Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is Transforming the Way America Eats and Farms

by Gabrielle Khalife
Part of the Food Policy Community Spotlight Series

Name: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture

What they do: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is working to change the way America farms and eats by promoting sustainable agriculture and mindful food choices. Their four main program areas include:

  • Experimenting with and improving agroecological farming practices.
  • Training beginning farmers in resilient, sustainable farming techniques.
  • Educating food citizens – individuals who are engaged in, and support the development of, a democratic, socially and economically just and environmentally sustainable food system – about the sources of healthy, seasonal and sustainable food.
  • Demonstrating and promoting a farm-driven cuisine—eating and cooking foods that reflect what farms need to grow in order to maintain ecosystem health.

How they do it: Stone Barns Center is an 80-acre working farm in the Hudson River Valley, just 25 miles north of Manhattan. Most of the farm’s produce and meat are sold to Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the award-winning onsite partner restaurant, and through Stone Barns Center’s Farm Store. The rest is used in education programs, as visitors cook with and taste what’s grown there.

Mission: Stone Barns Center’s mission is to create a healthy and sustainable food system that benefits us all.

Latest project/campaign: Food Ed. is Stone Barns Center’s groundbreaking food studies curriculum for high schoolers. It is a semester-long course that helps teens understand how their food choices relate to culture, environment, community and power. Stone Barns reaches high schoolers across the country both by delivering the curriculum in partnership with local schools and by hosting teachers for national training programs.

Major Funding: As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Stone Barns Center relies on generous donations and grants. More than half of their support comes from philanthropic gifts and grants from individuals, corporations and foundations. The rest comes from the sale of farm products, program fees and conference/event venue rental income.

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: $8.5 million

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect the food system: More than 1 million people have visited Stone Barns Center since it opened to the public in 2004. With one-third of American farmers over the age of retirement and only 6 percent under the age of 35, the Growing Farmers Initiative helps beginning farmers to succeed. Further, the farm and education center provide a laboratory for resilient, sustainable agriculture and for ideas that can create a new food future—one that is better for people, communities and the environment. Farmers demonstrate cutting-edge agricultural practices by developing (1) new breeds of climate-resilient, flavorful and nutritious crops (2) better ways to raise animals on pasture (3) tools that are designed specifically for small-scale, diversified farmers, and (4) delicious foods and ways of cooking that sustain a farm’s ecosystem health.



Stone Barns Center

630 Bedford Road

Pocantico Hills, NY 10591 (if using a GPS, enter Tarrytown, NY 10591)

Core Programs:

Regenerative farm (A holistic approach to food and farming systems that rejects pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and improves the land by using technologies that revitalize the soil and reverse climate change. Learn more about Regenerative Agriculture)

Growing Farmers Initiative (Young and beginning farmer training)

Food Ed (Food studies curriculum for high schoolers) and teacher trainings

Stone Barns Exchange Fellowship

Visitor Program

Number of staff: 60

Number of volunteers: 40

Areas served: New York City, Westchester County and surrounding areas

Year Started: 2004

Director: Jill Isenbarger

Contact Information:

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