In 1923 the governor of NYS signed legislation commissioning Cornell’s College of Ag. and Life Science fledgling NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY to hire and locate three agricultural scientists in the Hudson Valley. Soon thereafter the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, Inc. (HVRL) was formed. The laboratory was built in 1963 to house scientists and staff, providing an ideal location in the heart of the Hudson Valley to conduct Ag. research. The facility is grower built, farmer owned, now an operated & fully funded research station for and by agriculturalists of New York.
Cornell University College of Ag. & Life Science (CALS) and the NYSAES in Geneva (Cornell AgriTech) faculty & staff provide regional applied science based on-farm research at the HVRL. Its purpose is for the development, demonstration and education on the use of transitional and sustainable practices to solve applied horticultural questions and pest management issues, all in support of regional farm resiliency and food security.
The HVRL is a 501(c)(3) non-profit institution in Highland, NY, nestled in the heart of the historic agricultural region for which it’s named. The facility includes a 5000 sq. ft. laboratory, a 21-acre tree fruit and nut research orchard, vineyard and small fruit fields. Research plots are designed for replicable scientific trials, providing academic freedom for unbiased test results, aimed to stabilize agricultural production using the most effective and safest strategies available, while optimizing crop production, providing research results to growers for over 50 years.
An 11-member board of directors, comprised entirely of regional farmers, conducts the administration, maintenance, operational oversight and affairs pertaining to the facility.
The directors support the HVRL budget through fundraising efforts such as this, asking for voluntary farm membership each year. NYS growers select a membership level appropriate to their farm size and the value they place on the resources made available to them through the HVRL. Many growers see the lab as an invaluable resourse, one they would not want to lose as they move their operation forward.
We continue to see Ag interest groups, citizen scientists and the general public who benefit from regional farms helping to support our research efforts. One such effort is helping homeowners reduce home infestations of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in their homes!
Regional agriculture continues to be our strength in the Hudson Valley, yet challenged by weather, invasive insect, resistant diseases and changing regional and world-wide market demands. Research into areas of pest management, horticultural studies on new varieties and rootstock, harvest efficiencies and opening doors to new markets are needed now more then ever.
The economic downturn in the economy in 2006-2007 resulted in the loss of tax-based revenue to Cornell University from both federal and state government. This in turn caused the loss of significant support for maintenance and operational support to remote Cornell facilities including the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory (HVRL Inc.). Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Science (CALS) subsequently divested in their support of operations and maintenance of the HVRL facility in July 2014, requiring the farm community to provided the needed resources to fulfill the land grant mission for HVRL faculty stationed there.
As of 2014, the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory is fully funded by the direction of its board of directors and broad support from the agricultural grower community throughout New York and New England. To further align with the need for on-farm solutions for regional growers we’ve created a ‘Farmers Alliance for Research and Management’ aptly named FARM, to develop new technologies and innovations to address pest management and horticultural issues.
The letter below and Membership Response card is provided to you to become a member of the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory. Simply click on the response card, print and send to us with your support. OR, Another one-click option for donation to the HVRL can be made through Paypal, through our FARM website.
Thank you for your generous support and best to you in the coming season.