Jul 19 2014
2014-07-19 Main Street Magazine
the farm on! foundation FUNDRAISING WITH FARMERS & FOR FUTURE FARMERS By Thorunn Kristjansdottir firstname.lastname@example.org Many of you may perhaps consider yourself a selfproclaimed food lover, and if you are, take note: here’s a festival for you. And if you consider yourself a friend to the local farmers, well, this festival is for you, too! The Friends of the Farmer Hudson Valley Food Lover’s Festival is a celebration of local farming and community that raises funds and awareness for the Farm On! Foundation, fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of youth in agriculture in the Hudson Valley. This year’s festival will take place over two days, July 19th and 20th at the Copake Country Club. What is the festival all about? Tessa Edick is the founder of both Farm On! and the festival, and she is a food entrepreneur having launched many food products. Along with some celebrity chefs they realized that farmers are the real celebrities and they wanted to celebrate the farmers, bringing economic development to their hard work that feed us so well. She visited many local farms and ended up starting a festival that brought the farmer and local consumer together to a table so a dialogue could begin about who makes your food and how. The foundation is the philanthropy of Tessa’s food launch business, CulinaryPartnership.com. But now she’s got a great and expansive team involved with her: people, places, businesses and farms related to food and farming with a focus on local. The festival that will take place this July is the third annual festival and Hootenanny Farm Fresh the farm on! foundation FUNDRAISING WITH FARMERS & FOR FUTURE FARMERS Fundraiser dinner with host chef Zakary Pelaccio of Fish & Game in Hudson. Lukas Nelson & P.O.T.R. will be the headlining music ensemble – From FarmAid to Farm On – this is the story of succession and the future of farming. Plus we all get to come together, meet our farmers, and celebrate with them while showing them our support! There’s more to this than just a party! The Farm On! Foundation is fostering the entrepreneurial spirit of youth in agriculture. They started with a summer camp. In it’s second year, Camp Farm On! will sponsor 20 students July 8-12 in a one week summer camp where kids visit local farms and ag related businesses to formulate a profitable solution and pitch their ideas in teams to a shark tank – real live venture capitalists with notable investors and celebrities. In development is coursework and accredited curriculum in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill, Questar III and AdultEd, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4H and Taconic Hills High School for pilot programs. “We want kids participating in Camp Farm On! to know farming is not only cool, it can be a highly profitable business. Paring agriculture with an ROI business mentality makes for viable livelihoods and gives the next generation of farmers the tools to succeed today. Only then can we talk about succession and the future of farming,” said Tessa. What’s a starmer? The first festival was inspired to celebrate the farmer as the real celebrity – the starmer. The first festival started at the same time as the Farm On! Foundation was established. It’s about the future of farming – raising your replacement and the story of succession. Farmers are 60 years old, if the collective “we” don’t bring awareness to our food choices and sources – which is what they do at the festival – how will the farmers sustain profitability and their children maintain viable livelihoods at family farms? Therefore one of the main goals of the festival is to bring awareness and appreciation for the farmers. “Experience meeting your local farmer to change the way you eat. Understand where your food comes from – who makes it and nutrition density will make you look and feel great. Opt out of processed food. We cannot fix our broken food system we trusted to feed us well – we can only teach the youth honest food and responsible eating. Keep our local community going!” exclaimed founder Tessa Edick. Tessa continued by explaining the details of the foundation and festival: “The Farm On! Foundation funds Camp Farm On!, Taconic Hills Harvest Club, Courses and Farm Tours at CLC Town summer camps. By attending the festival and the Hootenanny you support the Farm On! Foundation. Sponsors and patrons also generously donate. And we greatly appreciate everyone’s support.” What does the future hold for Farm On!? What’s next on the horizon? Tessa answered that easily and simply stated, “To change the way we eat, meet your farmer and inspire students to opt out of processed food. The next move is to build course work and curriculum that will hopefully get accredited for our camp. Our dream would be to own a working farm as our educational site. It would be our foundation for a working classroom that includes teaching everything from planting to ownership of a small business and everything in between.” “I’d like to take a moment to give a special thanks to our great sponsors: Whole Foods, John Varvatos, Copake Country Club, Dodge Ram, Specialty Food Trade, Maple Hill Creamery, Ginsberg’s, Chobani, BluHomes, Farm 2 Consumer, Harney & Sons, and all of our other fabulous sponsors plus the support of Zak Pellacio and Lukas Nelson. And of course this couldn’t happen without our amazing farmers!” exclaimed Edick. A few more details about the event As Farm On’s! press release states: For the third consecutive year, Farm On! Friends of the Farmer Festival is organizing two fundraising events at Columbia County’s Copake Country Club. The first, is the July 19th’s ‘Hootenanny!’ with host chef Zak Pelaccio (who’s newly opened Fish & Game is committed to serving local and foraged ingredients) who will carve a lamb spit-roast, in addition a local farmer and his wife being seated at each table, giving guests a first hand experience meeting the people who make their food. The ‘Hootenanny’ will be held lakeside at Copake Club Golf from 6-11pm, which will include a Hudson Valley cheese course, golf cart drive-in movie sponsored by Whole Foods. The 2013 Friends of the Farmer Festival’s music and stage will be sponsored by John Varvatos, who will be joining us at the festival and feature a performance by Lukas Nelson & P.O.T.R. The festival is designed to engage the community with experiences in local food, meet your farmer opportunities, a farmer’s market and vendors with local libations. There will also be a wide range of kid-friendly activities including a baby petting zoo, pony rides and more. In addition a “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere Barn to Belly – Meet your Farmer Mixer,” that kicks off a Q+A celebrating the farmer as the real food celebrity under the summer sun, lakeside at the Copake Country Club – the heartland of agriculture. Copake Country Club is located at 44 Golf Course Road, Craryville, NY 12521 overlooking Copake Lake between Catskill and Berkshire Mountains. For more information about the events, directions and to purchase tickets, go to www.FriendsoftheFarmer.com or call 917-722-2438.
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