Oct 1, 2022
Stone House Farm in Hudson New York is a pioneer in the implementation of organic regenerative farming.
Stone House Farm in Hudson New York is a pioneer in the implementation of organic regenerative farming. At the core of their 2000-acre environmentally holistic program is Stone House Grain, which has created a robust line of organic livestock feed and whole grains for brewing and distilling and sells to a growing client base within a 100 mile radius of the farm.
Looking to expand their sphere of influence and grow the business responsibly, Stone House reached out to HVADC, which produced a market study for the farm on the financial and demographic landscape of the regional organic grain market. The work was performed under the auspices of HVADC’s hallmark Business Technical Assistance program: Incubator Without Walls.
“We’ve been really interested in expanding our understanding of the regional organic feed market and what our community needs,” said Stone House Farm Manager Jay Goldmark. “As we scale up we want to meet these needs and plan accordingly.”
Stone House Farm was originally purchased and developed by Peggy McGrath Rockefeller, an activist in the cause of preserving American farmland and ensuring the survival of American agriculture. She led the creation of American Farmland Trust by pioneering the use of agricultural easements to ensure that farmland remains available for future generations. She brought those beliefs and a deep, personal passion with her to Columbia County when she created a farm in the early 1980s. Today her vision is carried forward by her children – Abby, David and Peggy – and the management team at Stone House Farm.
In 2013 Stone House dedicated itself to regenerative agriculture, which is the process of restoring degraded soils using practices like no-till planting and advanced, science-based crop rotation that captures more carbon in the soil. Regenerative agriculture actually attempts to reverse human-caused soil degradation and rebuild a natural biome. One byproduct of this laborious process is extremely high quality grain.
“Our goal is to grow organic regenerative grain and share it with our community,” Goldmark said. “The market study helped us know we could grow and what we needed. Organic grain is a rapidly growing sector.
Goldmark says the pitch to farmers on why they should switch to a more environmentally responsibly produced grain for feed is easy. The work at Stone House is producing a climate-friendly grain that’s healing the soil and the neighboring environment. Stone House feed is also more nutrient dense - which leads to better health and product quality outcomes for livestock.
“Stone House Farm’s incredible work in the field of organic regenerative farming is a model that inspires us and offers us hope that there are actionable solutions to the climate crisis. They also make a fabulous product,” said Mary Ann Johnson, HVADC Deputy Director. “It was a pleasure to be able to assist them with the market study and the tools they needed to feel confident to grow operations.”
Some of the products Stone House Grain is bringing to market include organic scratch for poultry, non-GMO and organic hog feed, non-GMO boiler mash and much more.
“It was fantastic working with HVADC,” said Goldmark. “They provided great details, perspective and macro-data that showed us how to think strategically.”
To learn more about the Business Technical Assistance services HVADC provides Hudson Valley farms and food producers with, visit https://www.hvadc.org/incubator-without-walls.