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Rockefeller patriarch plans organic farm

(Monday, Dec. 23, 2002 -- CropChoice news) -- Reuters, 12/22/02--POCANTICO HILLS, N.Y. - The patriarch of the Rockefeller family is planning to build a nonprofit organic farm and education center devoted to agriculture on his sprawling estate.

David Rockefeller, 87, grandson of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller Sr., said he also plans to construct a catering hall, cafe, offices and an organic restaurant, The New York Times reported Sunday. A hotel and spa would be built on a separate parcel near the restaurant under Rockefeller's proposal.

Rockefeller, who is donating the roughly $28 million needed for the complex in Westchester County, said he wanted the project to honor his late wife, Margaret, who raised prize-winning cattle on the family estate.

Several members of the Rockefeller family who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Times they opposed certain elements of the proposed organic farm complex, including the plan to build a hotel along the road leading into the family's shared estate.