Anyone interested in the future of agriculture in Warren County is urged to attend a very important meeting being hosted by the Hope Area Chamber of Commerce on Thursday Sept. 28 starting at 6:30 p.m. This free event will be held at the Inn at Millrace Pond, Route 519, in historic Hope, and is open to all.
Grow Warren is an initiative by the County of Warren to support its small and emerging farmers. With funding from the USDA’s Rural Business Development program, Warren County has retained the services of Greener by Design, LLC to help create a strategic growth and marketing plan.
The group’s project team will examine the area’s agricultural industry, conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, and recommend measures that the County and its partners can take in order to help local farms grow, attract new agricultural entities, and generally meet the demands of the future.
Frank Pinto and Ben Spinelli, Principals of the firm Greener by Design, will give an overview presentation of the Grow Warren project and what its goals are, including assessing the agriculture industry in Warren as a whole, identifying trends in the county, potential areas of growth, developing a “Grow Warren” brand, and other related issues to the betterment of the agriculture industry here.
The meeting was initiated by Terry Urfer, member of the chamber’s executive board and a member of the county agriculture board. It is open to farmers, government officials, residents and anyone else who is a proponent of the agriculture industry in Warren County.
“This is a very important initiative that the county has undertaken,” said Urfer. “Hope is in the center of the farming industry in Warren County and we felt that this would be a perfect place to host the event.”
Pinto notes that Warren County is an ideal geographic location for growth, is becoming an expanding market for brewing and wineries, and has the potential to be a growing market for area restaurants interested in serving locally sourced products and is well positioned to meet a demand for local produce in general.
“We are looking to get feedback from ‘consumers’ in Warren County and this meeting will help us,” said Pinto. “We are anxious to know their preferences and opinions about agriculture in Warren County and what they would recommend to enhance the agricultural economy of the County.”
Whether or not you can attend, Grow Warren asks that you complete the Grow Warren survey to help the County get your opinion on the agricultural economy of Warren County: https://growwarren.org/survey/.
“The survey results will enable us to see farmer and consumer preferences and opinions,” said Pinto. “That will help us formulate a strategy to enhance the agricultural economy of Warren County.”
Beer, cocktails, wine and food will be available for purchase. For more information about this meeting or to RSVP, please call Terry Urfer at 973-927-6595. For more about the chamber, visit www.hopeareachamber.com.