In the information sharing portion of the meeting, which preceded the information gathering part, four "industries of focus" for Columbia County were identified: agribusiness, the creative economy, technology, and tourism. Obviously, the word agribusiness is used because it embraces more than just growing crops and raising livestock--such things as wineries, goat farms producing cheeses, distilleries making spirits from locally grown fruit. Unfortunately, for many, the word agribusiness conjures up images of mega farms growing homogeneous crops for national corporations and factory farms raising chickens and pigs in unnatural and inhumane conditions. What's happening in Columbia County, both on family farms that have been here for generations and on new farms being established by young people committed to producing real food humanely and sustainably, is something quite different.
Clockwise from top left: Little Seed Gardens|Jason Houston; Letter Box Farm;
Stewardship Farm; Letter Box Farm
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK