Putnam County Executive

(8450 808-1001


August 5, 2014


47 Graduate from Putnam Firefighter Training


Graduation ceremonies were held on Thursday, July 26 at the Training and Operations (TOPS) Center in Carmel as 46 young men and women in three classes completed 87 hours of an initial entry program for firefighting personnel. County Executive MaryEllen Odell was present at the 7 p.m. ceremony to congratulate the students on their having attained the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to be a firefighter.


“Congratulations to each and every one of you,” said Odell. “You have worked hard and long and have undergone an amazing training regimen. Putnam is fortunate to have a great number of quality firefighters and you graduates are now part of that equation. You are the future for Putnam and we couldn’t be more proud of all of you.”


“The volunteer fire service continues to add to its ranks with the graduation of an additional 47 interior firefighters representing the 13 departments in the county,” said Bureau of Emergency Services Commissioner Adam Stiebeling. “Today’s Fire Service requires continuous training; the graduates have only begun their careers in the Putnam County Fire and Emergency Services.”


Among the more than a dozen courses these graduates mastered were classes in firefighter safety, fire behavior, building searches, as well as use of personal protective equipment, self-contained breathing apparatus, fire extinguishers, and ground ladders. 


The newest class of firefighter graduates included Christopher Harrigan, John Goodrow, Jr., Jason Thomas, Frank Gangichiodo, Andrew Goodrow, Ron Atzmon, Evean Challahan, Thomas McMurray, Michael McMahon, Gregory Ermann, Candice Telesco, Joseph Sandowski, Bryan Pratt, Michael Bradshaw, Craig, Machado, James Cook, Liam Mullins, Ryan Forster, Brandy Telesco, Roy Forster, Dave Anderson III, Tyler Jones, Thomas Fejes, Guy Gentile, Angelo Anzano, Lauren Andrews, James Hayes, Lindsay McGinty, Amjed Annabi, John Ferlauto, Lee Erickson, Daniel Fanous, Andrew Villalobos, Luis Montalvo II, Sean Hickey, Michael Bentkowski, Rvairi Gribbon, Asad Ba-Yunus, Andrew Baker, Daniel Goldsmith, Brian Ward, Tahir FatholRazak, Caitlin McKenna, Andrew McMurray, Abraham Genuth, Brandon Costello and Eamon Shanahan.


Photo caption: Putnam’s newest firefighters gathered on stage at the Bureau of Emergency Services on July 31 as County Executive MaryEllen Odell offered the young graduates her congratulations. 


Eagle Scout Builds Tilly Foster Chicks an Artsy New Coop: Little Flock Arrives on Saturday, August 9

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

July 29, 2014

Eagle Scout Builds Tilly Foster Chicks an Artsy New Coop
Little Flock Arrives on Saturday, August 9

Which comes first: the chickens or the coop? Well, in the case of chickens returning to Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster, it was the coop that came first. The chicks, however, will be relocated onto the property on Saturday, August 9 at 1 p.m. A story time program will also be offered after the chicks are settled into their new home on the historic 199-acre farm.

While the 20-plus hatchlings were busy outgrowing their fluffy down coats and sprouting true feathers, a handmade, portable chicken coop was delivered to the farm on Tuesday, July 29 courtesy of Thomas P. Quinn, a member of Mahopac Falls Boy Scout Troop 271. The striking coop, complete with hand-painted panels depicting various farm animals, is Quinn’s Eagle Scout project. He built it with the idea of donating it and was mentored by Ed Cooke, a member of the Tilly Foster Farm Advisory Board.

“What motivated me to build the coop was a desire to encourage organic farming,” said Quinn whose parents, Tom and Debbie, brought the coop to the farm on a trailer attached to the back of an SUV.

In building the coop, Quinn tallied 400 hours of donated time from a task force of 20 volunteers. It was also his responsibility to seek and accrue donations and supplies. Included in the donations the Eagle Scout candidate sought was a trailer frame so his coop could be moved not only to the farm on Route 312 but around the farm fields as well.

Building the coop turned out to be a bit of a family affair for Quinn. His Aunt Elaine Gizzi and his 85-year-old grandmother Dorothy F. Heckmann decorated the coop with their paintings of farm animals.

Putnam County Highways & Facilities employee Teresa Delahanty, a veterinary technician who moved onto the farm with her family last weekend, said the coop will be an ideal home for the young flock.

“The chicks are about 2 weeks old right now.  They are doing very well, growing quickly, and their personalities are emerging. By next week they should be ready to arrive at the farm and move into the beautiful coop that Thomas built,” Delahanty said.

For the latest updates on the arrival of the lively little chicks at Tilly Foster Farm and any programs scheduled at that time, visit the Putnam County website at www.putnamcountyny.com and click on the Tilly Foster icon on the lower left side of the homepage.

Tilly Foster Farm is a county-owned farm located at 100 Route 312, Brewster, NY. It is open to the public free of charge.


Group photo caption: County officials greeted Mahopac Falls Boy Scout Troop 271 member Thomas Quinn and his parents as they delivered a new chicken coop to Tilly Foster Farm on July 29. The coop was built by Quinn as his Eagle Scout Project. Quinn received his Eagle Scout Award on Sunday, Aug. 3. From left to right: Veterinary Technician Teresa Delahanty, Commissioner of Highways and Facilities Fred Pena, Tom Quinn, Eagle Scout Thomas Quinn, County Executive MaryEllen Odell, Debbie Quinn.


Following Major Heroin Bust, Maloney Urges More Law Enforcement Resources to Hudson Valley

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

July 30, 2014

Following Major Heroin Bust, Maloney Urges More Law Enforcement Resources to Hudson Valley

White House Should Expedite Approval of Dutchess, Putnam, Rockland HIDTA Application
20% of All Heroin Seized Comes From New York


Newburgh, NY – After the second successful heroin bust by FBI Hudson Valley Safe Streets Task Force in Orange County, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) urged expedited approval of Dutchess and Putnam Counties in the NY/NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) in order to bring additional local, state and federal law enforcement resources critical to combating drug trafficking in the Hudson Valley. Earlier this month, Maloney wrote to the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske in support of the HIDTA application submitted on behalf of Dutchess, Putnam and Rockland counties.

“I’m calling for all-hands-on-deck. Designating the Hudson Valley as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area enables our local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to partner together and ensures our law enforcement officials who are working every day to get drugs off our streets have the federal and state resources they need to combat drug trafficking in our communities,” said Rep. Maloney.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell favors the HIDTA designation for Putnam.

“The more we can do to get these killer drugs off our streets, the better. And the sooner, the better. We have lost far too many young people to heroin of late and it is tearing Putnam families apart. I fully support any legislation passed by Congress that will expedite High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area designation approval for Putnam,” said Odell.  

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has reported that nearly 20% of all heroin seized by authorities has come from New York, a major distribution hub for drug trafficking nationwide. The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program was created by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 to provide resources and facilitate cooperation and intelligence sharing among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies that operate in areas determined by the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy as critical drug-trafficking regions. The HIDTA program funds 681 programs across the country, including Westchester and Orange Counties, as part of the NY/NJ High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.