PRESS RELEASE: Two Added to Watershed Agricultural Council Board of Directors in 2010
Residents from Schoharie and Delaware County join Board of 15.
PHOTO CAPTION: The Watershed Agricultural Council seats a 15-member Board, which represents the interests of farm and forest landowners within the New York City Watershed. Charged with the WAC's policy making and fiscal oversight, the Board enlists board members from the Catskill/Delaware and Croton water supply regions. Pictured are: (front row, l-r) Ken Smith, Dave Post, Fred Huneke, William Coleman, Sally Fairbairn; (back row staggered, l-r) Tom Donnelly, Steve Reed, Darby Hartwell, Dave Cammer, Joe Eisel, John Riedl, John Schwartz (on behalf of DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway), Linda DeWitt, Richard Giles, John Verhoeven. (Not pictured: Tom Hutson)
WALTON, NY, FEBRUARY 25, 2010 --  The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) recently added two local residents to its 15-member board.  A Delaware County dairy farmer and Schoharie County forestry program participant will each serve a two-year term on the Council. The WAC is a regional nonprofit organization working with farm and forest landowners in the New York City watershed region.  
"The Council is comprised of watershed farm and forest landowners," explains Fred Huneke, Chairman of the Board, "along with a representative from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The Council meets monthly to oversee the vision and role of WAC and its programs within watershed communities for the benefit of both upstream agricultural and forestry businesses and downstream water consumers. On behalf of the Council, I'm proud to welcome these talented, passionate individuals to our Board."
The new WAC Board members are:,
-- Steve Reed, a dairy farmer and Agricultural Program participant from Hamden, and
-- John Riedl, retired Margaretville School superintendent, from Gilboa.
"These gentlemen bring skill sets and fresh perspective to our board which will benefit the Council during strategic planning in 2010," added Huneke.  "As we move forward in renewing our strategic plan, the Council will be revisiting the overall organizational mission and purpose, and the focus and delivery of its programs. How we do business in agriculture and forestry is changing. Maintaining our clean-water focus while addressing these regional demands and supporting farming and forestry business drivers will help strengthen our area, both economically and environmentally."
The purpose of the Watershed Agricultural Council is to protect both the rural, land-based economy of the watershed region and the drinking water quality of a reservoir system that serves over nine million New  Yorkers.  Working with farmers, agri-businesses, forest landowners, forest industry professionals and others, the WAC seeks to enhance both business profitability and environmental stewardship.  It works through partnerships with other nonprofit organizations, government agencies and community stakeholders to achieve its purpose.
Riedl and Reed join fifteen others in this oversight role.  Current board members from Delaware County include: William Coleman (Hobart), Linda DeWitt (Delhi), Tom Donnelly (Walton), Sally Fairbairn of Arkville, Richard Giles (Hamden), Darby Hartwell (Stamford), Board chairman Fred Huneke (Delhi), Tom Hutson (DeLancey), Dave Post (Hobart), Ken Smith (Stamford) along with John Verhoeven (East Jewett) from Greene County, Dave Cammer (Gilboa) from Schoharie County, Barbara Howard (North Salem) from Westchester County, and the DEP representative, John Schwartz.
"I want to thank all who have served on our board through the years," added Huneke. "especially Dan Palm (of Stamford) and Barbara Wilkens (Yorktown Heights) who departed last year. Our organization has grown so much under their guidance and for that we're grateful." 
Along with the oversight provided by the Board of Directors, the WAC partners with agencies such as Cornell Cooperative Extensions, Soil & Water Conservation Districts, the US Department of Agriculture, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services, the US Forest Service and other nonprofit organizations to guide and implement the program. To keep close to the pulse of the communities and landowners that it serves, the WAC program committees enlist farm and forest business owner/operators and other local experts to round out their viewpoints.
The WAC is funded by The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service and other federal and foundation sources.  The WAC is an equal opportunity employer and provider.
For more information, visit
The Watershed Agricultural Council's mission is to support the economic viability of agriculture and forestry through the protection of water quality and the promotion of land conservation in the New York City watershed region.
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START: Feb. 26, 2010
END: March 15, 2010

SUMMARY: Two program participants, John Riedl and Steve Reed, joined the 15-member board of directors at the Walton-based Watershed Agricultural Council.

Tara Collins
Communications Director
(607) 865-7090 x226
(607) 643-5148 cell
2010 Board of Directors
(High-quality image)
The Watershed Agricultural Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to support the economic viability of agriculture and forestry through the protection of water quality and the promotion of land conservation in the New York City Watershed region. The WAC is funded by The New York City Department of Environmental Protection, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service and other federal, foundation and private sources. The WAC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer.