The Tri-Lakes Regional Farmers’ Cooperative is a collective of farmers and value-added food producers tasked with the mission to offer collaborative work and resource sharing opportunities to producers located within the Tri-Lakes region of the northern Adirondacks.
We firmly believe a strong agricultural sector, working closely with an established, localized food production system, plays a critical role in maintaining a vibrant, resilient and prosperous rural economy.
The Tri-Lakes Regional Farmers’ Cooperative envisions the creation of an organizing body to assist farmers and value-added food producers to plan, develop and process foods and farm products for an increasingly diverse group of engaged consumers.
The Tri-Lakes Regional Farmers’ Cooperative supports practices and policies that will sustain new and established farmers and food producers to succeed and live a quality of life commensurate with our shared mission. These include:
1.) Supporting Small-Scale Operations and Valued Collaboration
Farming and food production can be desirable and profitable careers. A healthy future for food production and farming in the Tri-Lakes region requires the support of independent family farms and food producers who own and operate their own businesses.
We promote and encourage collaboration between farmers and food producers alike including the transfer of technical skills, the sharing of place-based knowledge, the sourcing of needed materials and resources for the group or individual, and the development and promotion of shared markets when applicable.
2.) Providing Mentorship & Training, Advocacy & Education
The Cooperative supports a model of farmer and food producer education that promotes mentorship and alternative learning opportunities.
We seek out and promote resources, trainings, and online tools for farmers and food producers. This includes information about federal, state, local and private programs and regulations, in-person workshops and trainings, and grant opportunities.
Some of these programs will allow our small community of local farms and food producers to expand their business opportunities and further awareness of what the Tri-Lakes Region has to offer.
3.) Promoting Sustainable Farm and Food Production Practices
As caretakers of the natural wealth of this unique and challenging region, farmers and food producers must be conscientious and mindful environmental stewards. We encourage farming practices that sustain healthy soil, water, and air for the next generation of farmers, and we rely on food producers to source as much from the immediate area as possible, challenging our growers to meet their specific needs.
Farming and food production are deeply satisfying and joyful trades. The cooperative fosters an environment allowing each farmer and producer to fully utilize their innate talents and abilities. We strongly support inclusiveness in our professions, and we believe that diversity amongst contingency is critical to maintaining strong agricultural and food production sectors.