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Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Development of Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market

(October 23, 2012)

Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council Announces Development of Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market

The Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council today joined with Broome County Executive Debbie Preston, local elected officials, and the Broome County IDA to announce the development of the Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market, which will be constructed at Otsiningo Park in the Town of Dickinson. The Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market, which will be open year round, will include 36 vendor spaces along with a Community Store and kitchen space. Vendors will have the opportunity to rent space for as little as one day at a time, encouraging more vendors, and a greater variety of vendors, to bring their products to the market.

Kevin McLaughlin, Executive Director, Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council and Regional Director, Empire State Development said, “The Farmers Market is a great example of utilizing our local resources to generate commerce for local farmers and other vendors while boosting economic activity for the region. The location in Otsiningo Park is an ideal spot to put local products on display as it will give a million visitors an opportunity to shop for the best that Broome County and the Southern Tier have to offer. The Council is proud to support this project and commends the work of State Parks, Broome County and the Broome County IDA in making this happen. We look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on our agriculture community and the regional economy.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Parks are at their best when they help citizens lead healthy, active lifestyles. A farmer’s market offering fresh, locally grown food is a great way to enhance Otsiningo Park. I applaud Broome County for this innovative step to improve the park while encouraging local agriculture, which is vital to economic growth in New York.”

The Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market is being supported by a $400,000 grant from New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which was awarded to the project by the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council in 2011. Additionally, a $100,000 grant from the Healthy Food/Healthy Community Program has also been approved and the Broome County Industrial Development Agency has committed to contributing funding.

“Broome County is home to many outstanding farms which produce some of the best quality foods in the country,” said County Executive Preston. “The Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market will provide the public nutrient-rich items grown right here in Broome County and give vendors from through the region a year-round facility to showcase their items and sell them to the public. This project will increase commerce in Broome County and give our farmers a special place to present their inventory to millions of potential customers.”

Otsiningo Park, the home of the Farmers Market is centrally located adjacent to Broome County’s highway system. The Park gets an average of one million visitors each year. The seasonal Farmers Market, which is currently operated in an Otsiningo Park parking lot, will be relocated to the Southern Tier Regional Farmers Market site, once construction is complete.

The Farmers Market is expected to break ground by the end of the year, with full construction beginning in January 2013.

Broome County 9th District Legislator Steve Herz said, “I am very pleased that the vision of a regional farmers market for Broome County is moving forward so very nicely. The hard work and partnerships that have been formed shows how government and the private sector can work successfully together. The regional farmers market is a win-win-win project. Win for agriculture, consumers, and our entire region. This project is most gratifying.”

Broome County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Richard D'Attilio said, “The Broome County Industrial Development Agency is pleased to support this project because we recognize the significant economic value of agriculture in this community.”

To learn more about each regional council and their economic development plans, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov. For information on how the New New York is working for businesses and Long Island, please visit www.thenewny.com.

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