FROM THE ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT & PLANNING (August 2021): Throughout the pandemic, the importance of agriculture has been highlighted again and again. From supply chain disruptions to lack of seasonal farm labor and the closure of in-person dining, the essential nature of providing healthy food to the community has never been more important.
In 2020, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz created the Office of Agriculture to address the loss of farmland, improve the viability of farming, and assist rural municipalities with planning for agriculture. While the creation of this Office predates the pandemic, its mission has only become more essential in the intervening months. “One of the most effective ways to help support the viability of farming is to promote the purchase of local and regional farm products, and to encourage all county residents to ‘buy local’” said County Executive Poloncarz. “Buying local fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs, flowers, etc. not only supports our farmers and farm workers and helps to strengthen our local economy, it also provides a nourishing and healthy food supply that we all need in times like this”.
In order to facilitate this objective, the Office of Agriculture has created this Erie Grown website and the corresponding Erie Grown Passport. Erie Grown is Erie County's initiative to promote locally grown and in-season produce as well as maple syrup, honey, and agritourism activities. We hope to better connect consumers to farmers, farmers markets, and local foods by linking available goods with those who would like to buy them. What’s more, each time you visit a farmer on Erie Grown, you can earn Passport points and be eligible to win prizes!
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County Executive Director Diane Held said "Farms are essential businesses during this pandemic, and how fortunate we are to have farmers working every day producing a variety of farm products right here in our community. You have an opportunity to directly help the farmer in your town or in your city neighborhood. Check out Erie Grown and contact a nearby farm that is selling via phone, text, website, or curbside and remember to thank your local farmer!"
Are you a grower in Erie County and want to be included in our list of providers? Enroll here! Are you enrolled in Erie Grown and need to update your listing? Update here!