This week, we’re highlighting the wonderful folks who will be presenting workshops and leading discussion groups at the Rural Commonwealth Ag Summit on Sunday, February 11. This free, one-day event will be held at Mohawk Trail Regional High School and is made possible with a grant from Greenfield Savings Bank. The ideas for sessions at the Summit came from the farmers, foresters, and wood product producers we met and interviewed for our Western Franklin County Business Report.
Product Distribution (11:00am – noon)
This session features one of the owners of Sidehill Farm (either Amy Klippenstein or Paul Lacinski, depending on who needs to stay in Hawley to milk the cows) and Nick Martinelli of Marty’s Local. They will describe their experiences distributing farm products in the Northeast and take questions from session participants about food distribution.
Amy and Paul (shown in the photo above) started Sidehill Farm as a three-cow operation in Ashfield. Now located on a hilltop in Hawley, Sidehill Farm has grown into 225 acres of certified organic pastures and hayfields, woodlands, and big sky, with a herd of nearly 80 grass-fed Normande and Jersey cows that produce delicious raw milk, yogurt, and grass-fed beef. Their products – notably yogurt – are distributed statewide.
Amy is Sidehill’s Farm Shop Manager, Head Milker, and Sour Cream and Butter Enthusiast. Paul is Head Yogurt Consumer and Source of All the Trouble.
Nick Martinelli is the founder and operator of Marty’s Local, a distributor of local and regional foods. Based in Berkshire County, Marty’s Local is premised on the food hub model, aiming to strengthen and facilitate the links between our area’s buyers and nearby farmers and food producers. This company partners with farmers and food producers in the Berkshires, the Pioneer Valley, Vermont, the Hudson Valley, and surrounding areas and connect them with grocers, colleges, restaurants, schools, and caterers throughout New England and New York. Marty’s Local offers a full range of source-identified foods, including produce, grains, dairy, meat, cheeses, and specialty products. It also provides freight services.
Before starting Marty’s Local in January of 2016, Nick worked as an attorney in state government for nine years, concluding his state service as Deputy Chief Counsel for former Governor Deval Patrick. Nick is a graduate of The Farm School in Orange, MA, and he worked as an agriculture advocate with the nonprofit Land For Good.