March 10, 2008
Distributed by NNYADP on behalf of the North Country Regional Foods Initiative

Contact: Katherine Lang, North Country Regional Foods Initiative, 315-379-9192;
Caf� Manager Ian O�Brien, Naturalist Kerri Marsteller, The W!ld Center, 518-359-7800

The W!LD Center to Showcase Local Foods, Farmers March 15, 29 and April 18

Tupper Lake, NY -- Fresh, flavorful and better quality are why Manager Ian O�Brien serves locally produced foods at the Waterside Caf� at The W!ld Center in Tupper Lake, NY. Raising awareness of environmental issues and supporting local entrepreneurs are also reasons for his use of regional meats, cheeses, breads, and seasonal produce. Featured Farmer programs on March 15 and 29 and the April 18th North Country Regional Foods Initiative Conference at The W!ld Center are attracting public interest in the museum, local farms and in regional products. O�Brien expects consumer interest will increase his use of regional foods at the Waterside Caf�.

�I expect to increase my goal to make local products 15 percent of everything I sell here to thirty-five percent by the end of 2008. The public feedback from the dozens of museum visitors who have attended the Featured Farmer events so far is very positive. They try the local foods, like them and want to know how they can buy them, so we are making the products available the day of the demonstrations and at the caf�,� O�Brien says.

O�Brien credits Museum Naturalist Kerri Marsteller with the idea of using of local foods in connection with the museum�s mission.

�The W!ld Center is about the natural world and climate change is going to impact our core subject,� says Marsteller says. �Featuring local farm foods is one part of a broader initiative to help us and everyone who visits the museum understand more about carbon�s impact and more importantly that there are real things we can do to change the picture.�

Carbon impact or footprint are terms for how human activity impacts the natural environment by releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (greenhouse gases and global warming are other terms associated with this issue).

O�Brien adds, �We can reduce our carbon imprint on the environment, so I am happy to feature local farm products that are not only fresh and flavorful but travel a much shorter distance to reach my kitchen than products arriving in trucks across the country or from another country.�

O�Brien selects products by visiting farms and getting to know the farmers. He expects to source most of the meats for the Waterside Caf� locally and has found sources for farmstead cheese, potatoes and seasonal produce.

�I am looking for naturally-raised livestock and products produced without hormones, genetic growth agents or pesticides. The farmers have been easy to work with for product pick-up and delivery. I enjoy knowing the source of my food and the people who produce it,� O�Brien.

On March 15 the featured product will be pork produced at Red Maple Farm near Chateaugay, NY. Museum visitors can attend the 1 pm cooking demonstration in the Great Hall that overlooks Blue Pond, enjoy a tasting, and purchase meat to take home with a free recipe. Farmers Ken and Lisa Whyte will tell the story of their farm enterprise as part of the program.

On March 29 grass-fed lamb from Kirbside Gardens in Chateaugay, NY, is the order of the day. Farmers Kirby Selkirk and Jo Ellen Saumier, who raise sheep and vegetables, will talk about what they do and how and why they do it. Visitors will take the opportunity to taste the prepared lamb and buy meat to take home with the day�s recipe.

The W!ld Center to Host Regional Foods Conference April 18
On April 18 at The W!ld Center, a local foods luncheon is part of a conference organized by the North Country Regional Foods Initiative to examine the role of Adirondack North Country Foods in community and economic development. North Country Regional Foods Initiative Project Coordinator Katherine Lang says, �This event will look at the ways communities benefit from and support local food initiatives. Conference participants will develop strategies and identify policies that will strengthen consumer and institutional connections with regional farmers and local food entrepreneurs.�

Adirondack Harvest, the Adirondack North Country Association, GardenShare, Inc., Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Community and Rural Development Institute, and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are sponsoring the 9am to 3pm event. Lang says economic developers, government officials, planning board members, institutional representatives, restaurant owners and farmers are registered for the conference. Registration details are online at www.regonline.com/northcountryfoods or call 315-379-9192.

The North Country Regional Foods Initiative is a project of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties working in collaboration with the Community and Rural Development Institute at Cornell University. The project is an assessment of the social and economic impacts of local food initiatives in the North Country region, including training and outreach on strategies to enhance efforts such as Adirondack Harvest, the North Country Grown Cooperative, Maple Weekend, Farm-to-School programs, and farmers markets.

Funding for the North Country Regional Foods Initiative is from the U.S. Department of Commerce through the Economic Development Administration University Center designated for New York State at Cornell University and hosted by Cornell�s Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI). For more information on CaRDI, contact Rod Howe, 607-255-2170, rlh13@cornell.edu or visit www.oed.cornell.edu. To learn more about the North Country Regional Foods Initiative Project, contact Katherine Lang at 315-379-9192 x261. # # #

Farms featured to date at The W!ld Center in 2008 include:
Tucker Farms, Gabriels, NY � The Tucker family lives on the north slope of the Adirondack Mountains twenty miles north of Lake Placid, where the high elevation is ideal for growing vigorous, top quality, disease-free seed potatoes, strawberries, vegetables, grains & cover crops.

Underwood Herbs, Chateaugay, NY � For more than 20 years, Jane Desotelle has been making "wild crafted" herb teas and wild jellies. Underwood Herbs, named for Jane's grandmother, also sells essential and fragrant oils, sachets, balsam wreaths, and natural catnip.

Kilcoyne Farms, Brasher Falls, NY � The Kilcoyne family pasture raises Black Angus beef cattle. Their management of healthy soils for sustaining pasturelands and high-quality forage, and the low-stress lifestyle of the cattle results in exceptionally healthy, succulent and tender beef.