WE ARE ALL
FRIENDS OF THE FARMER
The Fabulous Beekman Boys hosted the first Friends of the Farmer Hudson Valley Food Lovers Festival launched on a gorgeous, sunny, summer day in Columbia County NY and 1500 turned up to connect to seed and soil!
The Festival’s inaugural events included the Hootenanny! Farm Fresh Fundraiser Dinner and Friends of the Farmer Hudson Valley Food Lovers Festival, both held lakeside at Copake Country Club in June/July 2011.
Chef Mark Straussman (Freds at Barney’s New York) and Chef Glenn Strickling (The Greens) created the Hootenanny! farm-centric menu sourced within 5 miles of the plate using ingredients from 20 local farms and 10 local food artisans with the Fabulous Beekman Boys lending their first season’s BLAAK cheese, one of their own “Beekman 1802″ artisanal selections for the Hudson Valley cheese course.
A gathering that bridged rural and urban populations and created one conversation about farm to YOUR table, the Friends of the Farmer Festival engaged communities to encourage commerce from local food sources and family farms to support health and wellness.
In 2011 FarmOn! announced it’s philanthropic partner – Cornell Cooperative Extension, who together with QuestarIII and Taconic Central School District created and funded “Camp FarmOn!” a youth education program that fosters the entrepreneurial spirit in agriculture.
The first of the FarmOn! Educational focused experiences, the summer enrichment camp focused on inspiring succession through generations by sustaining profitability in agriculturally based ventures and offering credentials and a “shark tank” for students to pitch.
Local food vendors, music and libations were served and the Farmer was celebrated as the REAL celebrity in food – a rock solid star we can all count on to work hard to feed us well. The evening concluded with a bonfire and ice cream sundae bar presented by Ronnybrook Dairy. Funds and awareness were raised. a tradition that has continued every year since.