Agriculture is an intrinsic part of life on the East End. The local produce, and the farm-to-table movement that many local restaurants have embraced, speak to the importance of farming. Toward that end, Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian this Saturday, August 20, will benefit the Long Island Farm Bureau (LIFB) and HRH Care Community Health. Both organizations are working to establish widespread awareness of, and support for, the hard-working individuals who keep Long Island’s farms running.
The LIFB is a non-governmental, volunteer-based organization that works to resolve economic and public policy issues affecting local farmers. Says Robert Carpenter, the LIFB’s executive director, “We advocate for the agricultural industry on Long Island to prevent poor legislation from happening, and we do promotional work to make the general public aware of all that we do. We advocate for the community to buy from our local farmers.”
Carpenter elaborates that he believes farming is one of the most challenging industries in which to turn a profit. “From labor to housing, chemicals and products—it’s difficult for farmers to pass along costs for production because they need to pay more to do business here on Long Island.”
Because of this, Carpenter says, it’s more important than ever for the public to purchase locally grown produce, meat and dairy. “Almost every bit of food you put in your mouth comes from farming. The food always starts on a farm, so it’s important to receive the local community’s support. We have 30,000 acres of agriculture on Long Island, including the wineries.”
In tandem with the LIFB, HRHCare is supporting farmers in a different but equally important way: providing underserved populations with healthcare options. “We make sure we’re reaching out to agricultural workers, and are known for the diversity we exhibit,” says Anne Nolon, CEO and President of HRHCare. “We have patients on our board of directors, and are truly community-based.”
The health care company has been around for 40 years, and has become one of the nation’s largest community health providers. “We’ve come very far—from one small site in Peekskill, New York, to a total of 30 health centers now. Greenport was our first site in Suffolk,” Nolon says.
Last month, HRHCare hosted their second annual Honoring the Hands Benefit. The funds raised from the event will help implement a mobile health center. The challenges currently facing HRHCare stem from the rapidly changing healthcare environment as more and more hospitals are consolidated. “We have to keep pace so that our patients, who are foremost, continue to be served with the highest quality of care,” says Nolon.
The LIFB and HRHCare are the beneficiaries of Dan’s Harvest East End, held on Saturday, August 20, at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. “We welcome the opportunity to work together, and many of the restaurants serving at this event do use locally sourced products,” Carpenter says. “We’re very appreciative of those restaurants and organizations.”
Nolon is looking forward to Dan’s Harvest East End as well. “It’s a terrific event. I like going. It focuses so much on the capacity for agricultural production in Suffolk County, and how important that is. It highlights what an amazing economic and sustainable unit the county is, and attracts people who may not know about all of this. It’s a fabulous opportunity, and we’re very appreciative of last year’s contribution to HRHCare to support the workers who put food on our tables.”
Dan’s Harvest East End, the can’t-miss food and wine classic, hosted by Geoffrey Zakarian is Saturday, August 20, at McCall Vineyard and Ranch in Cutchogue. VIP tickets are $285 and offer early access beginning at 6:30 p.m., access to the VIP lounge, exclusive pours from the 90-point wall and more. Early Access tickets, with 6:30 p.m. entry, are $199. General Admission, from 7:30–10 p.m., is $135.
Visit DansTaste.com for tickets and info.