Congratulations SUNY New Paltz: last week’s local food celebration, “Farm Fest,” was an example of what strong organization and students working toward a common goal can achieve.
For years, we at The New Paltz Oracle have stressed that students should become more involved in the New Paltz community. Each time we face a crisis – whether it be academic, financial or emotional – we urge our friends and peers to come together as one to help those in need. Students for Sustainable Agriculture, an organization that played a critical role in last weekend’s event, did just that.
The combined efforts of Students for Sustainable Agriculture and New Paltz’s Environmental Task Force successfully put together an event that not only raised awareness about the local agriculture that was affected by Hurricane Irene, but also piqued student interest in this important industry.
By mixing three things the New Paltz campus and locale hold dear – music, art and agriculture – the groups were able to successfully bridge the gap between students and the village of New Paltz for one cause that truly hits home.
The importance of agriculture is sometimes lost in today’s highly technological and seemingly never-ending progression towards a more computer-based culture, but students and New Paltz’s local vendors who participated in the event effectively showcased to the New Paltz campus just how important they truly are.
The Hudson Valley is one of the most beautiful and agriculturally sound regions in the country, and relies heavily on the production of crops to maintain its economy. After a catastrophe as devastating as Irene, the need for people to come together and help their fellow community members was greater than ever.
New York state is one of the leading sources of organic produce in the nation and Ulster County alone has the most diversity in local food production with the rise of community supported agriculture (CSA) farms.
Students for Sustainable Agriculture were able to bring together vendors such as Harvest Café, Main Course, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, The Bakery, Dressel Farms, Wright’s Farms and Slash Root Tech Café to donate free, locally grown food and refreshments in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of the community’s agriculture.
By obtaining so many local vendors, it proves that Students for Sustainable Agriculture were fighting for a cause that resonated with local musicians and artists like Sarah Citrin, Kyle Miller, Tom Christie, Upstate Rubdown and Just the Tip were asked to use their talents to bring wandering students closer to the event, which only added to the long lines of interested people.
We believe these students’ actions should be commended for their efforts. New Paltz prides itself on being a cultural and educational hub of the Hudson Valley and Students for Sustainable Agriculture and their conjoining organizations proved that when students put their mind to it great achievements are possible.