Urban Agriculture in New York
Berries, Vegetables, & School Gardens
Turkey in Iowa
Dairy in New York
Soybeans in Iowa
Entrepreneurship in Agriculture
Beef Cattle in Iowa
When thinking of urban centers in New York, the first that likely comes to mind is the Big Apple – New York City. However, Upstate New York hosts 4 large population centers including Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. Farming on rooftops and in small lots is not something unique to our five major cities in New York, and we are excited to share with you a thriving urban farm on 5.8 acres in Syracuse – changing your idea of what farming can look like. Charter schools are not unique in our cities, but a school focused on preparing urban students for a career in food and agriculture is unique and worth telling of their story.
Jessi Lyons is the Farm Coordinator at Brady Farm in Syracuse. Brady Farm began in 2016 and is continuing to grow and develop in their maturity as a farm and as social program to serve the needs of their community. Started by the Brady Faith Center, their goal was to provide the community with job training, healthy and affordable food, and an education. Through selling CSA shares, they are able to keep the farm in place each year. You can learn more about Brady Farm on their website (bradyfarm.org), follow them on Facebook (facebook.com/bradyfaithfarm), and on Instagram (instagram.com/bradyfaithfarm).
Morgan Boerman is an agricultural science teacher at OnTech Charter School in Syracuse. The school has been open a year and a half, and during this time they are doing their best to develop a community that cares about their students. They are focused on training their students for potentially a career in agriculture, with thoughtful opportunities for project-based learning experiences. Follow their work on Facebook (facebook.com/ontechcharterhighschool) and Instagram (instagram.com/ontech_rethinkhighschool).
This episode brings you the perspective of what it’s like growing specialty crops in New York State. We don’t have the longest growing season in the country, but are still able to support bountiful crops of delicious berries, sweet corn, peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, and so much more. We also know that school gardens are one of the most popular ways to engage our students in food and agriculture, as they have the opportunity to touch and experience every single step in the food system process.
Karin Reeves works with her family on their multi-generational berry and vegetable farm. Learn about the life cycle of her farm, how they’ve built connections with major grocery store chains over the last 20 years, and about their organic and conventional crop markets. You can always learn more about Reeves Farms by following them on social media, (Instagram and Facebook), or on their website.
Tricia Miller has a strong connection with her local school community because she was instrumental in starting the SOLE (Seeds of Living Education) non-profit. She has become so integrated into the Hamburg CSD that at any time you can find her in the school garden, in a classroom, or working with the school food service staff helping to make connections with the local agriculture community. You can follow the work of SOLE via Facebook or their website.
Iowa is a top-10 turkey producing state, primarily raising toms (male turkeys) for meat. Iowa is a good place to raise turkeys because of the easy access to grain for feed, and farmland to spread the manure that turkeys leave behind.
In this episode, you'll hear from Katie Hermanson, a turkey farmer and Agriculture in the Classroom coordinator that wears many hats in her community. Katie will talk about her family's farm and what turkey production looks like.
You'll also hear from John Seiser, an upper elementary science and social studies teacher that goes above and beyond to connect agricultural concepts (like raising turkeys and chickens) to science and social studies standards.
Though Katie and John both work with turkeys, their operations look different and have different purposes. But, they both benefit Iowa's consumers, students, and economy. Listen in to learn more!
Dairy is the largest sector of New York's agriculture industry. Not only do we produce a lot of milk, but we also process a large amount of our favorite dairy products – including cream cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cheese.
You will meet Paul Molesky, the Operations Manager for Allenwaite Dairy in Schaghticoke, NY. While also running his home beef cattle operation, Paul can be found in the milking parlor or barns of Allenwaite, interacting with his diverse workforce. With his ability to speak spanish fluently, he is easily able to communicate with his employees from Mexico, and the staff they hire locally. You will enjoy learning about his path from wanting to be a veterinarian, to finding his passion in the dairy industry, to serving in a national-level leadership role in an agriculture organization.
In this episode you will also meet Brianne Willson, a 5th grade math teacher at Camden Middle School and co-owner of her family's dairy farm, By-Design Farms. Listen as Brianne talks about how she gets her students engaged with dairy, and encourages them to ask her questions. She also works hard to make sure that her students understand any inaccuracies they see in their schoolwork or from the outside world. She also shares how her dairy farm is a little different than some you will find. You can follow Brianne's farm on Facebook or Instagram, you will enjoy all the content she shares of her farm and family!
