County Fare: Tee it up for MS

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For the eighth year in a row, area golfers of all abilities teed it up for a Berkshires charity during the annual Deputy Sheriff's Association Golf Tournament, hosted by Berkshire County Sheriff Thomas Bowler.

This year, organizers chose the MS Support Foundation in North Adams as the event beneficiary. The organization helps those afflicted with multiple sclerosis and their families.

The event was on par with the Deputy Sheriff's Association mission since the tourney began in 2011: to raise money for a different group each year that represents human services, health care or education.

On Sept. 20, 140 golfers turned out at the Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield to compete in what has become a prestigious and fun event. During the post-tourney banquet, Bowler, foundation board member Matt Scarafoni, and Robin McGraw, National MS Society board member, presented the foundation with a check for $10,000.

In accepting the contribution, board President Wende Carver said: "We are a nonprofit organization investing in programs designed to ensure individuals with MS can live their life to the fullest."

Executive Director Judy Bombardier added: "We provide education, support and resources for those individuals affected by multiple sclerosis as well as families and health care providers who are dedicated to improving the lives of those afflicted."

For information on the MS Support Foundation, visit mssupportfoundation.org.

Partners conserve Artemis Farm

Cynthia Creech first established Artemis Farm more than 31 years ago in Tennessee. At the time, there were only 16 Randall cattle remaining in the country.

She moved the farm north to 120 acres in New Lebanon, N.Y., so the critically endangered cows — first developed in Vermont and descended from the local cattle common in 19th century New England — could be in a climate more suited to their breed.

Since the cattle made their journey north in 2004, Creech has been responsible for growing the population to over 300 cattle. She has worked with more than 20 herds, large and small, and has sold single cows to homesteaders looking for a sturdy house milk and/or beef cow.

In 2000, she was honored by the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory with an award for heritage breed conservation. She also supplies grass-fed beef to consumers via local farmers markets.

In addition to preserving the breed, Creech also wanted to make sure her land would continue to be part of the important fabric of Columbia County's agricultural heritage.

Now, thanks to a partnership between the Columbia Land Conservancy and Scenic Hudson and Equity Trust, and with funding from Equity Trust, Scenic Hudson, the state of New York's Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Land Easement program, Creech's Artemis Farm will continue providing a home for critically endangered Randall cattle.

She worked with multiple partners and funders to place a conservation easement on her land, which will protect the property from future development. In addition, she also worked with partners to enhance this land-protection tool with resale restrictions that ensure that the property will always remain in agricultural production, and affordable for farmers.

Funds for the resale restrictions were contributed by Equity Trust, which also provided financing from its Hudson Valley Farm Affordability Fund to secure a portion of the land until it was protected.

County Fare, a weekly column featuring "tales from throughout the Berkshires," is compiled by Eagle staffers.

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