Meet Your Farmer: Get your FarmOn! and Hoot!

We are more alike than different, my friend Paula always reminds me — we all have to eat!


It’s one of those things you cannot digitalize — and it’s probably one of the most important things you do after breathing and sleeping — both of which are free.


Eating is beyond vital. It is a pleasure and social event, and most of all, it impacts the economies of rural America. It runs communities and people and money every time we take a bite.


The connection we have to food changes the way we live, our choices in health, activity and lifestyle.


My name is Tessa Edick and I eat. I opted out of processed food and invested in my community.


I started a good food business two decades ago and chose to buy tomatoes in volume to make pasta sauce not from a can, but from family farms.


No, I didn’t maximize margin doing that, but I shifted rural economies and gave us all a pasta sauce product with nutrient density. It was fresh and it tasted better, too.


This is my mission today, which stems from that idea — expanded on my farming background to change the way you eat — by bringing awareness to what you eat, who makes it, how and why and more importantly, support the very thing that connects us all to seed and soil and the soul of farming — the people that make your food.


Everything you ever need to know, you learn on a farm. It’s meaningful. It’s rewarding. And most of all, it’s delicious.


Every kid in America should serve on a farm. This isn’t disruption — it’s vital for the next generation to feed us and revitalize a respect for farming, which fills the succession gap in agriculture and rebuilds rural America connecting one community, one local farm at a time.


On Saturday, with these guiding principles in mind, we will celebrate local agriculture, eat and thank our farmers. And we thank you, too — our community who support them in all the ways we do by eating locally sourced responsibly grown food.


We thank the wind, the bees, the rain and the butterflies. We thank parents and children and educators, too. We thank our elected officials and local businesses and supporters of the HOOT! From SUNY and Cornell University, to Google Farm to Table, Harney & Sons, Dandelion Geo & Herrington Fuel, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Local Economies Project and Mazzone Hospitality. And, of course, Chef Brennan!


But most of all, we raise a glass to support our rich agricultural community and honor the noble profession of farming and inspiring and raising the next generation to do the same.


FarmOn! exists to bring awareness and bridge the gap between succession at family farms, and we need your support to inspire youth to connect to food and foster the entrepreneurial spirit connecting rural and urban marketplaces for a stronger and healthier America.


Join us Saturday, July 29 at historic Empire Farm from 6-8 p.m. or linger longer and learn how eating makes a difference in our schools, on our farms and with our community at a benefit dinner hosted with Roundhouse by Terrance Brennan, and shake the hands that feed you with food sourced in 5-mile radius from your plate.


We need volunteers. We need your support, and tickets are available. Join us Saturday at Empire Farm in Copake and eat to give back while get your FarmOn!, too. Because it matters. HOOT!


And remember… if you ate today, thank a farmer.

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