Farm Administration Series – Kick-off in November

Ready to get some indoor farming done?

Let’s do it together this winter – way more fun!  The series will kick-off mid-November and will cover financial and business planning, advanced welding, accounting, decision making, draft power teamster training, plant and human nutrition, and farming with carnivores and farming with kids!

All events are FREE for Adirondack Farmers, and suggested donation of $25 for non-farmers and those from out of the area.

# 1 Holistic Financial Planning

November 16th, 9-12 @ The Whallonsburg Grange

Holistic Financial Planning is all about how to make a profit that is healthy for you and your farm business. During this workshop farmers will learn to use Holistic Financial Management to guide their farm towards profitability, increased quality of life, and environmental sustainability.

We will briefly cover the framework of Holistic Management and then work through examples of how to use HM with a focus on financial management. Topics will include:

  • Evaluation of financing sources
  • Prioritizing investments for the greatest impact
  • Determining how much money you need to make to live the way you want.

No previous farm financial knowledge is required, but for those working with actual farm budgets please bring financial data you are willing to share and to use to create the beginning of a Holistic Financial Plan.

This event is FREE to farmers in the Adirondacks and north to the border with Canada thanks to generous donations from Essex Farm Institute Supporters. A $25 donation is suggested from those outside this area or not actively farming.

Coffee, Tea and light refreshments will be served.

Register by emailing essexfarminstitute@gmail.comInclude your farm name in the email.

About the facilitator: Crystal is a regional vegetable specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. She focuses primarily on assisting organic, diversified vegetable growers and also works with Amish growers in the western part of the region. Her research focuses on root crops, garlic, and sustainability issues facing small farms.

Crystal has been working with Holistic Management International since 2009 to help farmers balance the social, environmental and economic aspects of farming. She has taught beginning women farmer groups various aspects of HM throughout the northeast during this time. Her favorite parts of HM to teach are financial management and leadership and communication.

#2 On Farm Welding 201

December 4th, 9-1:30 @ Farm TBD

The second in a series, Welding 201 will build off the first course taught by Ryan Weidenbach in October. Prior experience Welding is required. The course will take place on a farm working on a real-live welding issue. Space is limited to 7 students; registration opens November 1.

Register after November 1, by emailing  essexfarminstitute@gmail.comInclude name, experience, and farm name.

#3 Farming Smarter, not Harder: Planning for Profit

with Richard Wiswall,

author of acclaimed Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook

December 6th, 9-1:30 @ The Whallonsburg Grange

Have an allergic reaction to business? Want to work less and make more money? Wonder where all the money comes and goes?

Read More

October Events

With fall harvest in full swing, EFI spent September reaching out to partners and looking ahead to winter program. The Adirondack Harvest Festival was a great success bringing a crowd of farmers and eaters together at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, NY. Nearly two-dozen local businesses – from farms to food trucks – participated in the event displaying the incredible diversity and bounty of our local food scape. EFI’s booth was buzzing with interest, as we connected with new farmers and regional experts.

This winter we’re thrilled to be able to offer a series of administrative workshops geared towards helping beginning business owners improve decision making, time management, financial planning and accounting.

As always, for more information on our programs, how to donate and what’s coming up, please visit our website at

October 16, 2-4pm – Farmers’ Farm Walk @ Ben Wever Farm Linda and Shaun Gillilland started farming with Ben Wever in 2005, this allowed Ben to turnover and retire and Shaun and Linda to glean the wisdom of a very seasoned farmer while instituting new ideas and practices. The farm has been a family farm since 1829 and each generation puts its own ideas and goals into reality. Linda and Shaun are second act farmers, farming after a career in the military.  The farm is grass based, producing beef, pork, lamb, and eggs on 400 total acres in Willsboro, NY.  Their meat and eggs are sold out of their farmstand and through local retail stores as well several school lunch programs and local summer camps.  Shaun runs rotational grazing of the beef herd, hogs, and sheep grazing with his other jobs as Willsboro’s Town Supervisor and local Farm Bureau representative.  Linda manages the sheep flock and laying hens and the farm stand and works for Cornell Cooperative Extension overseeing county 4H youth development, Master Gardener Volunteers, consumer horticulture, nutrition, and physical activity programs. Their daughter runs a horse back riding business on the property and they make their own hay. They are part of a new soil carbon cowboy movement, believing earnestly that cows, sheep, and local farming will save the planet. Shaun and Linda were part of a group of community members who helped shape The Essex Farm Institute, and continue to support its evolution, despite their busy schedules.

Ben Wever Farm is an excellent example of a family farm that practices the best rotational grazing methods and is economically viable thanks to its many moving parts.  Come for the tour to learn more about their production practices and balancing on-farm and off-farm work.

October 23, 9-1:30 – Welding 101 – This workshop will cover a basic overview of different metals that are commonly used in the farming field, mainly identifying these metals and determining which welding process is appropriate for each.  Since there are so many welding procedures for different materials, we will focus on MIG welding mild steel.  Mild steel is the most common material in almost all farm equipment, and MIG welding is the most practical form of both mild steel fabrication and repair.  Most of the workshop will be hands on, learning how the set up a welder, understanding how a MIG welder works, and finally welding scrap pieces of steel to one another in different positions.

Winter Events at a glance:

  • Welding 201 (December 4th, 9-1:30 – registration opens November 1)
  • Winter Farm Administration Series:
    • Holistic Financial Planning with Crystal Stewart (Nov)
    • Business Workshop: Farming Smarter not Harder with Richard Wiswall (December 6th, 9-1:30)
    • Farmer Decision Making Workshop (January 2017)
    • Basic Farm Accounting Techniques and Software (January 2017)
  • NOFA NY Winter Conference (Jan 20-22, 2017)
  • Farming with a Family Discussion Group @ Winter Play Gym, Whallonsburg Grange Hall (February 2017)