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Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger Appoints Deborah DeWan as County’s First Agricultural Services Administrator
New York Ag Connection - 02/21/2024

Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger today announced the appointment of Deborah DeWan as the County's Agricultural Services Program Administrator, a new position in the Economic Development Department. DeWan will develop and implement new agricultural programs in close coordination with the farming community.

In her State of the County Address, County Executive Metzger outlined a number of agricultural initiatives for 2024, including updating the County’s Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan for the first time in 27 years, rolling out a new grant program to support farm investments in soil health, workforce housing, and other key areas of need, and creating a program to expand participation by low-income households in Community-Supported Agriculture (CSAs). Metzger previously chaired the State Senate Agriculture Committee when she served in the State Senate.

“We want to see the County take a more active role in supporting the long-term viability and sustainability of farming in our county, and help our farmers meet the challenges they face and take advantage of new opportunities,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “Deborah’s deep knowledge of agriculture and her experience working directly with Ulster County farmers make her the ideal person for this important position, and I look forward to our work together.”

Deborah Dewan brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of dedication to Ulster County's farms. She led the Rondout Valley Growers Association for six years as the organization’s Executive Director, where she successfully built community connections among farmers, neighbors, and schools. DeWan later served as Agriculture Policy Advisor and Agricultural Liaison for the State Senate Agriculture Committee, helping develop state policy when the committee was chaired by then-State Senator Jen Metzger. The Senate Agriculture Committee is currently chaired by Senator Michelle Hinchey.

County Economic Development Director Kevin Lynch expressed confidence in DeWan's appointment, stating, "We are very excited about Deborah joining the team. Deborah brings a wealth of experience after years of working in the County’s agriculture sector as a policy advocate, project manager, and a strong supporter of initiatives that address the challenges faced by our farming community. Helping our local farmers is at the core of her being, and we look forward to all she will bring into this role."

DeWan outlined her vision for the program, stating, “I am thrilled to be joining the Ulster County team in the newly-created position of Agricultural Services Administrator to continue doing what I love and helping farmers do what they do best– stewarding the land, feeding our communities, and contributing to the local economy.

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