The Second Annual Farm On! “Friends of the Farmer Festival” Announces Two Events – One Cause - at Copake Country Club

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Chef David Burke-Hosted *Hootenanny* Friday, July 27, 6 – 11 p. m. “Friends of the Farmer” Festival, Saturday, July 28, 11 a.m. -6 p.m. Proceeds Benefit Farm On! Scholarship Fund for Hudson Valley students for continuing studies in Agricultural Sciences with Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension, Questar III and 4H.

COPAKE, N.Y. (July 3, 2012 ) – For a second consecutive year, Farm On! Friends of the Farmer Festival is organizing two “fork it over” fundraising events at the Copake Country Club in Columbia County, comprising *Hootenanny!* a five mile pig roast (all food gathered within five miles) hosted by star-chef and restaurateur David Burke on Friday, July 27 from 6- to 11 p.m., and the “Friends of the Farmer Festival,” an all-day food lovers festival held on the beautiful Copake Club golf course, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. With a mission to raise both scholarship funds and awareness for agriculture students and the future of farming, beneficiaries include the Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension program, along with QuestarIII and 4H.

     Founded and produced by the Culinary Partnership, a food launch consulting company owned by local business woman Tessa Edick, the first day of the festival begins with an optional “Five Mile Farm Tour,” from 9 a.m. to -11 a.m., in which guests are invited to visit three area farms as a prelude to festival. The tour, which is being offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, is intended to bring consumers to the farm in the “know your farmer, know your food” mission. Following the farm tour, at the festival, consumers will gather to eat, learn and experience all things agriculture: farmers, food purveyors, local businesses and residents from the Greater Hudson Valley in a celebration of food. In addition to this year’s scholarship goals, funds are being set aside to sponsor a one week “summer camp” for 20 Hudson Valley students who will visit local farms and be introduced to the business of farming. The accredited program is designed to provide adventure based learning for the basics of farming with start ups.

     “I'm standing up for my farming community and my food choices, by meeting one farmer at a time!” points out Ms. Edick. “We want these kids to know farming is not only cool, it can be a highly profitable business. Pairing agriculture with an ROI business mentality makes for viable livelihoods and gives the next generation of farmers the tools to succeed today. Only then can we talk about succession and the future of farming.”

     Last year’s inaugural event attracted more than 1,300 visitors who for a $10 admission to the Saturday event, feasted on local fare that included five mile grilled burgers and chicken, seasonal fruits and vegetables, local ice cream, pies, candies, jams and much more. Education was paired with experience to meet your farmer, have a local beer, ask questions, dance to live music, learn catch & release at the fishing derby and at the end of the day, over $5,000 was raised for the FarmOn! Scholarship Fund.

     Highlights planned for the 2012 “Friends of the Famer Festival” include a Future of Farming Tent, 5-Mile Farm Fresh Grill, Taste of the Farm Market & Locavore Village, Taste Test Foodie Challenge, Gourmet Picnic Basket Silent Auction, Local Libations Bar, Kid-friendly Activity Tent with Pheasant Release, Antique Tractor Parade, Baby Petting Zoo, Celebrity Picnic Table Auction, Great Stuff + and the “It’s Five O’clock Somewhere” Barn to Belly Meet Your Farmer Mixer inspiring Q+A between consumers and farmers for a day of sharing and celebrating the farmer and his rich gastronomic bounty as the real food celebrity under the summer sunlight of the Hudson River Valley.

     Among last year’s bold-face sponsors were Rachel Ray, Thom Filicia, Gina Gershon, Fabulous Beekman Boys, Bob +Courtney Novogratz and John Varvatos. Additional sponsors included the Cornell Cooperative Extension, Culinary Partnership, Copake Country Club, Columbia Land Conservancy, Herondale Farm, Coach Farm, Ronnybrook Farm, Cabot Cheese, Millbrook Winery, Chatham Brewers and 45 other local and Tri-State area businesses and residents. In addition, in 2012 we add to the list of sponsors for even more farm experiences with support from Whole Foods Market, Royal Caribbean, Bob Lewis, Chef David Burke, Farm to Consumer Foundation and Gigi’s Hudson Valley.

     Copake Country Club is located at 44 Golf Course Road, Craryville, NY 12521 overlooking Copake Lake between Catskill and Berkshire Mountains. For more information about the events, directions and to purchase tickets, go to or call 518.325.9437.

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Linda Alexander
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