HUDSON — On one of the final brisk mornings of September, members of the Leadership Hudson Class of 2018 convened on the city’s central green. 

They met at the spot where they had spent most of the summer selling copies of the Hudson Farmers Market Cookbook that they had compiled earlier in the year, and which many community members now possess. Now that the farmers market season was nearing a close, however, they had come for a different reason. 

This week, they began the final phase of their project — donating all proceeds from cookbook sales to charitable causes in Hudson and the surrounding area.

The first donation of $6,000 was presented to members of the Hudson Farmers Market board that morning. The donation will help fund the new Hudson Farmers Market Scholarship for students studying agriculture. Details on the scholarship are available at www.hudsonfarmersmarket.org/. 

The rights to reproduce the cookbook were also transferred to the Hudson Farmers Market board, allowing them to continue selling the popular book in future years.

"We were drawn to the Hudson Farmers Market Scholarship project because it promises to create a long-term value for students in our community," said M.J. Lehman, a member of the Leadership Hudson Class of 2018. "We decided to donate any remaining books at the end of the year and future publishing rights to create sustained value for the scholarship program."

The donation to the Hudson Farmers Market scholarship fund was the first of several the Leadership Hudson Class of 2018 plans to make. 

"We plan to donate to a range of causes here in the community," said Erika Federmann, another member of the now-graduated Leadership Hudson class. "There are many organizations already doing great work in and around Hudson, and we felt strongly that enabling them to continue their efforts signified the best use of the funds we raised. We’re thankful to all of the sponsoring organizations and community members that invested in the cookbooks — we couldn’t have done this without them."

The Leadership Hudson Class of 2018 anticipates making the next round of donations in the coming months once the last of the cookbooks have been sold. More details about the receiving organizations and donation amounts will be announced at that time.

Those interested in purchasing one of the remaining printed copies of the Hudson Farmers Market Cookbook can still find the books available at the Learned Owl Bookstore, at Destination Hudson, at Vignettes and in limited quantity at other local businesses. They have proven to be not only a popular Hudson-themed gift for professional clients, but have also often served as wedding or shower keepsake gifts.

Leadership Hudson is a nine-month program that introduces participants to Hudson, to business and to community leaders with the goal that at the program conclusion, participants will serve Hudson in future leadership positions. In addition to valuable networking and leadership development opportunities, the program also promotes each class to develop its own unique project that will economically or educationally benefit the wider Hudson community. 

For more information or to apply for membership in a future Leadership Hudson class, visit www.leadershiphudson.com. The Hudson Farmers Market has more than 35 vendors whose businesses are within a 100-mile radius of Hudson. For more information, visit www.hudsonfarmersmarket.org.