The company is pleased to announce that cultivation process will start immediately on the initial harvest of 40 acres, allowing for a second harvest in late fall. The program will expand each year over 3 years, scaling up to 120 acres of organic industrial hemp bi-annually.
Uniquely located on the corner of three states, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Empire Farm is a certified organic 220-acre working farm, home to the FarmOn! Foundation, founded in 1830 and associated with the Astor family. Nestled in an agricultural community in the heart of the Columbia County, the FarmOn! Academy is in partnership with SUNY and Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, providing young adults the opportunity to learn agriculture on an established working farm. Now home to NY Acres, Inc., the farm also offers 4 four-season heated hi-tunnel greenhouses lending its rich ‘black gold’ soil, suitable for hemp cultivation.
FarmOn! Foundation includes a strong collaboration of professional farmers, educators, influencers, supporters, nutritionists, students, and community leaders who believe in investing in the future of local agriculture by helping to rebuild local economies, enabling them to be resilient with sustainable agriculture. FarmOn! Foundation partners include SUNY, Cornell University, Google NYC Farm to Table Project, TasteNY, John Varvatos, Bronx Zoo, NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets, New World Foundation/Local Economies Project, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Christy & John Mack Foundation, Hudson Valley Fresh, Maple Hill Creamery, Yelp, Whole Foods Market, Modern Farmer, NBA, The Walt Disney Company, MLB at Yankees SI, Applegate, Edible Schoolyard Project and LetsMove.org
Industrial hemp is projected to increase 700% by 2020. New York State has focused on the economic development and expansion of Industrial Hemp Research Permits under Governor Andrew Cuomo, giving mid-size farms the opportunity to implement sustainability and organic practices to promote efficiency and profitability. The partnership between mCig and FarmOn! Foundation brings a significant, mutually beneficial opportunity, investing in infrastructure to help rebuild rural American farming.
“The opportunity between mCig and FarmOn! Foundation fosters innovative, profitable and sustainable farming. We look to industrial hemp as an economic driver in the great state of New York, with the leadership of Governor Cuomo supporting our agricultural community, having a vision to rebuild for sustainability and rural prosperity through research and investment,” said Paul Rosenberg, CEO of mCig.
The Chairwoman of FarmOn! Foundation and CEO of NYAcres, Inc., Tessa Edick, brings a lifetime of agricultural and business experience, strategic partners and a wealth of knowledge in food and agricultural cultivation to the joint venture. Tessa Edick is connected to a lifetime of practical farming, is an established author, school food activist, food entrepreneur, founder and executive director of the FarmOn! Foundation, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization and public charity.
In 2016, Edick was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to the Task force on Safe and Healthy Foods to develop NY Grown & Certified brands, and in 2015 appointed by executive order to the New York State Council on Food Policy and the Advisory Board for Edible Schoolyard by mentor Alice Waters. Edick was featured in the Oprah Magazine “O” list twice, as well as 16 SFT Sofi Awards (the Oscars of food). Edick also founded the Culinary Partnership, where her guidance helps both celebrity chefs and producers launch their recipes to retail shelves. In 2010, Edick started Friends of the Farmer Festival in the Hudson Valley and established the FarmOn! Foundation, as the benefactor, committed to raising awareness and respect to farmers, the real stars in food, while educating the public on the importance of honest food-choices and better school lunches, contracting dairy farms in the districts to supply school milk. FarmOn! Foundation offers programs for adults and youth, including a SUNY accredited Farm Academy, the theme of which is fostering the entrepreneurial spirit in agriculture, thereby supporting the local growing community in the process. In 2014, through a generous contribution from the Christy & John Mack Foundation, Farm On! Foundation found its home at Empire Farm.