Press Releases

Adirondack Council Hires Farm Advocate to Run Essex Farm Institute

Echo Farm Founder Dillon Klepetar Brings Experience, Expertise on Sustainable Agriculture

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today announced it has hired Saratoga County native and Echo Farm founder Dillon Klepetar to run the Essex Farm Institute.

The Adirondack Park’s largest environmental organization adopted the Essex Farm Inst. almost four years ago to ensure that the park’s sustainable agriculture movement continues to grow and improve.  Klepetar took the new position in September.

“I am excited to be coordinating the institute’s efforts to support sustainable farming practices and working-lands policy within the Adirondack Park,” Klepetar said. “The institute’s mission is to advocate for, support, and promote resilient, diversified farms that strengthen the health of natural and human communities in the Adirondacks.”

Klepetar succeeds Racey Henderson, former EFI Program Coordinator, and Charlotte Staats, who served as an interim project leader.

The Essex Farm Institute was established in 2012 and adopted by the Adirondack Council in 2018.

“In his new role, Dillon will work to improve the financial viability of farms, farm families, and the agricultural workforce,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “Along the way, we will help him engage in advocacy and outreach that preserves the ecological integrity of thousands of acres of working lands within the Park while improving the availability and affordability of local food.”

Klepetar will also begin shepherding the EFI Micro Grants Program for Adirondack Farms, which has provided over $150,000 to roughly 100 farmer-driven, climate-wise stewardship projects.

Klepetar joins the Council’s six-member Conservation Team, which focuses on wilderness protection, climate change, clean water, clean air, and rewilding. Klepetar brings academic, environmental non-profit, and agricultural experience to a role that has him working with farmers, legislators, and other non-profit entities. 

Klepetar grew up in Gansevoort, about five miles east of the Adirondack Park border. Before joining the Adirondack Council staff, Klepetar earned a doctorate in Government at American University in Washington, DC.

Klepetar’s farming experience in the Park began in 2014 when he founded Echo Farm in Essex, NY, a business that is committed to sustainability and farming in harmony with adjacent wilderness.

“We are fortunate to welcome Dillon to our expanded Conservation team,” Megan Phillips, Vice President for Conservation at the Adirondack Council. “His policy background and boots-on-the-ground experience in the local agricultural community make him a natural fit for this role. Under his leadership, the Essex Farm Institute program will surely thrive as a model for sustainable, climate-resilient farming in the Adirondack Park.” 

Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy, and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming, safe communities. Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States.

For more information:
John Sheehan - Director of Communications 518-441-1340

« Back to Press Releases

19-20 Accomplishments

20-21 Accomplishments

Achieved with partners, grassroots advocacy,
and YOUR support! 

Sustain Your Support

Become a Monthly Giver

Sustain our daily advocacy work
for the Adirondacks!

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/module---homepage/RM_7.30.20.jpg

Sign the Petition

Protect the Adirondacks from the threat
of global climate change!

Your donation goes directly to help fund initiatives within the Adirondack Park.   DONATE NOW