The NNY Regional Local Foods Initiative officially started October 1st 2008.
Alongside of providing an online version of my calendar for Dave, Dick and Carl to be able to view at anytime, I have created this blog to provide regular updates along the way of progress made or activities undertaken.
Additionally, any members of this group can also post to this blog if they are so inclined.
October 1, Local radio spot on WICY 1490 — spot featured a seasonal discussion of the farmers markets that are still open for business as well as reminding folks to look for Adirondack Harvest Logo, 36-plant code on their milk and the Pride of NY logo to be able to identify the products that are grown, raised, and processed in the NNY region and NY state.
Attended Chamber meeting–October 2nd, their annual meeting is slated for October 16th and will be featuring local foods for the dinner.
In the afternoon, October 2nd met with Carl & Dave regarding the detailed work plan for this project. I will have the first draft completed and sent to them before Tuesday, October 7th.
Friday, October 3rd was spent on Franklin County and other responsibilities. Staff meeting and I prepped for a talk I am giving in at the NE Ag Inservice October 23rd on Small Farms–Resources and what we are doing here in NYS with small farms.
Monday, October 6th — Morning was spent on answering local queries for information via phone and email. A beginning farmer I worked with on the New Strategies Project will be holding their customer appreciation day on Saturday October 11th. Three years ago, Todd & Michelle took the beginning farmer class we held and then worked with myself on their farm plan. This year they are celebrating their success by inviting their over 200 customers to come to the farm for a day of good food, great conversation and being able to see how Harmony Hills Farmstead raises the products they have for sale.
Afternoon: Adirondack Harvest BOD — gave update from Franklin County chapter, activities that have taken place around local food and promoting buying local since our last meeting. At this meeting I outlined to the group the NNY Regional Local Foods Initiative. We have implemented a regular structure to update this group on the progress of this project.
Worked on the POW for this project for rest of afternoon (about 2 hours)
Tuesday, October 7th — AM worked on the NH talk as well as started to prep for the presentation I will be giving in Flordia at the UEDA conference with Rod Howe in November on the project that Katherine Lang coordinated last year. The audience for this talk is economic developers, our core message is how they can use ag economic develop and the agricultural industry as a vehicle for community economic development. We will be sharing the results of the NCRFI at this conference.
PM- I was involved in the Beginning Farmer Leadership Team Conference call for a couple of hours. Then completed first draft of the POW for this project and sent it out to Carl & Dave for their review.
October 8-10, I was at the NYSACAA Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conference in the Capital District. As regional director on this board I serve as a conduit of information for the educators in this region. Updated that group on the professional development opportunities we have been able to provide through the support of our regional ag programing and my role as NNY Director of NYSACAA in NNY.
October 11th — Attended Customer Appreciation Day at Harmony Hills Farmstead. Todd & Michelle Asselin took beginning farmer course we offered in the region three years ago. They also were a case study farm with the New Strategies project, and have completed their farm plan. They began raising beef, pork, poultry for meat as well as have laying hens. Each year, the Asselins have added to the number of products they offer for sale. The first year, they only had sales directly from the farm, they had 89 customers that first year. This year they attended the Keene Farmers Market and continue to expand their customer base to over 200. Since May they have sold 14 hogs by the piece either direct from the farm or via the farmers market. This Saturday event was their way to open their farm to their customers. Michelle & Todd roasted a pig and friends, neighbors and customers brought the side dishes. There were wagon rides, pumpkin painting, tractor tires with sawdust for kids to play in. A mini-farmers market, music and of course great food. I was on hand to talk with customers about agriculture in the area and answer any questions about the farm when Michelle or Todd were busy elsewhere. We ended the day around the campfire enjoying great conversation after a long day.
October 13th — office closed in observance of Columbus Day
October 14-15–Ag Summit III, Alexandria Bay
October 16th–main part of the day spent in the morning catching up on correspondence and queries that piled up during my absence. In the afternoon, met with Carl & Dave regarding the POW for this project and revisions needed. Second draft will be sent to Carl & Dave by the end of the day on Tuesday of next week.
Evening: attending the Malone Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner, received award as “Director of the Year” for work with the Chamber as well as efforts in getting more people to utilize local food and increasing the awareness of local food.
October 17th–AM (created this blog), also sent out packets for Team Conveners on information from NYSACAA AM/PIC last week, rest of day working on Ag News articles, NH speech and UEDA presentation.
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