Along with corn, soybeans are a main cash crop in Iowa. Though most people only think of corn when they think of Iowa, many farmers depend on soybeans as a protein source for their livestock, and as a second crop to rotate with corn to benefit their soil health.
This episode, you will meet Jordan Spear of Corteva AgriScience, who has worked as a soybean researcher since his college internship. He will share how soybean researching and genetics has changed over time, and how that innovation benefits farmers and consumers.
You will also meet DeEtta Andersen, a high school science teacher at Center Point Urbana, and winner of Iowa's Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award, as well as a National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award. DeEtta is passionate about agriculture and student-lead learning, which you will hear clearly in this episode.
The food industry is ripe with potential for a motivated entrepreneur. Consumers are searching for new flavors, products, and food processing techniques from the local ingredients they know and love. Food and agriculture are moving fast today, and it is important that our spirited business owners and students with the next big idea feel supported in their communities and with their ideas.
This episode features James Munn, owner of Black River Valley Natural, a new dairy creamery located in the heart of the North Country’s dairy community. After college James moved away from his hometown and built a fast-growing career in the tech industry, but something was calling him and his young family back home. He used data and market analysis to build his dairy processing business with his wife Bethany around creating artisanal butters, and now – so much more. You can find Black River Valley Natural on:
Jeremiah Best, a 5th grade teacher at the Town of Webb UFSD in Old Forge, NY recognizes that his students are surrounded by natural resources even if they haven’t yet realized the connections to the outdoors. His desire is that his students realize there is more to their future than being part of the seasonal tourism industry, and to build in them an eye for business opportunities through food and agriculture.
Iowa is good at raising lots of types of crops and livestock, and beef cattle is no exception. Since Iowa is home to lots of corn and soybean production, a grain feed source is handy for livestock producers. But Iowa also has lots of pastureland, which may not be quite suited for row crop production. Many of Iowa's cattle farms are situated on these pastures, where cows and calves graze the thick Iowa prairie grasses.
In this episode, you'll meet Corrine Rowe of Rowe's Red Cows (facebook.com/RowesRedCows), a beef cattle producer in central Iowa that raises Red Angus cows and calves with her family. You will also meet Kelsey Wigans of Gilmore City-Bradgate Elementary school (facebook.com/gcbschoolgarden), who runs a unique gardening, food, and nutrition program for K-6 students in the community.
Corrine and Kelsey work on different sides of food production and nutrition education, but have a lot in common; including their passion for good food and education about food sources.
In this exciting first episode, we will be hearing from a corn farmer from Iowa (twitter.com/SchylerBardole), and a teacher from New York state (twitter.com/MTEGrade1). Listen along as they explain their careers and the importance of agriculture, education, and agricultural literacy.
Maple Syrup is an abundant and sustainable crop, and the New York's maple industry is vibrant and growing. While maple syrup is a product rooted in tradition, it is also an incubator for innovation. Today's producers are finding new ways to market their product not only within their communities and state, but also in international markets. While pure maple syrup will always be popular, value-added products are continually being developed to engage new maple consumers. Today you can find everything from coffee beans roasted in maple, to mustards, savory seasonings, and hard candies.
In this episode you will meet Jake Moser of Moser's Maple, where he talks about sugaring with his three brothers, and how their operation has changed since taking over the operation from their father. To learn more about Moser's Maple and follow along with the upcoming maple season, you can find them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mosersmaple) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/mosersmaple).
You will also meet George Rogers and Kitty Eldridge of the Malone Middle School 8th grade STEAM Team. It takes guts and belief in your colleagues and students to be so immersive into a project-based learning experience. All classes stop for weeks for their students while they hire them into the Grit Untapped maple business. As each teacher facilitates a different department, from data collection to art to social media and the boiling crew and more, the students take ownership in strategy, process, and work collaboratively for their end goal – making and selling their own maple syrup. Follow along with their journey by following their brand, Grit Untapped, in this upcoming maple season. You can find them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/grituntapped) and Instagram (www.instagram.com/grituntapped).
The pork industry is big in Iowa. In fact, Iowa raises more pork than any other state. These animals grow and reproduce efficiently, eat the crops grown in Iowa, and naturally produce a high-quality fertilizer. Because of this, sustainability can be a big part of the conversation when talking about raising pigs and pork. Listen along as we hear from pig and grain farmer Mike Paustian, and middle school social studies teacher Beth Laughbaum to hear how sustainability plays a role in what they do.