Beginning Farmer Workshops in New York

Young Farmers Conference

The Growing Farmers Initiative at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture in Pocantico, NY holds beginning farmer workshops on Wednesdays in August of 2015. Workshops are free and open to the public. To register, write to

Managing Labor – Wednesday, August 19, 2pm – 5pm

Managing labor crews on small farms depends on planning effectively, managing your time and the time of others to get the most bang for your buck out of hired labor, and keeping farm morale and productivity high.

Max Apton has farmed on Big Island, Hawaii, worked as a farmhand on a small-scale vegetable farm in Vermont, a goat dairy in New York and as the vegetable field manager at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Max currently manages Amawalk Farm in Katonah, and is founder of the Farmer’s Garden, helping families in the Hudson Valley create vegetable gardens.

Food Safety – Wednesday August 26, 2pm – 5pm

This workshop will introduce how to incorporate food safety into the story of an farmer’s farm and food. We will cover farm to fork food safety while discussing how written food safety plans build trust with consumers. The presentation will be broken up into 2 parts; a didactic portion and an on farm/get outside portion.

Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel is Dirigo Food Safety’s President and CEO. Dr. P earned her BA in Economics and Geology from Wellesley College, after which she served in the Peace Corps in Irbid, Jordan. In her second year of study at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, the future Dr. P was chosen for the prestigious Health Professions Scholarship Program through the US Army. Upon receiving her DVM, Dr. P commissioned into the US Army Veterinary Corps, where she learned the food safety skills she now brings to producers and processors across the country. Dr. P is a certified HACCP auditor through ASQ. She serves as the President of the Maine chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, and as the Director of Food Safety for the national Farmer Veteran Coalition. 

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