Our Programs

FarmOn! Foundation is a non-profit organization and public charity that creates and funds youth educational programming and is working to preserve family farming in America.

Hootenanny 2014

Our Work Changes the way America Eats and Farms

The oldest honorable profession, farming, needs to be re-established for our health, our children, and the economy of our local communities. Only when the costs of trucking, storage and distribution is redirected to the local farmer, will farming once again become a profitable business and thus attract future generations of farmers.

This starts with a collective conscious effort and your help to support our youth educational programs.

Lend your support to our important work. Donate today!

Donate online via PayPal

Fill out a Donation Card: Download here!

Hootenanny 2014

FarmOn! Milk Money – Local Milk Initiative

Our work begins with 5¢ more, per kid, per meal, per day in school lunchrooms, for milk. Support our important work through corporate sponsorships, donations or attendance at what NY Times calls “The best events in the Hudson Valley.

Hootenanny 2014

Better Food Makes Lunchrooms Smarter

FarmOn! #MilkMoney is a program that provides financial and technical assistance to schools interested in procuring local milk for their lunchrooms through a FarmOn! Foundation partnership with Hudson Valley Fresh Dairy Farms. Cow-to-Kid in 36 hours with quality fresh milk means nutrient dense consumption so that kids will focus on learning, not eating.

Local Beef is Better!

FarmOn! provides grants to schools interested in trying Slope Farm to School ground beef in their lunchrooms. Slope Farm to School provides New York certified ground beef: 100% beef from cull dairy cows both antibiotic and growth hormone free, raised and butchered in New York State.

To inquire how your school can be a part of these programs, contact:

Hootenanny 2014
Hootenanny 2014

2017 Camp FarmOn! Application: Click Here!

Camp FarmOn! at Empire Farm

Camp FarmOn! is an Entrepreneurial Agriculture Youth Initiative as a summer learning opportunity for youth residing in the Hudson Valley Region and nearby communities. It is an innovative summer camp model blending the format of two popular television shows, “The Voice” and “Shark Tank,” to foster the development of young entrepreneurs for the agriculture industry. Our goal is to replicate a highly effective program model, initially piloted during the summer of 2012, as a part of a broader regional effort to build a talent pipeline for the local food system. A modified version of the camp ran in the fall of 2013 as “Camp FarmOn! Harvest,” and again in 2014 as an enrichment summer camp with local school districts. This is a program model that can easily be replicated in other locales throughout the state and the country. Hootenanny 2014
Camp FarmOn! will run for five consecutive days this summer: August 7th through August 11th, 2017 from 9am – 5pm each day. A pre-orientation night will be held on Thursday, August 3rd from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. The camp will have a total enrollment of 20 students entering grades 8-11.
Students will visit local farms and “value-added” food businesses who support local farms. They will develop 21st century employment skills through adventure-based training, while learning the basics of agriculture and business start-up from project staff. Students will be assigned to a team and a “coach”—a successful entrepreneur. Each team will develop a product or service that focuses on an overall single goal: Sustaining Profitability. The student team concept must prove it can generate additional revenue for a local farm. The program culminates with each team of students pitching their idea to a panel of “sharks”—successful men and women who will act as “venture capitalists” and “invest” in any viable business presented to them by each team on the final day. This will foster the entrepreneurial spirit for youth in agriculture and make them comfortable with business concepts and the pitch process through first-hand experience. Hootenanny 2014
Camp FarmOn! is made possible in part by scholarship funding from the FarmOn! Foundation with technical assistance provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene counties and the Taconic Hills Central School District. Scholarships locally and paid attendance are accepted for students entering grades 8, 9, 10, and 11.
Limited space is available!
For an application Click Here
If you have any inquires, email:

In the Cafeteria

Education starts in the lunchroom. You can’t learn if you’re hungry. And you won’t perform your best if your body isn’t given the best fuel. By teaching kids the importance of eating nutrient-dense whole foods from local farms, they will learn to make healthier food choices and grow up to become healthy, food-literate adults.

FarmOn! offers the following programs and technical assistance to school food service directors who want to jump start a new farm-to-school initiative or enhance an existing one…

  • Milk Money Program
  • Local Better Beef Program
  • Harvest of the Month: A featured fruit or vegetable on the lunch menu 2-3 times a month, and a special taste test once a month with cooking, and farmer visits to the lunchroom
  • Smarter Lunchroom cafeteria overhaul and funding

Curriculum Connections in the Garden and the Classroom

In the school garden, kids take center stage. They engage in the science and excitement of hands-on planting, caring for, and harvesting food directly from the earth. With so many children disconnected from their food sources today, a school garden gives them the opportunity to see the whole picture of how food is produced from seed to plate. Studies show that children who grow their own food are more likely to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, or express a preference for these foods. Hootenanny 2014

