Wednesday, February 23rd
8:00 AM – 8:30 AM
Adirondack Food System Network Welcome Session
Welcome to the 5th Annual Food Justice Summit, feed back: meeting in the middle! Join us, as we kick-off the Summit with a brief overview of the Adirondack Food System Network and the work of its members to address food security, equity, farmer resiliency, and much more. This session will help us set the stage for our expansive line of presenters and provide context for the work of the Food Systems Network and food related matters throughout the North Country region.
Josh Stephani, Co-Chair of the Adirondack Food System Network
Josh is the Community Health Manager at Comfort Food Community of Washington County and the current co-chair of the Adirondack Food System Network Steering Committee. Through his work, he designs and implements Food As Health, produce prescription, and food access programs across three counties in New York.
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
We are facing a global climate crisis. Agriculture and food production have contributed to this problem, but they can also play a significant role in the solution. In this keynote, Anastasia Volkova, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of Regrow Ag, will discuss how to adjust common agricultural practices to mitigate climate change, and why it’s up to us — across all aspects of the food system — to make sustainable agriculture ubiquitous and accessible for all.
Anastasia Volkova, PhD, CEO and Co-Founder of Regrow Ag
Dr. Anastasia Volkova is a TEDx Speaker, MIT 35 Under 35 Innovator, and Amelia Earhart Fellow. In 2016, she founded FluroSat, an agritech company to offer next-generation decision support and monitoring systems for farmers and their advisors. FluroSat has gone through a transformational journey of commercializing agricultural science, attracting leading investors (Microsoft M12, AirTree, Space Angels), and scaling into the global market. In 2021, FluroSat acquired soil health leading startup Dagan to form Regrow – a company with a broader mandate to help holistically rejuvenate the potential of agricultural soils and drive the transition to resilient agriculture globally.
Dr. Volkova’s passion is to make science-based agronomy and sustainable crop management an industry standard and to foster close collaborations between industry and research. Most recently, Dr. Volkova has been included in the BBC 100 Women – a list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020.
12:00 PM – 12:30 AM
AFSN Lunch Discussion
Join us during your lunch for an informal networking opportunity with members of the Adirondack Food System Network, conference participants and presenters, and community members to discuss challenging issues facing our regional food system and strategize action for change. This is a great way to learn more about the work of the Food Systems Network and how you can get involved. Come to chat and hear from your community!
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Improving Food Security by Sparking a Composting Revolution in NY and Beyond
Soil productivity, and therefore soil fertility is essential for productive food systems. Additionally, producing food by lowering input costs helps farmers produce food more sustainably.
Creating and using biologically complete compost improves soil fertility and soil health. When farms produce more compost than is needed for their production systems then they can sell that compost, benefitting the surrounding community and creating another revenue stream for their farm.
Compared to other states there is a dearth of composting programs, composting knowledge, and compost markets. Compost for Good (CfG) is actively involved in changing that. Through numerous grants, CfG is helping entrepreneurs, farmers, communities, and organizations create or improve composting programs, and helping the create a manufacturing industry for creating novel in-vessel composters in Upstate NY and beyond.
Join us for a deep dive into how sparking a composting revolution in the North Country can significantly improve food security, create jobs, sustain farms, lower food production costs, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
John Culpepper, Compost for Good, AdkAction
For more than four decades, John Culpepper has worked in the fields of farming, sustainability, education, science, and facilities management. John is working to expand the suite of services that Compost for Good can offer, usually for free, to those in Upstate NY and beyond. The novel, inexpensive, open-sourced designed composting systems that CfG has developed are free and available to anyone and are now deployed in New York, New Jersey, Mexico, the Netherlands, and elsewhere.
Katie Culpepper, Compost for Good, AdkAction
With a background in farming and education, Katie co-founded Compost for Good to bring composting solutions to communities around the world. Her hope is that this compost work contributes to local resilience, soil health, community food production, and minimized landfilling. Katie has experience in farming and education in the Adirondacks. Katie holds a Master of Education with a concentration in Educating for Sustainability, which has bolstered her belief in the connection between healthy soils, resilient food systems, and vibrant communities. Through her work with Compost for Good, she recognizes the economic and environmental benefit of keeping food and other organic nutrients within our communities and is energized to work with farmers, consumers, builders, and composters to turn our waste stream into a resource stream.
