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 is to support, promote and train farmers to build resilient, diversified farms that are economically viable, socially responsible and environmentally beneficial.

The EFI offers educational opportunities in sustainable farming in the Adirondacks and the North Country in New York State.  Working with regional farmers, educational professionals, and agricultural leaders we help farmers of all abilities gain the skills they need in a variety of diversified for-profit farm environments – from mowing to management to marketing.  EFI is also an advocate, representing the policy interests of local farmers, encouraging actions to improve the climate resiliency of local farms, and supporting programs for vibrant local communities.


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.

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