Pure Catskills members receive support for business development through our Education Scholarship Program. Sarah Budde from Majestic Farm in Mountaindale recently attended a conference with her husband Brett as part of the program. She shares a report on their trip here!
Sarah in the fields at Majestic Farm.
The Young Farmers Conference was a two day conference held at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Tarrytown NY. The conference ranged in subject matter from integrated pasture management and technical aspects of farming to government policy to work songs. It included over fifty workshops. In addition to the workshops the conference offered keynote talks from farm heavyweights such as Bill Niman and Dan Barber. Attendees of the conference ranged from college students enthusiastic about permaculture and biodynamic farming to seasoned farmers looking to connect with contemporary practice. Mostly it was a young, progressive crowd of excited young farmers with a couple more or couple less years experience than us.
Together Brett and I covered about fourteen courses in all. These courses were informative and inspiring. After each course we would get together and giddily discuss what new facts we had found out, what type of information the presenters were giving and what new practices we may translate to our own farm. Particularly of interest at the conference was Stone Barns own practice of raising pigs in forestland. We spent time during the social hours seeking out various young farmers who were doing similar things as well as meat producers and packagers, USDA officials and restaurateurs. The conference further encouraged our own aspirations to put in a 20-C kitchen, add hoop houses and diversify our current operation. We received literature on organizations we intend on joining and future workshops and conferences we hope to enjoy.