Popular initiative promoting local agriculture returns for second year
The Erie County Office of Agriculture announced the return of the popular Erie Grown Passport, designed to promote the purchase of local and regional farm products listed on the Erie Grown website by offering participants a chance to win prizes.
Now in its second year, the Erie Grown Passport will run from March 15 through Dec. 15, with participants able to earn points by visiting Erie County agricultural venues throughout spring, summer and fall.
The Erie County Office of Agriculture partnered 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 to create the passport.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “We can all support our agricultural sector, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to purchase local farm products. Buying local fruits, vegetables and other farm products not only supports our farmers, farm workers and their families, but also strengthens our economy. I encourage everyone to use 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. This is a great way for the whole community to support Erie County growers.”
In 2020, Town of Evans resident Cate Dillemuth visited 11 Erie County farms and agricultural businesses to win first prize in the passport contest and claim a Taste NY gift basket. Second and third place winners won a $20 gift card to use at the Erie County farm of their choice along with a quart of maple syrup donated by the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry.
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. The office works closely with the agricultural community to preserve agricultural lands and strengthen the agricultural economy through a number of programs, including Erie Grown, implementation of the Erie County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan, and the Agricultural District Program, among others.