Farmers from across the region recently attended the Annual Hobart Rotary Farmers’ Lunch and Growing Markets 2014 Conference to learn about trends in sales and marketing their products as well as to network with fellow farmers and agencies from the food and farming community.
The Hobart Rotary Farmers’ Lunch is a tradition dating way back in the Club’s history and was created to celebrate the local farmers and related agriculture businesses. Recently the Hobart Rotary Club has expanded this program to serve the wider area and to bring together both traditional farmers and new farmers to the area who are exploring opportunities and sales channels for their products.
The lunch was prepared by Hannah Hauser and featured onion soup, vegetarian chili, shepherd’s pie, and many other delicious homemade offerings. Dessert was a maple cheesecake from Buck Hill Farm in Jefferson. Food items we donated by Cowbella, Buck Hill Farm, Brovetto Farm, and Weinland Farm, making the meal a very local experience. Stamford Farmers’ Coop provided a gift certificate as a door prize.
The program featured two panels and a keynote speaker. The first panel spoke on the opportunity for regional ag-tourism and included Diane Francis, Owner, La Basse Cour, Dave Holscher, Owner, Roxbury Mountain Maple, Kate Marsiglio, Owners, Stony Creek Farmstead and Beth McKellips, Farm to Market Manager. Watershed Agricultural Council. The second panel discussed the role of ecommerce and the modern farm and featured Maureen Blanchard, with Schoharie Fresh, Jason Evans, Assistant Professor of Agriculture Business Management, SUNY Cobleskill (also with Schoharie Fresh), Aaron Grosbard, COO & Co-Founder, Farmers Web, and Heather Magnan, Graphic Artist, Catskill Creative.
The keynote was titled Farming for the Social Good and was presented by Anthony Lambrecht, Assistant Farm Manager, Patroon Land Farm, a self-sustaining educational farm that grows large quantities of high quality vegetables every year. Patroon Land Farm supplies the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern NY and its participating agencies with diverse, fresh produce.
Co-hosted by the Food and Health Network of South Central NY and with support from Pure Catskills, Farm Catskills, CADE, and with sponsorship from the NBT Bank of Hobart, the event was a huge success.
[Note: Anthony Lambrecht, the Assistant Farm Manager of the Patroon Land Farm, is also a student at SUNY Cobleskill in Agricultural Business.]