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Using Cooperative Promotion to Strengthen Local Food System in the Adirondack Region
Adirondack Harvest was formed in 2001 by a group of farmers and community members with an understanding that to strengthen the local agricultural system in the Adirondacks, a professional cooperative marketing platform was needed, and it should reflect the collective vision of the many folks growing, making, and selling local food and agricultural products in the region. Today, thanks to recent grant funding, Adirondack Harvest is able to build on its mission of cooperative outreach using a comprehensive marketing and outreach strategy to better promote local agricultural businesses in the Adirondack region. The center of this effort is to increase the use of a comprehensive digital database, where people can find farms and small businesses. To do so, we identify and fill gaps in information, resources, and content to help guide and inspire action. This strategy is otherwise known as “content marketing”. This presentation will highlight specific action food systems advocates, communicators, and leaders can take to expand the impact of their work in food systems with cooperative outreach.
Mary Godnick, Adirondack Harvest and CCE Essex County
Mary Godnick (she/her) is a communications and outreach professional that has been living and working in the Adirondacks since 2016. Mary currently coordinates outreach for Adirondack Harvest, a non-profit organization that strives to improve the economic viability of farming in the Adirondack region and expanding access to local food. Mary has 10+ years of experience working for a variety of non-profit and for-profit businesses in New York State and abroad to create and manage digital marketing programs to expand visibility and inspire action to meet goals. Mary also grows a seasonal kitchen garden at a local cooperative farm, where she offers educational tours and community “you-pick” events.
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Emerging Opportunities to Maximize USDA Anti-Hunger Programs, From Local Outreach to Federal Advocacy
Join Hunger Solutions New York to learn about several emerging opportunities to expand access to USDA’s under-tapped nutrition assistance programs, including SNAP, WIC, school meals, summer meals, and child-care meal programs. We will share upcoming advocacy opportunities, including anti-hunger priorities for the next federal Farm Bill and Child Nutrition Reauthorization; new networks and strategies for connecting older adults with SNAP; new resources to help schools, child-care providers, and summer programs reach more children with healthy meals; local and statewide efforts to improve WIC participation, and more. Engage with peers in guided discussions to identify top priorities, challenges, and actionable strategies to leverage these emerging opportunities and expand food access in the North Country and beyond.
Krista Hesdorfer, Hunger Solutions New York
Krista Hesdorfer serves as a Child Nutrition Programs Specialist at Hunger Solutions New York. She is a resource for organizations, schools, and advocates to increase awareness of and participation in federal nutrition assistance programs. She conducts statewide outreach, provides technical assistance, and conducts administrative and legislative advocacy to protect and strengthen these programs.
Kayla Snyder, Hunger Solutions New York
Kayla Snyder serves as the Coordinator for the SNAP and Seniors Professional Network at Hunger Solutions New York. She coordinates all activities of the Network including member engagement, outreach, state, and local collaboration efforts, hosts informational events, and provides technical assistance to members when needed. She is an experienced human services professional with a decade of experience advocating for underserved populations in New York State.
Thursday, February 24th
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Equitable Financing of Local Food Systems: A Conversation about Access to Capital and Investment Opportunities
Our food system is complex; it starts with production and includes processing, distribution, consumption, and food waste management. The financing apparatus that serves this system needs strengthening. For instance, while small-scale food producers represent the foundation of this system, many of them have difficulty accessing capital needed to scale up for greater reach and profit. This is especially true for businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, as well as women. This session will introduce an exciting new initiative in the Adirondacks, explore the role of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in financing businesses that conventional banks typically will not support, and open a conversation about local needs and opportunities for capital and impact investing. In this session we hope to have a dialogue between those with insights into the financing needs of farmers and those with access to money to lend.
Adam Dewbury, ANCA
Adam has been involved with the production, processing, and distribution of local food since the late 1990s. In his role as Director of ANCA’s Local Food System Program, he is focused on helping small farms and food businesses access the financing and technical business support that they need to thrive. Adam is a founding member of the Adirondack Food System Network and leads the Food System Network’s production working group.
Michael Reilly, Foodshed Capital
Michael Reilly is co-founder and Executive Director of Foodshed Capital, a certified Community Development Financial Institution that provides flexible, low-cost capital to small-scale farms and food producers, prioritizing those owned by women and People of Color. Under Michael’s leadership, the organization has made 61 loans totaling $7,750,000 in its first three years. Prior to Foodshed Capital, Michael worked in the broadcast television and banking industries. He has a B.A. degree from Yale University and an M.S. from Columbia University
Bill Creighton, Adirondack Foundation
Bill is the Treasurer of the Adirondack Foundation and has a home on Lake George, where his great grandfather built the first family home in 1898. He is retired from his role as Vice-President of Finance, following a 35-year career with IBM. Bill was the coordinator of the Foundation’s recently completed study on place-based mission investing. He has a BA from Harvard University and an MBA from Stanford University.
