This year, students at Taconic Hills Schools can look forward to enjoying high-quality milk for the first time thanks to the recent partnership between Hudson Valley Fresh and The Farm On! Foundation.
For many years, the Taconic Hills School system had few choices when it came to the quality of food it was able to serve its students, due to the constraints of having to work with whichever vendor submitted the lowest bid. Now, thanks to the innovative partnership between Hudson Valley Fresh, a non-profit dairy cooperative and the Farm On! Foundation this is all about to change.
With a shared mission to promote and support local, Hudson Valley farmers, Farm On! Foundation founder, Tessa Edick and Dr. Sam Simon, president of Hudson Valley Fresh came together using an innovative approach to get HVF milk into the Taconic Hills School system, which will also serve as a pilot program for similar initiatives in other regions. In order to meet the schools’ budget, Hudson Valley Fresh is offering to sell it’s milk at a reduced price, with the Farm On! Foundation supplementing the additional five cents per carton needed to offer the lowest bid.
The Taconic Hills Schools – Hudson Valley Fresh initiative will not only improve the quality and nutritional value of students’ milk, but is also a testament to the positive effects local farms can have on the community – and despite chefs getting most of the credit, farmers are the real celebrities of the culinary world.
ABOUT THE FARM ON! FOUNDATION:
The Farm On! Foundation and Camp Farm on! is a non-profit dedicated to educating students about careers in the local food system and the entrepreneurial spirit needed to nurture such businesses and ultimately realize that despite chef’s getting all the credit, local farmers are the real culinary celebrities. At each one-week Camp Farm On!, students are given the opportunity to visit local farms and pitch profitable solutions to a panel of highly successful venture capitalists.
Farm On! is the brainchild of Tessa Edick, founder of the Culinary Partnership, a company specializing in launching food products, designed to bring awareness to consumers through the ‘know your famers, know your food’ mission. Farm On!’s goal is to educate the next generation of farmers that farming is not only cool, but can also be highly profitable business. Paring agriculture with an ROI business mentality establishes the foundation necessary for viable livelihoods in the agriculture industry and gives the next generation of farmers the tools and resources to succeed.
ABOUT HUDSON VALLEY FRESH:
Hudson Valley Fresh is a non-profit dairy cooperative comprised of nine farms, dedicated to preserving the Hudson River Valley’s agricultural heritage as one of the premier food regions of the United States.
Founded by Dr. Sam Simon a second-generation farmer and owner of Plankenhorn Farms, Hudson Valley Fresh’s mission is to secure living wages for the cooperative’s farmers and their families and has been instrumental in keeping these farms in business by ensuring a fair price for their goods. HVF is owned and operated by a Board of Directors, mostly composed of independent farmers and members of the local community.
All HVF milk is produced on Hudson Valley Fresh’s nine farms, located within 20 miles of each other throughout New York’s Columbia, Dutchess and Ulster counties – then exclusively processed by Boice Brothers Dairy in Kingston, New York. HVF milk is sold locally in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, New Jersey and Connecticut, offering customers high quality food choices with a low carbon footprint, including whole, skim, low-fat and chocolate milk along with half and half, heavy cream, yogurt, and sour cream.
Hudson Valley Fresh farms have won numerous awards for the quality of their products, including the National Dairy Quality Award and NYS Environmental Stewardship Award.