Farm to Chef Workshop Offered at Feb. 22 Farming Conference

The Farm to Chef model is thriving, and diners love it. But for farmer and chef, it takes a lot of back-and-forth to build a productive relationship. A workshop called Farm to Chef Success, which will flesh out some of these considerations, will be offered at the Farming Our Future conference this Saturday in Craryville. The full schedule of workshops can be found on the conference website:

Panel members include Chef Hugh Horner, The Restaurant at Helsinki Hudson, Chef Serge Madikians, Serevan Restaurant, Proprietor Nancy Thomas, Mezze Bistro + Bar and Allium Bistro + Bar, Katie Bogdanffy – Third generation farmer and founder of Yellow Bell Farm and will be moderated by Ginsberg’s VP of Operations, John Brusie.

They will explore issues like what chefs and owners want and what farmers can realistically provide. With each starting from a very different place, with their unique challenges, how can chefs and farmers make that kind of partnership work? And does what chefs ask for dictate what farmers grow, and therefore what’s available for us to buy?

Conference co-chair Steve Hadcock of Cornell Cooperative Extension says “This is a workshop designed for farmers who want to sell to restaurants, chefs who want more local menu options, and restaurateurs who want to showcase local farm connections. And of course for foodies who want to know how it all happens.”

The third-annual Farming Our Future conference, at 9am on Saturday, February 22nd, will bring together a diverse audience from the community, including established farmers, beginning farmers, interested non-farmers, suppliers, educators, community leaders, industry leaders, and students. The conference’s theme, succession, refers to farmers handing the reins to the next generation, or to the next farmers, and a special keynote speech will relate succession stories from the Hudson Valley and the Tri-State region. Besides the farm-to-chef offering, other workshops will cover succession planning, bee-keeping (because bees do it best), farmer-training programs, and vital skills training for new farmers.

An 8am Legislators’ Roundtable will feature Congressman Chris Gibson and New York State Assemblymembers Didi Barrett and Peter Lopez, along with State Senators Kathleen Marchione and Terry Gipson, as well as several local officials, providing a unique opportunity for agriculture-related dialogue.

Ginsberg’s Foods is the conference Platinum Sponsor. Gold Sponsors include Berkshire Farm & Table, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Columbia-Greene Media, Farm Credit East, the Farm On! Foundation, and Valley Oil.

Exhibitors and sponsorships for the conference are encouraged. Proceeds from the conference will go toward Taconic Hills’s HARVEST Club (Healthy Agricultural Resources by Volunteers & Educators in Science & Technology), a program that engages youth in the process of growing healthy fruits, flowers, and vegetables in a school-based garden, Friends of Shakespeare, Operation Wallacea Scientific/Environmental Research Expedition and the school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

The conference will take place Saturday, February 22nd, from 9 am-4:00 pm at Taconic Hills Central School, located in Columbia County, just a short drive from the Capital Region, the Berkshires, western Connecticut, and the lower Hudson Valley. Morning refreshments, lunch, and snacks are provided with a $20 pre-registration fee. Registration is requested by 5pm on Thursday, February 20th, but is available through Friday February 21st. All are welcome, and the walk-in rate on the day of the event is $25.

For more information or to register please visit




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