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Farming Smarter, Not Harder for Increased Resilience
Have an allergic reaction to business? Want to work less and make more money? Wonder where all the money comes and goes? You can be the best marketer, grower, innovator, or hard worker, but if your farm doesn’t succeed financially, that all goes out the window.
Learn about your farm’s profit centers- which parts of your farm make the most money and which may lose money. Learn about efficient farm business analysis, and financial tips for success. Strong farm financials are key for resiliency.
Richard Wiswall, Cate Farm
Richard Wiswall is owner/operator of Cate Farm in East Montpelier, VT, where he has been farming organically for over 40 years. Known for his work on farm profitability and appropriate business tools, he has consulted with over 100 farmers in New England, helping them increase profitability and meet their long-term goals. Richard is author of The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook- A Complete guide to Managing Finances, Crops, and Staff- and Making a Profit, and facilitates workshops on farm business. To learn more about Richard and Cate Farm, visit www.catefarm.com.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Bringing Our Food System to Life Online
In 2021, the local foods department at the Extension Learning Farm connected with audiences in a variety of virtual ways. Flip will explain the planning and execution of shifting their seasonal cooking classes, Celebrating Local Food, from in-person to virtual. She will also share details of the livestream Fruition Local Food Showcase, that featured 3 farmers or food entrepreneurs each month for a live conversation. In all ventures there are lessons to be learned, and Flip will close out the session answering questions and reflecting on ways to improve the quality, accessibility, and interactivity of the programming.
M. (Maria) Flip Filippi, Extension Learning Farm
Flip Filippi is the Local Food Program Leader and Harvest Kitchen Manager at the Extension Learning Farm. She is dedicated to serving people all along the food chain: from businesses wanting to make food products for sale, to consumers eager to access foods produced in the region and gain the confidence to use them in their kitchens. She is a certified Master Food Preserver and loves to connect with others to discuss low-waste, full flavored, whole foods cooking.
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
AFSN Lunch Discussion
Join us for a farmer-focused informal lunch conversation today! Farmers are the foundation of the food system and have a great deal of knowledge and experience to share. Given the broad variety of Summit presentations, there will be much to discuss and review!
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Cultural Competency in Food Justice
Food sovereignty means understanding the community you are serving in all ways. Food is not only nourishment for the body, it is so much more. This session will explore ways to develop programming that acknowledges cultural and systemic reasons for lack of resources and how to address those issues with dignity and respect to the culture of the community.
Leisha McKinley-Barnett, Edible Schoolyard Project Stockton
Chef Liesha is from Oakland, CA, has a BS in Nutrition, and is an Educator and Business Owner.
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
The Many Wonders of Small Grains – A 40 Year Adventure
This workshop with cover many aspects of small grains (wheat, barley, oats, triticale, rye, spelt). From planting and growing, to harvesting, grazing, eating, cover-cropping, and distilling, there is no better way to improve soil health, farm profitability, human diets, animal nutrition, and quality of life. From seed to mouth, we will attempt to cover it all including delicious recipes and fun stories.
Mary-Howell Martens, Lakeview Organic Grain
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Fair Food Pricing: Equity in Access
AdkAction’s Fair Food Pricing program is working towards a future in which Adirondack farmers can feed the region, and local families have affordable access to local food. The program overcomes the food access barriers of affordability and proximity, seeks to encourage environmentally beneficial food production practices, and is driving innovation at the nexus of food production and food assistance.
In the first year of the Fair Food Pricing program pilot, AdkAction enrolled more than 200 participants and provided more than $40,000 in local foods subsidies, helping participants purchase over $130,000 worth of food from more than 20 farmers and vendors in the program. AdkAction also piloted a Fair Share program, fully subsidizing Community Supported Agriculture farm shares for 23 families for 20 weeks. In 2022, AdkAction aims to digitize the subsidy program, reach 1,000 participating households, and scale the Fair Shares to 100 farm shares.
Following a brief overview of the Fair Food program, AdkAction will moderate a panel of both growers and consumers who have participated in this pilot year. The session will be dialogue-focused to explore ways to increase food access in our local system and ways partners, farmers, and consumers can participate.
Kim La Reau, AdkAction
Kim La Reau is AdkAction’s first Food Security Project Manager, a newly funded position to lead the Fair Food Pricing, Fair Share, and Farmacy programs. She works directly with both farm partners in the region and with participants in the program. Prior to her current role, Kim launched an immigrant services program at JCEO of Clinton & Franklin Counties, helping connect new Americans with community services. Kim was born and raised in the North Country.
Jess Bouharevich, White Rainbow Regenerative Yoga Farm
Adam Reed, Tangleroot Farm
Theresa Goheens, White Rainbow Fair Share Participant