WYSOX — In Bradford County, dozens of farmers, growers, and land owners came together to talk about the future of the farming industry in the county.
It was the first agricultural summit for Bradford County.
It allowed folks to discuss ideas about what to do with their land and how to preserve agriculture in the area.
The summit — organized by several groups including the Agricultural Coalition and the Bradford County Conservation District –allowed dozens of farmers, growers, and landowners in Bradford County to come together to talk about the future of the farming industry.
“Agriculture is going to transition in Bradford County. Is it going to be a good transition or a bad transition? That’s what we’re trying to determine and we’re trying to put a strategic plan in place together,” said Mike Lovegreen of the Bradford County Conservation District.
Farmers said for decades Bradford County has been a leader in farming, and historically, farming is what the area was built upon. The land and the central location make it a perfect place for food production.
“Bradford County sits in the center of a very large population, New York, all the way around within a day’s drive of a very large population that needs to be fed,” said Jim Vanblarcom, dairy farmer.
Some farmers said many factors have threatened the farming industry, and the future is grim.
Some food growers are worried about the uncertainty of the industry, and are looking at different waves of the future, such as the natural gas industry.
“More challenged than it has been in the past, so I think it’s really important to have this discussion of what is the future of agriculture in Bradford County. I hope there’s a great future for it,” said Ruth Tonachel of Buy Fresh Buy Local.
Farmers said now more than ever is the time to find ways to preserve agriculture in Bradford County, as well as, move forward with the changing times.
“That’s what this is all about letting everyone come together and share those values and see that they have similar desires for the future,” said Lovegreen.
Organizers said there will be more summits to come in Bradford County.