Local farmer named to first-ever organic task force

NORWICH – A Norwich farmer was appointed last week to the first ever New York State Organic Advisory Task Force, according to officials from the state department of Agriculture and Markets.

Zaid Kurdieh, who operates an organic produce farm on Rt. 23 in the Town of Norwich just west of the city limits, was the only farmer from Chenango County named to the 19-member board.

“The task force is the first of its kind in New York State and its members will advise the commissioner on how the state can help the organic community address needs and take advantage of opportunities as consumer demand for organic products grows,” states a Jan. 23 press release from Ag and Markets.

Kurdieh owns Norwich Meadow Farm, where he grows a variety of organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and meat that is sold directly off the farm in New York City open-air markets.

If given a chance, he believes the task force can provide the first real look at solving problems and expanding opportunities in organic farming.

“Initially, it will get the issues out on the table and this in itself is positive as this is a new initiative at the state level,” said Kurdieh. “It can result in positive measures if two or three major issues can be worked on systematically and if it is given time and it can survive both economic forces as well as political issues.”

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