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 http://www.essexfarminstitute.org.

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)