The recent $13 million sale of a 75 year family owned and operated agricultural fixture is paving the way for a nationally ranked and recognized hub in the Town of Hurley. Time Warner Cable News Reporter Alexandra Weishaupt has more on what's to come of Gill Farms.
HURLEY, N.Y. -- It was the sale of a county staple.
“This is what I wanted to do for my family, for the betterment of my family and it’s what we had to do,” said Former Gill Farms Owner John Gill.
Three generations of farmers serving the Hudson Valley region since 1937 have passed the baton and sold the more than the 1,200 acres of land to the non-profit NoVo Foundation. It was a bitter-sweet transition, according to Gill, but it was a chance to better serve the community, and put the farm on the map.
“These people have the same ideas that my dad and I have that they want to keep it a farm forever and by turning it into an educational and research facility, it kind of adds to our dream of what can become of the land, what it does is preserves one of the best resources that the Town of Ulster, the Town of Hurley and the Town of Marbletown have and that’s pristine farmland. It’s some of the best in the world right here," he said.
The creation of a major farm hub will enhance the current food system in the local community and beyond as the program is expected to bring in students to learn the ins and outs of the industry.
“That’s from a business model right on up to a full hands on mechanical and technical and learning how to plant and grow in a green house, how to work on equipment, how to use equipment,” said Gill.
He also added that while he no longer owned the place, he’d be taking on the role of Farm Manager, overseeing operations that he said he’s looking forward to being a part of.
“It’s a forever thing. It will continue to change and build and grow as time goes on and that’s the exciting part about it,” said Gill.