MILLBROOK – Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County (CCEDC) recently hosted a “Speed Networking with Your B.F.F. – Businesses, Foods and Farms” event.
This was an effort to bring together farm businesses, buyers and distributors affiliated with the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill, as well as vendors interested in selling product at Todd Hill and other Taste NY venues. This was also CCEDC’s kickoff Taste NY education and networking event for the 2017 year.
Sixty people attended the event hosted at Dutch’s Spirits in Pine Plains. Lydia Higginson, CEO of Dutch’s Spirits, remarked, “Dutch’s Spirits at Harvest Homestead Farm, Pine Plains was delighted to host CCEDC’s first B.F.F. event. It was a great networking opportunity and we hope the first of an annual tradition.”
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “Taste NY is an exciting way to brand and promote all of our great New York agricultural producers who are making some of the best products in the marketplace. CCEDC’s Business, Foods and Farms event was a great way to connect the dots between these producers and the buyer community, helping our farmers and food and beverage companies to gain exposure and expand their business.”
Twenty-six businesses and farms all displayed their products, ranging from jellies and jams, maple syrup products, baked goods, wool products to specialty meats. In addition, there was an opportunity for tastings of local wines, spirits and craft beverages. The Farmer’s Wife Catering of Ancramdale served hors d’oeuvres created from locally sourced farm products during the event. Their food is as connected to the local harvest as it is to the evolving culinary culture of the region.
Jennifer Soukup of Soukup Farms, Dover Plains said, “We saw other businesses and restaurants we did not know about and we are looking to get into restaurants in addition to our retail business. We look forward to future events.”
The Taste NY program works with local farmers to bring fresh, locally grown foods and agricultural products to stores, restaurants, schools and other venues. Pattie Cammillone of Wholey Oats, Wingdale stated, “As a small business, I appreciate events like this since I learn something new every time and I was able to make a few new connections.”
The next Taste NY at Todd Hill educational program is Good Agriculture Practices (GAPs), training scheduled for March 30-31 at the Farm & Home Center in Millbrook.