Jerry CosgroveJerry Cosgrove loves many things, including his wife, Judy, and their daughter, Megan. But he also has a deep passion for farming, agriculture and conservation. His career has focused on those elements, as well as marketing and rural development issues. Cosgrove has worked in everything from private capital development to farm estate planning.

Cosgrove spent his early years on the family’s dairy farm inClinton,N.Y.In fact, one of his proudest moments involved Darcy, a prizeHolsteincow. Cosgrove showed his brother’s cow at the International Dairy Show inWisconsinin 1998. “I was more nervous the night before than any other time in my life,” he said.

Agriculture remained in his blood as Cosgrove got older. He earned a degree in agriculture from Cornell’sCollegeofAgricultureand Life Sciences in 1981. In addition, Cosgrove graduated fromCornellLawSchoolwith a Juris Doctorate in 1988. Currently, he serves a consultant inKinderbrook,N.Y.He and his wife, Judy, have one daughter, Megan.

Jerry Cosgrove has worked for severalNew Yorkorganizations over the past 30 years:

Bond, Schoeneck and King, 1988-1992

Associate Attorney

  • Handled civil litigation cases, such as contract disputes and property tax proceedings
  • Easement drafting and conservation estate planning seminars pro bono for Cazenovia Preservation Foundation

American Farmland Trust, 1992-2007

New York Director, 1992-1997

  • Helped establish the NYS farmland protection program
  • Formed relationships with land trusts and agriculture and community partners
  • Increased awareness with communications and marketing efforts
  • Led efforts to support Environmental Protection Fund programs
  • Promoted planning for agriculture as a business and land use on state and local levels
  • Established an office inNew Yorkin 1992

Northeast Director, 1997-2007

  • Drafted grant proposals
  • Created a regional major donor program
  • Offered strategic guidance on new initiatives
  • Served as the Northeast Office’s main fundraiser
  • Secured an operating budget of $500,000 annually
  • Grew staff from two to eight
  • Headed up agricultural land trusts inConnecticut,Maineand centralNew York
  • Organized research projects related to farming, conservation and development pressure

NYS Agriculture and Markets, 2007-2010

Deputy Commissioner

  • Worked closely with various organizations to develop and grow food policy efforts
  • Supervised staff of 200 people
  • Directed NYS statewide programs with various divisions:
    • Agricultural Development and Business Services
    • Dairy Industry and Milk Control
    • Farmland Protection
    • Food Policy
    • Food Safety and Promotion
    • Made presentations on many subjects, like dairy policy, easement drafting, affordable farmland programs and agricultural economics

Consultant, present

  • Partnering with NYC Greenmarket Farmland Retention Program
  • Maximizing access and affordability of farmland for farmers
  • Collaborating with Land for Good on USDA funded Land Access Project forNew England
  • Working with New World Foundation’s Local Economies Project
  • Supporting efforts to create a sustainable food system regionally
  • Developing strategies to sustain economic development, particularly farms inHudsonValley

In addition, businessman Jerry Cosgrove has given presentations at:

  • Farm Bureau
  • New YorkStateAssociation of Counties
  • Land Trust Alliance conferences
  • Farm groups and land trusts

Cosgrove has served on the following boards and committees:

  • New YorkStateAdvisory Council on Agriculture, 1994-2007
  • CoBank Northeast Regional Council, 2000-2006
  • Senator Hillary Clinton’s Agricultural Advisory Board, 2000-2008
  • CornellUniversityCollegeof Agriculture and Life Sciences Advisory Board, 1999-2003
  • RuralResourcesCommissionLandUse Advisory Committee, 1992-1998
  • Land TrustAllianceofNew YorkAdvisory Committee, 1996-2006
  • Maine Farmland Trust, founding board member, 1999-2000

On top of that, Cosgrove has written numerous publications:

  • Your Land is Your Legacy, An Estate Planning Guide for Farmers and Ranchers
  • Agricultural Economic Development for the Hudson Valley
  • Drafting Conservation Easements for Agriculture

Jerry Cosgrove: Professional Dominance

Here are a few fun facts about Cosgrove:

  • He loves bluegrass music.

You can hear him blasting Tim O’Brien, Claire Lynch or Alison Krauss on any given day. Cosgrove tries to attend at least one outdoor festival annually. Locally, his favorite is Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival inHudsonValley. But the one that left a big impression was the Telluride Bluegrass Festival inColorado. “Thought I had died and gone to bluegrass heaven,” Cosgrove said.

  • He is a reader.

Jerry Cosgrove’s favorite authors are Anne Tyler and Richard Russo. In fact, he has read almost everything they’ve ever published. Wonder if you might like them too? Here is some more information on the two authors Cosgrove can’t get enough of:

Anne Tyler – A graduate of DukeUniversity, Tylerwon a Pulitzer Prize for her 11th novel, Breathing Lessons. Another novel, The Accidental Tourist, received the National Book Critics Award and turned into a movie. Tyler has edited anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories 1983 and Best of the South. AMaryland resident, Tyler has two daughters with her late husband, author Taghi Mohammad Modarressi.

Richard Russo – Born in Johnstown, N.Y., Russo received a doctorate from the Universityof Arizona. He was a teacher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale when his first book, Mohawk, came out. Russo’s 2001 novel, Empire Falls, earned a Pulitzer Prize. Russo has also dabbled in film projects, such as Twilight (1998), Ice Harvest (2005) and Keeping Mum (2005). Russo currently lives inCamden,Maine.

  • He is a lifelong member of the New York Holstein Association.

The NYHA promotes the Holsteinbreed for “the economic and social benefit of juniors and seniors.” Members can market cattle, meet other breeders and make new friends. Also, they get access to New York Holstein News and discounted rates to other publications. For more information, visit or email

  • His brother, Mike, operates the family farm

Cosgrove is not as involved in the family business anymore, but his brother sure is. Mike Cosgrove manages the family farm, and recently, purchased a young cow with Jerry Cosgrove. So in a sense, the two brothers are still in business together.

Jerry Cosgrove has delved into all aspects of the agricultural and conservation spectrum. His passion in environmental issues started young and continued to grow. Author Jerry Cosgrove is a professional writer, has given presentations and worked for many noteworthy organizations. Nowadays, environmental expert Jerry Cosgrove enjoys helping businesses and groups fulfill their goals.

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