COLUMBIA CO., N.Y. — The Columbia County Environmental Management Council (EMC) recognized the recipients of its 2020 Good Earthkeeping (GEK) Awards in a short ceremony that kicked off their July 27 online monthly meeting. Good Earthkeeping Awards, which were first presented in 1982, recognize individuals and groups that have made real and lasting contributions involving the preservation, improvement and/or facilitation of a better understanding of the environment in Columbia County. This year’s winners are Sarah Chase and Jordan Schmidt of the Chaseholm Farm which spans Ancram and Pine Plains, and Claudia Kenny and Willy Denner of Little Seeds Gardens, which is located in Chatham.
Nominated by Kim Tripp on behalf of the Ancram Conservation Advisory Council, the Chaseholm Farm operates 500 acres in Columbia and Dutchess Counties. A third-generation dairy farm that is USDA certified organic and 100% grass-fed, it is dedicated to restoring soil and microbial diversity, fertility and vitality through intense pasture management and a comprehensive rotational grazing system. They offer public programming that demonstrates how their regenerative approach to farming provides inspiration, instruction and specific examples of how small local farms can be essential to environmental stewardship and preservation.
Established in 1995, Little Seed Gardens is a 97-acre certified organic farm that produces vegetables, herbs, heritage beef stock and grass-fed beef. They have been using holistic resource management as a decision-making model for their operation for the last 20 years. They mentor young farmers and help run the Agrarian Learning Center which works to create a region of connected communities, farmers, and land owners that strive to better manage their land base holistically, improve soil health, decrease carbon emissions and slow climate change. Little Seed Gardens was nominated by Cara Humphrey who serves as the EMC Town of Austerlitz representative.
The EMC applauds that work that this year’s GEK winners have done and will continue to do to inspire others to become better environmental stewards of our land, air and water. As cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once stated — “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” For more information on this year’s recipients, visit their websites at www.chaseholmfarm.com and www.littleseedgardens.com.
The Columbia County Environmental Management Council is a duly appointed body of volunteer citizens charged with advising the County Board of Supervisors on environmental matters affecting Columbia County. The EMC is currently meeting virtually via Google Meet on the fourth Monday of each month (unless it falls on a major holiday) at 6:30 pm. Contact the Columbia County Planning Department for meeting connection information at (518)828-3375 or email@example.com.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties
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