Looking to support local farmers? Nearly 120 local growers, producers listed at one’s fingertips
The Erie County Office of Agriculture announced a new initiative aimed at promoting local agriculture, a sector hard-hit the COVID-19 pandemic, with the launch of the “Erie Grown Passport.” Created in partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County, the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District, Taste NY, and New York State Grown and Certified, the Erie Grown Passport is designed to promote the purchase of local and regional farm products listed on the Erie Grown website , created earlier this year to highlight locally produced goods.
“It’s now more important than ever to support our agricultural sector, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to purchase local farm products. Buying local fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, honey and flowers not only supports our farmers, farm workers and their families, but also strengthens our economy,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this Erie Grown Passport to guide you to familiar farms and farm-related businesses and also help you plan to explore some growers you may never have visited before. We are all in this together, and together we can support our agricultural community.”
The agricultural sector locally and nationwide has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic due to supply and demand chain disruptions and the loss of institutional and restaurant business. Erie Grown was launched in April to support the need to buy local produce and to increase direct-to-consumer sales. The Erie Grown Passport further incentivizes buying local by offering participants the chance to win a prize for visiting local vendors. Participants can print their own passports or participate online at https://www2.erie.gov/eriegrown/.
The Erie County Office of Agriculture was created to address the loss of farmland, improve the viability of farming, and assist rural municipalities with planning or agriculture. It works closely with the agricultural community to preserve agricultural lands and strengthen the agricultural economy through a number of programs including Erie Grown, the Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan and the Agricultural District Program, among others.