SERINO & MOLINARO TOUR HARLEM VALLEY HOMESTEAD, RECIPIENT OF LARGEST REDC ESD GRANT IN DUTCHESS COUNTY

Sue Serino

January 14, 2022

WINGDALE, NY – Senator Sue Serino and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today toured Wingdale’s Harlem Valley Homestead and congratulated its team for being awarded $500,000 from the Empire State Development Grant Program through the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council to begin their hospitality expansion. The Harlem Valley Homestead was awarded the largest grant in Dutchess County through that competitive grant process and was assisted in the process by letters of support from the lawmaker and County Executive. 

“The Harlem Valley Homestead is a true Hudson Valley gem,” said Senator Sue Serino. “With agri-tourism on the rise, this working farm takes a unique approach to preserve farmland, engage visitors and help them form a direct connection with the land, and it was something truly special to see in action. This major grant will enable the Homestead to become a premier tourist destination, and to inspire countless others to develop an appreciation for our natural environment and a respect for the tremendous amount of work that goes into operating a farm and homestead. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to support their expansion proposal and am looking forward to seeing their unique vision become a reality.”

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Since Dutchess County’s founding, agriculture has played an integral role in our community’s heritage, and agriculture continues to contribute to our local economy to this day – employing our friends and neighbors while feeding an untold number of residents, both with our county and outside our borders. This grant will allow the Harlem Valley Homestead to both maintain its vital part in Dutchess County’s agrarian legacy and expand its operations to welcome even more visitors – from around the corner and around the world – who will enjoy the splendor of this magnificent farm.”

"Today, our farm feeds more than 150 families in Dover and the region. But we are excited to become so much more. This grant will help us to create an enduring institution, a place that brings people to the region so that they can connect to the land and the story behind their food," said Josh Viertel, Co-Founder of Harlem Valley Homestead.  "If we are going to keep farmland in this region, it is vital that farms survive; farmstays, educational programs, and sharing great local food and drink are all key to creating the conservation-based economic development that our community deserves, and our farms need."

The grant will enable the Harlem Valley Homestead to fund their hospitality expansion, which will add lodging and increase programming and event capacity, furthering their efforts to upgrade infrastructure, repurpose existing farm structures and undertake new construction with the goal of transforming their facility into a premier agritourism destination. In addition to attracting visitors from outside the Hudson Valley, the grant will also allow them to increase their hiring capacity and provide more local employment opportunities.

The Harlem Valley Homestead is currently a 250-acre working farm that employs eight full-time staff members. Currently, the homestead is known for its pasture-raised beef, pork, vegetables, flowers, mushrooms, raw honey, and more.

To learn more about the homestead and their future plans, click here.

Senator Serino currently serves as the Ranking Member for the NYS Senate’s Committee on Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation.

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