Rensselaer County is a great place to live and work, with natural beauty, vibrant neighborhoods and great quality of life. At tonight’s public forum, we heard from organizations that help in the mission of serving our residents, and safeguarding the qualities that make our county a special place.
Farming is an important part of our county’s heritage. To help ensure farming has a strong future, the county partnered with the Agricultural Stewardship Association. The ASA helps secure funding to protect farmland and open space, and the partnership came about at the urging of Majority Leader Ken Herrington. Approximately 3500 acres of farmland and open space have been protected thanks to this effort, and the ASA updated legislators on their work.
Legislators were also updated about the work by the county Soil and Water Management District by Soil and Water representative Nick Halford. Soil and Water encourages productive use of farm properties, controls erosion and protects public water resources, including the Tomhannock Reservoir, the main source of drinking water in the county.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County has also aided farmers with programs like 4-H, and also provides nutritional programs and education. Bernadine Wiesen updated legislators on work by Cooperative Extension on Wednesday, and issues facing Extension. Cooperative Extension Director David Hawley recently announced his retirement from Cooperative Extension after serving over the course of three decades.
Legislators also heard from several law enforcement officials who have spent considerable time helping lay the groundwork for a upgraded county emergency radio system. And lawmakers also heard from Richard Haldeman, who leads the county’s Ombudsman program, which helps ensure care and safety for our seniors.
Thanks to our partners in service who took the time to meet with legislators and the public on Wednesday.