Essex Farm Institute

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The Essex Farm Institute (EFI) is a program of the Adirondack Council.


The farms and farmers of the Adirondacks protect open space, provide healthy food, attract young families to the region, and add to the rural economy.

The mission of the Essex Farm Institute (EFI) is to advocate for, support, and promote resilient, diversified farms that strengthen the health of natural and human communities in the Adirondacks.

EFI envisions resilient Adirondack agricultural lands that promote ecological integrity* across the Adirondack Park; that mitigate and adapt to climate change; and foster vibrant communities through an equitable, profitable, and accessible regional food system.

*Ecological integrity is defined as the ability of an ecological system to support and maintain a community of organisms that has species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to those of natural habitats within a region. An ecological system has integrity when its dominant ecological characteristics (e.g., elements of composition, structure, function, and ecological processes) occur within their natural ranges of variation and can withstand and recover from most perturbations imposed by natural environmental dynamics or human disruptions.</p

The EFI is a voice and a resource for farms in the Adirondacks of New York State. We act as an advocate, representing the policy interests of local farmers and educating our policymakers about the realities of farming in the Adirondacks. EFI is also a convener, bringing together diverse partners and their knowledge to encourage actions that: improve farms’ ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, create links between local food and local population health, and strengthen the economic viability of regional farms for many years to come.

Important Links

Micro-Grants for Adirondack Farms
About Agriculture in the Adirondacks
Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act - Resources for Farmers
Our Blog: Soil Health’s Role in Fostering Successful Adirondack Farms - November 6, 2020
Our Blog: Climate Change and Agriculture in the Adirondacks - September 11, 2019
Essex County Resolution in Support of Agriculture - July 29, 2019
Mountain Lake PBS Journal – Food Justice in the North Country – July 19, 2019

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The Essex Farm Institute began as a formalization of the success of Essex Farm in training new farmers. In 10 years of operating the farm, Mark and Kristin Kimball trained and mentored over 50 beginning farmers who started more than 10 new farms to date. In April 2012, Essex Farm Institute was created and a board of advisors was formed. It was a non-profit corporation that was fiscally sponsored by the Open Space Institute’s Citizen Action Program. During its first three years, it raised over $200,000 for farmer training programs that were primarily based on Essex Farm in Essex, NY. In 2016, training expanded to include farms and farmers across the Adirondacks and the North Country of New York. In 2016, EFI had over 250 people attend its workshops, field events and farm walks across the Adirondacks. In 2018, EFI became a program of the Adirondack Council to strengthen the capacity of the Institute and to help meet the Council’s strategic objectives related to open space protection, working farms and forests, and community diversity in the Adirondacks.

19-20 Accomplishments

22-23 Accomplishments

Achieved with partners, grassroots advocacy,
and YOUR support! 

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