We are now 6 weeks into the new season! Everyone is in full swing, and the new vendors are settling into their routines. We thought this would be a good time to share some market news and information with you.
VENDORS – We welcomed several new vendors this season. Say hello to Steadfast Farm (poultry and some produce), Hickory Creek Farm (fresh fruit and some produce), Authentic Eats by Oleg (Ukranian and East European food cooked on site), Le Petit Chien (French macaron cookies), Taconic Distillery (bourbon and rye), Bees and Baas (an assortment of bee and sheep products), Chaseholm Farm Creamery (cheese from grass-fed cows), Hortus Home (floral and planter arrangements), Shiso Food (Asian American comfort food) and several exciting new Artisan Crafters and Artists.
Some current vendors have been with us since 2006 when the Hillsdale Farmers Market operated out of the Hillsdale Hamlet Park: Earth Born Garden, White Oak Farm, Little Apple Farm, Markristo Farm, Hawk Dance Farm, and Honey Dog Farm.
CHFM Inc. – In 2022, we formally incorporated with New York State as a nonprofit, CHFM, Inc. Prior to that, our structure was a much looser form, an unincorporated nonprofit association, run by a Steering Committee as opposed to a Board of Directors as we do now.
Just a few months ago, our application to be a 501(c)3 charitable organization was approved. 501(c)3 is a federal designation awarded by the IRS that allows for federal tax exemption for certain nonprofit organizations. The designation allows us to receive tax-deductible donations and opens more opportunities for grants.
SPONSORS – Being a nonprofit, we rely heavily on donations to fund everything from the live music, a portion of our SNAP doubling program, paying the intern, umbrella tables, advertising, to back end costs like our accounting software and website hosting. The continued generosity of the sponsors is what allows your vendor fees to remain at their relatively low levels compared to many other markets — something that is important to us.
BOARD of DIRECTORS – as part of our new structure, we were required to form a Board of Directors with corporate officers. The previous Steering Committee that had been in place morphed into the Board, which now consists of:
President – Ron Bixby
Ron owns and operates Little Apple Farm & Cidery in Hillsdale. For many years, he was a vendor selling his orchard’s apples, but recently joined forces with Roe Jan Brewing at the market, selling his own cider and their beers. Ron has been part of the Copake Hillsdale Farmers Market leadership for 17 years.
Secretary – Heidi Simmons
Heidi was a vendor for several years, selling her family’s maple syrup and maple baked goods as Simmons Sugarworks, based in Copake. She has been part of CHFM leadership team for about 5 years. In addition to her role as Board Secretary, Heidi acts as Assistant Market Manager and Events Coordinator scheduling our community guests and live music every week.
Treasurer – Ron Reinken
Ron owns and operates Vine Gate Lavender Floral Farm in Hillsdale with his wife, Maria. He is in his 6th year of vending his lavender products and cut flowers at our market. Ron has been responsible for our finances in his role as Treasurer for 3 years.
Executive Director – Nicole Friedrich
Nicole was hired as Market Manager in 2014, tasked with keeping the market running smoothly. With the formation of the Board, she was brought on as Executive Director with continued responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the market and its vendors. Nicole and her husband Larry operate Winding Brook Farm in Taghkanic, a lovely homestead with chickens, goats, flowers and produce.
Director – Laura Griffin
Laura was a vendor for her seasonings company, Your Spice of Life, for about 5 years, and often held “chef demos” to illustrate how to use the market’s produce. She became part of the leadership team in 2012. In addition to her role as a Director, she manages all of the market’s social media and marketing, including the weekly newsletter.
Member at Large – Diane Creed
With her partner Damon, Diane owns and operates Hawk Dance Farm in Hillsdale. They have vended at our market since it was held in the baseball field and only operated every other week, around 2009. Diane has been part of CHFM leadership since 2012. Her current role is of a valued advisor on all issues related to operating the market. Diane also handles the Farmers Market Nutrition Program for the farmers.
No Board members are compensated for their Board duties. Some members receive stipends for their roles in managing and operating the market. However, the majority of the work for the market offered by these 6 people is volunteer time.
If you have any questions about any aspect of our market, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for being part of this amazing organization!