FarmOn! Victory Garden Program

FarmOn! will fund the construction of edible gardens in your school district and provide educational resources as well as technical assistance to help you build a garden-based learning curriculum for your school. FarmOn! will provide visits from professional athletes to inspire and engage with your kids eating healthy food.
In order to change kids’ attitudes about eating fresh fruits and vegetables and see a change in behavior, instead of focusing on the cafeteria, the focus must be on the kids in the classroom with hands-on cooking. Studies show that kids who actively engage in cooking are more likely to try new foods. Instead of being told what to eat, kids are in charge and take ownership and pride in creating the dishes themselves. Hootenanny 2014

FarmOn! Chef in the Classroom Program

Hands-on cooking classes with professional chefs featuring a different locally sourced fruit or vegetable each month. To inquire how your school can participate in any of these programs contact Hootenanny 2014

AG in the Classroom

FarmOn! We look forward to working with your school! We offer a comprehensive resource for schools to promote student wellness by encouraging the use of fresh, local farm produce in the cafeteria, as well as offering classroom-based cooking classes with nutrition and food system education.


FarmOn! Victory Gardens at your School with Professional Athletes

A school garden is a key component of farm to school curriculum because it gives kids the opportunity to see the whole picture of how food is produced from seed to plate. With so many children disconnected from their food sources today, it is essential that children learn how plants grow and engage hands-on in the science and thrill of planting, caring for, and harvesting food directly from the earth.
School gardens offer opportunities to make learning fun and provide physical activity, while also serving as an important educational tool to help students understand how healthful food is produced.
A school garden is an outdoor living laboratory that can enrich classroom lessons in science, math, language arts, social studies, and the arts. Many schools that have gardens are incorporating garden based lessons into their common core curriculum. FarmOn! Foundation will work with you to plan and build or improve an existing garden on the school property. FarmOn! Victory Gardens are a way to engage the community and bring influencers to inspire kids to eat healthy. We work with many partners to make this possible. Academy
The USDA’s farm-to-school team has created free downloadable garden lesson plans for grades 3-6.
Resources, Lesson Plans, and Projects can be found here!To inquire how your school can join these programs, contact our Farm to School Program Director Sandy McKelvey:

Experiential Education

Thank you for your interest in the FarmOn! Foundation. Interns are at the heart of our mission. We offer a range of opportunities for students and young adults who wish to intern at Empire Farm. Hours and focus vary. Please fill out the application below to apply to our programs. We will contact you for an interview.

We appreciate your interest in our work and look forward to speaking with you soon!
All applicants must answer all of the questions. Failure to answer honestly will disqualify the applicant from service as an intern with our organization.

Download our Intern Application: Click Here!


Everything You Ever Need to Know,
You Learn at the Farm

Learn about the business of food at FarmOn! at Empire Farm Ag-Academy
Fostering Entrepreneurial ideas and Viable Livelihoods For Youth in Ag through project-based learning
FarmOn! Foundation is building a community center on a 220 acre working farm in New York’s Hudson Valley dedicated to educating the next generation in the art of sustainable farming and the business of food.
Young people are more and more aware of the importance of their food choices, which has reignited and interest in farming.

Hootenanny 2014
In order to maintain that interest, these young entrepreneurs need to understand how they can make a living in agriculture and sustain profitability. That is where FarmOn! Foundation will make a critical difference by reversing the trend of Agribusiness back to re-establishing economically and environmentally sustainable family farm operations and building robust local economies to preserve farming in America. That starts with our youth.
Each year, we welcome 4-8 aspiring entrepreneurs, students ages 17-20, who want hands-on training in the business of food to learn ecological farming practices focused on profitability and viable livelihoods in agriculture.
Apply to our Apprentice program today!

For interests in scholarships or to apprentice at a family farm contact Tara:

Hootenanny 2014

Our Important Work Depends on Your Support

We inspire you to FarmOn! Engage, connect, and experience life through food at Empire Farm.

“There is a harmonic convergence in the Hudson Valley now, people that really understand the big picture of edible education like Tessa (Founder of FarmOn! Foundation) and the wonderful farmers she has working with her.”

–Alice Waters, American chef, restaurateur, and author – Owner of Chez Panisse, a Berkeley, California restaurant famous for its organic, locally-grown ingredients and for pioneering California cuisine and edible education with Edible Schoolyard

Hootenanny 2014

Spend Where you Eat

Every dollar spent at independent businesses returns 7 times more money to the local economy than one spent at a national chain or franchise. FarmOn! Foundation events and programming educates consumers about local economic benefits gained from consuming locally grown and produced food products. We provide consumers with endless opportunities to invest with their appetites for the benefit of community building, commerce, nutrition and the future of farming. Hootenanny 2014
Our programs are presented with generous support from:

Hootenanny 2014