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Winter 2009 Issue of the Finger Lake Sierran

The SAFE Center from My Perspective

by Gene Stolfi, Finger Lakes Group Member

This past summer, the Finger Lakes Group of the Sierra Club met with Dr. Peter Lederer, project originator of the S.A.F.E. Center (The Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Energy). Dr. Lederer was joined by Mr. Tom Tomsa, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, located in Bath, New York.

Peter and Tom reached out to the Sierra Club for our comments and ideas, and also for support of the S.A.F.E. Center by the Sierra Club. Finger Lakes Group members asked many questions about potential land use for biofuels versus other crops, as well as total acreage use. Mr. Lederer and Mr. Tomsa, in my opinion, answered all the concerns.

The staled core values of the S.A.F.E. Center are ecological, economic and social sustainability which contributes to healthy communities, with vibrant economies and a healthy environment. A zero-carbon footprint and energy self-sufficiency are the ultimate goals for the S.A.F.E. Center facilities, which will then become a teaching model about sustainability. As proposed, the S.A.F.E. Center is intended as an educational facility aimed at assisting rural upstate New York toward sustainable agricultural practices in an environmentally friendly way.

I hope to see this project get started and personally support the development of the S.A.F.E. Center.