About Rockland Farm Alliance
Who Are We?
Camp Hill Farm
A broad-based coalition of farmers, community groups and activists, local and county officials and interested citizens, Rockland Farm Alliance (RFA) was formed in early 2007, with a simple mission: to preserve, create and enhance sustainable food production in Rockland County, NY. This grassroots effort, which started with the passionate vision of a single farmer, John McDowell, has grown into a powerful community force with over 1000 followers. After John and his wife, Alexandra Spadea-McDowell, began the first CSA in Rockland in 2004, Camp Hill Farm, they quickly recognized the lack of infrastructure and support for the few remaining farms in the county, and together with other dedicated members of the community formed Rockland Farm Alliance with the mission of preserving existing farmland and supporting local farms. With nearly every facet of our community represented, we draw on the expertise of individual members to further our goals of preserving open space and bringing small sustainable farms back to Rockland.
The Alliance is supported by the Rockland County Soil & Water Conservation District, which provides technical guidance, staff support and serves as a liaison to the USDA's Resource Conservation and Development Council, which provides ongoing advice and expertise. RFA is currently implementing Glynwood’s two-year Keep Farming program here in Rockland County.
The mission of Rockland Farm Alliance is to facilitate local sustainable agriculture in Rockland County by creating farms that serve as models of small-scale agriculture with educational facilities dedicated to the development and teaching of sustainable farming practices to people of all ages.
Cropsey Community Farm
- Increase the viability of existing Rockland County farms
- Increase the number of farms and the total food producing acreage within the county
- Encourage farming practices that are ethically and ecologically sound and economically sustainable
- Help promote a network of outlets for local farms, such as farmers markets, CSAs, restaurants and the like
- Explore and establish methods for the sharing of general information, equipment, and processing capabilities
- Support educational opportunities and cultural events related to agriculture
- Collaborate with organizations and individuals that have similar goals and objectives
- Won widespread government support from local to state level; referred to by NY State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee as “the largest and most diverse group of citizens gathered for a great cause in Rockland County”
- Initiated a summit of state and municipal parks officials from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and New York to discuss efforts to increase agricultural projects on parkland
- Participated in a Farm-to-School feasibility summit along with the Health Department and local school food directors
- Led the initiative to reform the Rockland County Farmland Protection Board
- In an unprecedented partnership with the county and Town of Clarkstown, received the license to revive the historic Cropsey Farm in New City, creating a 5-acre organic, community learning farm to begin producing for the 2011 season as a working CSA