The pressures of climate change are upon us. The last few years have seen a rise in extreme weather conditions, from hurricanes and floods to droughts and fires—leading to food insecurity, climate-induced migration, health impacts, and biodiversity loss. Farmers around the world have been among the first to feel the impacts of climate change on the ground, and on their livelihoods. As the recently released National Climate Assessment indicates, we need to urgently accelerate change in the food system to ensure human and environmental health into the future.
At Stone Barns Center and Blue Hill, we believe that elevating farm driven cuisine will help address climate change, drive healthier consumption, and create career pathways for the next generation of farmers. Since 2004, we have developed a reputation for innovative thinking to advance resilient agriculture and a food culture to support it. Our partner, chef Dan Barber, is a driving force in this work—sharing powerful ideas about our food system on the page and on the plate. Stone Barns is now a nationally known convening place for farmers, chefs, teachers, students, seed breeders, engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, media, thought leaders, and everyday eaters interested in changing how we farm and how we eat.
Stone Barns’ imprint on the landscape is also growing. Last year, we took on management of 350 acres of additional land through a partnership with the NYS Department of Parks and Recreation and the Rockefeller State Park Preserve. Our team is implementing a long-term regenerative grazing plan there in pursuit of integrated conservation and agriculture goals. In the face of climate change, we know that if we want to eat bountifully, our food system must become less dependent on fossil fuels and chemicals, and more reliant on ecosystem services and natural cycles. Projects like this collaboration with the Park have the potential to inspire, inform and ignite us in the right direction.
With Stone Barns on such strong footing, now is an ideal time to begin planning the organization’s next phase of growth and development: Stone Barns 2.0. Together with our partner Blue Hill, we are committed to continuing to scale up the scope and impact of our work to meet the epic challenges confronting food systems. Now is an ideal time to bring Stone Barns Center’s accumulated credibility, expertise and ambitious vision together and focus on our unique ability to advance a new pattern of eating – not just what people eat, but how they eat – from the ground up.
Thanks to our community of over 8,000 individual and institutional donors to date, Stone Barns is positioned to pursue as-yet-untapped opportunities to address climate change and other food system challenges through farm-driven cuisine. Beginning this month, Stone Barns Center’s board and staff from Stone Barns and Blue Hill will be working together intensively to brainstorm new strategies to achieve even greater impact. In the months to come, we look forward to sharing more with you about our strategic evolution and opportunities to get involved. Together, we can all shape a future for our children and grandchildren that is healthy, sustainable, and undeniably delicious.