Friday, September 21, 2012

Introducing the New Farm to Market Manager: Sonia Janiszewski

Sonia at home with Lois,
one of her two overly affectionate hens.
Today, I am writing to introduce myself as the new Farm to Market Manager with the Watershed Agricultural Council. Challey and I worked together for the past couple of years, and I look forward to carrying forward the great work she initiated with a new passion and commitment to serve our region’s community of farmers, entrepreneurs, advocates and eaters!

Over sixty years ago, my family joined the farming community in Delaware County. My grandparents, a young couple with two small children, bought a dairy farm on Elk Creek Road. This farm was their American dream:  a place to raise their family, earn a living and grow old. My grandmother still recounts the day they arrived on the farm, not sure exactly what they were doing but determined to make a good life of it. Their hopes and dreams reflect those of many existing farmers committed to keeping the family farm and of new farmers looking for a different quality of life, one from which they can sustain their families and become part of a like-minded community.

With a background in marketing and communications, and a passion for agricultural economic development and local food systems, I will lead the Pure Catskills buy local campaign and continue the Council’s efforts to provide production and marketing education of local farm products; offer regional technical assistance; and support a new economic viability initiative to enhance the campaign through the development of an online marketplace.

Personally and professionally, I am committed to enabling the economic viability of Catskills agriculture for future generations of my family, my neighbors’ families, and our communities.

I look forward to working with you towards this goal! Please feel free to contact me with questions or ideas at or 607-865-7090, extension 217.