BrIght-eyed and bushy-tailed, Class 15 was up early and headed to Native Offerings Farms (NOF) in Little Valley, New York, an hour and a half outside of Painted Post. A few great "off the cuff" moments and a beautiful serenade by Linda made the time pass quickly.
At NOF, Deb and Stu Ritchie run a 180-acre farm and produce a variety of certified naturally-grown produce and offer farm- raised pork and locally-produced beef. We toured the barn, met some of their hogs and had the opportunity to ask some questions to a couple of fellow Ag Leadership enthusiasts: Deb is currently enrolled in NY's ag leadership program (LEAD New York) and her husband Stu graduated from the previous class.
A quick drive and we were at 21 Brix Winery in Portland, New York, owned by Kris Kane, also a member of LEAD NY class 15. We toured and sampled some of their great wines with his employee Jay, a former LEAD New York 13 alumni. 21 Brix has only been in business for three years and are already producing 40,000 gallons of wine! We are looking forward to coming back and visiting them and the 27 wineries that are on the wine trail that runs right through the valley.
Back on the bus and headed home.... We are excited to meet up again with Deb and Kris and the rest of the LEAD NY group at our next AALP seminar in Ottawa in October. But in the meantime, back to the family and friends that support us and home for some much needed rest.