North Country Grown Cooperative, Inc. is a true, New York State cooperative corporation owned by its producers and growers. The cooperative markets and delivers locally produced goods to colleges, restaurants and other regional institutions. Products offered by the cooperative include seasonal produce, and year round meats, honey, and maple syrup.
How it began…
PACES Dining Services at SUNY Potsdam began regularly purchasing locally grown food in 2002. In 2003 and 2004, area agencies and individuals together with local farmers expanded the sales to other schools by establishing the Farm-to-School Support Project (FTSSP). The FTSSP continues as an educational and outreach entity under the umbrella of Seedcorn, Inc., a nonprofit organization located in Potsdam. As well support for education and outreach continues to be provided by GardenShare, Inc. a nonprofit network of North Country gardeners working to end hunger and Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County. Financial assistance for the FTSSP came by way of sales to schools, donations through GardenShare, and a Small Farms Educational grant through the Cornell Small Farms Program. As well use of facilities, staff time and support came from SUNY Potsdam PACES Dining Services, St. Lawrence University, the Ganakee Group, Clarkson University faculty, St. Lawrence County’s Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, Cornell University’s Agriculture Innovation Center and other area schools.
The formation of the cooperative took approximately ten months. The cooperative is owned and operated by its members. The Board of Directors is elected by the membership and is comprised of farmers and non-farming individuals vested in supporting a local food system for the North Country.