Warwick Valley Farm Aid 2011 raises $100,000

| 15 Feb 2012 | 09:42

    Event quadruples original goal Warwick — The original goal was $25,000 but on Thursday evening, at the Warwick Town Board meeting, organizers of the Warwick Valley Farm Aid 2011 fund raiser, held on Sept. 25, would have a surprise announcement. The final tally was $100,000. All proceeds will be distributed equally among the 45 farmers with accepted applications. Warwick Valley Farm Aid 2011 was organized early in September to benefit local farmers who were severely impacted by Hurricane Irene and its subsequent flooding. Warwick’s farms in Pine Island and Florida incurred millions of dollars in crop losses. And many of these farmers had suffered the loss of all or most of their crops, which means they lost their entire investment and income for the year. Although the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) declared Orange County a “Disaster Area,” there is nothing in either the federal or state programs that covers crop losses. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers crop insurance but many local farmers opt out of this program because of high premiums, complexity and low payouts. More than 1,000 attend concert Cheryl Rogowski, a well-known Pine Island farmer and restaurant owner, suggested that Paul Caskey, a member of the Warwick Valley School Board, and others, organize an event to organized to benefit local farmers who suffered devastating losses. Dr. Raymond Bryant, superintendent of the Warwick Valley School District offered the use of the High School and the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce absorbed the fees that enabled concert ticket sales to be purchased online with a credit card. More than a thousand people attended. Volunteers sold T-shirts at this event and also later at Applefest. And there was also silent auction, which included the works of local artists. “On behalf of the Warwick Valley Farm Aid, we would like to offer sincere thanks to all those in the Warwick area who have supported this fund-raising effort for our farming community,” said Caskey. Bryant added: “Agriculture is an integral part of Warwick and a portion of the beauty that drew many to this town. The tremendous community support for our farmers who have lost so much has been extremely gratifying, and has served to bring the community together in an unprecedented manner.” Essential information Additional information, including a list of people and organizations who helped make this event a huge success, can be found at www.warwickfarmaid.com.