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Projects with the Institute for Rural Vitality

Activity Summary - 2020

Center for Farm & Food Entrepreneurship

 

Center for Community Advancement

 

Center for Business Development

 

Center for Rural Legal & Policy Services

 

Center for Art & Culture

 

Center for Farm & Food Entrepreneurship

  • In partnership with NYSERDA and National Grid, hosted the second annual Agricultural Solutions Fair on March 14, 2019
    • Over 120 farm business participated, along with 24 public and private agencies that provide grant, loan and technical assistance services to farms
  • Completing third year of operations for the Mohawk Valley Farm & Food Business Incubator; in that time,
    • Nearly 60 workshops for incubator clients and the farm/food business community
    • Over 300 workshop attendees
    • Actively working with 30+ incubates on business plan development, marketing assistance, networking, access to credit, buyer relationships and access to production/processing spaces
    • SUNY Cobleskill’s dairy processing center will open this summer and will be used in part as a shared processing space for incubator clients
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    • The campus’s newest retail facility—the Carriage House Café & General Store—is now serving as a hub for market and product development research for Farm & Food Business Incubator clients.
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  • Summer, 2019:  SUNY Cobleskill faculty and students will work with area farm and food producers and regional institutional food buyers to develop an online tool to facilitate high-volume food purchases.
  • Coming 2020:  SUNY Cobleskill will launch a one-year online certificate program in Farm & Food Entrepreneurship
  • Collaboration with researchers at SUNY Albany on several research grant proposals aimed at better understanding opportunities and challenges for regional farm and food businesses
  • Schoharie Fresh farmers’ market continues to operate year-round, hosting 31 Schoharie County farm and food producers
  • Fellowship: Dr. Sophie Ano will be working through May, 2019 to coordinate market research/retail pilot efforts through the campus’s ag/food retail facility; market research services will be offered to Farm & Food Business Incubator clients and conducted by SUNY Cobleskill students
  • Fellowship: Dr. Ben Weikert has developed Open Educational Resources related to livestock selection/judging and production for K-12, collegiate and Incubator business audiences
  • Fellowship: Professor Steven Weir will work closely with area farm and food producers to develop relationships on their behalf with GrowNYC and the New York City Green Market system.  This program will create opportunities for SUNY Cobleskill students to participate in farmer training programs on behalf of GrowNYC and to take on novel urban agriculture projects.

 

Center for Community Advancement

  • Summer, 2019: Grant-writing student interns to assist local municipalities/businesses applying for state and other grant opportunities. In 2018, SUNY Cobleskill grant writing interns were instrumental in bringing over $5 million in NY State CFA awards to Schoharie County.
  • In partnership with the Bassett Healthcare Network, SUNY Cobleskill students and faculty are coordinating Schoharie County’s Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program, providing access to nutritious foods for area families.
  • Provided facilitators/space and planning assistance for the 2018 Schoharie County Tourism Summit and will help to coordinate post-summit grant writing and planning efforts.
  • Institute coordination of Schoharie County’s “Respect for All” campaign as part of a larger county marketing/branding strategy initiative.
  • Fellowship: Dr. Mary Guerrant and students in the Applied Psychology program are collaborating with community partners to assess and build effective strategies for substance abuse prevention in Schoharie County.
  • Fellowship: Dr. Gail Wentworth and students in the Applied Psychology, Early Childhood Education and Animal Science programs are offering inter-generational day programming opportunities (“Generations Together”) on campus for area residents in partnership with a variety of external partners including the Center for Excellence in Alzheimer’s Research at Albany Med, NY Home Health and many others.  A recent article about the success of this program can be found here:  www.timesjournalonline.com/article.asp?id=104345
  • Fellowship: Ms. Emma Paden has developed and implemented mobile equine-assisted therapy programming for the benefit of SUNY Cobleskill students and the larger community; the College’s horses, students and programming are “on the road” to area schools, nursing homes, hospitals and other agencies/organizations.
  • Match-making between SUNY Cobleskill academic programs and community service needs

 

Center for Business Development

  • Pursuing START UP NY partnership with Empire State Greenhouses (ESG), which promises to create 75 direct jobs in Schoharie County
  • Managing START UP NY partnerships with Asset Exchange Infrastructure (AXI Systems), Digital Gameday and Serious Brewing

 

Center for Rural Legal & Policy Services

  • Albany Law presence at SUNY Cobleskill monthly (with free consultation appointments)
  • Rural law fellow working to develop educational materials covering common legal issues faced by rural and farm businesses
  • Fellowship: Albany Law faculty have completed a significant analysis of legal service deficits/needs in Northeastern rural communities and of attorney perceptions of practicing law in rural settings; findings will be used to develop programming to better educate local government officials about policy and legal processes and to create a pipeline for agricultural and other students at SUNY Cobleskill into law school.

 

Center for Art & Culture

  • Art exhibit, “Rural Vitality, A Story Told Through Trees,” opened the month of December 2018 at the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown. The exhibit brought different perspectives of rural life together in the use of poetry, metalsmithing, ceramics, glass, painting, and photography.

  • Developing a relationship with Aunt Karen’s Farm, a non-profit organization in Otsego County that provides artist residency programming in an agricultural/rural setting

    • Partnership to include collaborative “art-i-culture” programming and agricultural immersion opportunities for SUNY Cobleskill and K-12 students and other audiences

  • Institute-sponsored “Respect for All” initiative in Schoharie County

    • Co-sponsored “Stereotyping” programming with Iroquois Museum in November, 2018

  • Funding for on-campus artist residency program and regular “arts and culture” travel opportunities for SUNY Cobleskill students

  • Fellowship: Professor Kayla Vaughn is revitalizing and restoring the College’s art collection and has created a database of College-owned works.  Her efforts have laid the groundwork for SUNY Cobleskill to more meaningfully impact the regional art and culture ecosystem and for the campus’s Grosvenor Gallery to better serve community art interests.

  • Fellowship: An artist with residency in Schoharie County will work with the College and community to enhance and call attention to the nexus between ecology, arts, and rural culture. The fellow will create a public arts project of their individual design and choice, culminating in an exhibition of their work. As part of their fellowship, the AFP fellow will host an evening talk for members of the campus and public communities, and hold studio space on the College campus.