November 20: Closed except for special events

Main Attractions

Conference on Food and Farming


A Celebration of Our Agricultural Community
The Farmers’ Museum Conference on Food & Farming 2018 - Hops & Brewing

Saturday, November 3, from 9:00 am-4:30 pm


Free for all to attend!


The mission of The Farmers’ Museum’s annual conference A Celebration of Our Agricultural Community is to inform and inspire farmers as well as the public, unifying and driving the agricultural economy in Central New York.  

The Farmers’ Museum recognizes the importance of contemporary farming and is committed to providing resources and networking opportunities for regional farmers to connect with information, potential partners, and prospective customers. The Farmers’ Museum desires to be an active member of the farming community, educating people about useful practices from both yesterday and today. 

At the same time, this conference will empower the public to become engaged consumers, providing opportunities for people to learn more and get involved.  It is in fostering a deeper appreciation for and understanding of the various processes involved in farming, as well as the issues farmers face today, that we support and stimulate the agricultural evolution that is so vital to the health and well-being of our citizens, our animals, and our land.  We start local to go global, becoming a dynamic force in the agricultural movement that will shape the 21st century.

With a focus on the theme Hops & Brewing in 2018, the conference will provide essential tools and inspiration:  Leading experts in the fields of business, production, technology, and more will teach about growing hops and brewing.  Hobbyists, entrepreneurs, and long-time professionals alike will learn the latest and best information to grow their businesses and products in exciting ways, while also broadening capabilities.  General attendees will develop a keen appreciation for the hard work and scientific expertise required to be a grower and/or a brewer.

The face of agriculture is changing and the future is now!  As farming adapts new practices and confronts major challenges, the opportunities are endless.  This is an exciting time at The Farmers’ Museum – we shake the dust off the crops and usher in a new season of outreach and advancement! 

Thank you for your support and participation!










The conference takes place in the Louis C. Jones Center,

 located in the Main Barn at The Farmers’ Museum.



 8:30 – 9:10 AM                      Check-In and Exhibitor Visits


9:10 – 9:15 AM                      Welcome and Introduction


Danielle Henrici (Director of Education, The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum)


9:15 – 9:30 AM                      “Update from Albany”


Richard A. Ball, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (invited)


9:30 – 10:15 AM                    Hop Keynote Address:  Steve Miller (Northeast Hop Alliance)


10:15 – 10:30 AM                  Break and Exhibitor Visits


10:30 – 11:00 AM                  Mini Breakout Session on Proper Soils and Pest Control: Adam Wild (SUNY Cobleskill)


11:00 – 11:30 AM                  Mini Breakout Session on Disease Resistant Hops: Lynda McMaster-Schuyler (SUNY Cobleskill)


11:30 – 12:30 PM                   Panel Discussion: “Growing Great Hops in Central New York”


                                             Steve Miller (Northeast Hop Alliance), Dustin Wood from Muddy River Hops, Rick Pedersen (Pedersen Farms), Ian Porto (Cooperstown Brewing Company), and Chad Meg (The Bineyard)




12:30 – 1:30 PM                     Lunch and Exhibitor Visits




1:30 – 2:15 PM                       Brewing Keynote Address: Doug Campbell, President, Brewery Ommegang


2:15 – 2:45 PM                       Mini Breakout Session on Farm Breweries: Carrie Blackmore, Good Nature Farm Brewery


2:45 – 3:00 PM                       Break and Exhibitor Visits


3:00 – 3:30 PM                       Mini Breakout Session on the Business of Brewing: Richard Mathy Jr. of Fulton Chain Brewery


3:30 – 4:30 PM                       Panel Discussion:  “Being a Successful Brewer in Central New York”


                                                Phil Leinhart from Brewery Ommegang


                                                Aaron MacLeod from Hartwick Center for Craft Food and Beverage


                                                Roger Davidson from Council Rock Brewery


The Main Barn turns 100 years old this season! It serves as the museum's exhibition center. This year, the museum is proud to present Barns: Cathedrals of the Countryside and Grow: An Exhibit to Get You Gardening.

Barns: Cathedrals of the Countryside

Dairy barns, with their soaring roof lines and towering silos, punctuate the rural landscape. Upstate New York’s agricultural buildings have long served as landmarks due to their size and visibility. Nowhere is this monumentality more noteworthy than on gentleman’s estates, such as Edward Severin Clark’s Fenimore Farm. Architects designed barns such as this, built 100 years ago, to be practical: to house cows, provide storage for hay, grain, and silage, and model advances in sanitation to ensure pure milk. But they also hoped to create rural landmarks that would model new and visually striking ways to meet basic farming needs.

Curated by Cynthia G. Falk–professor at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, a master’s degree program in museum studies sponsored by SUNY Oneonta. Dr. Falk is the author of the books Barns of New York: Rural Architecture of the Empire State and Architecture and Artifacts of the Pennsylvania Germans: Constructing Identity in Early America, and served as the co-editor of Buildings & Landscapes, the journal of the Vernacular Architecture Forum from 2012 to 2017.


Grow: An Exhibit to Get You Gardening

Gardening is healthy, easy to do, and offers great nutritional, physical, and mental benefits. Whether in your backyard, in containers on your deck, or in a community garden, you can learn how to cultivate fresh vegetables. Are you thinking about planting a backyard garden? Large landowner or apartment dweller, GROW: An Exhibition to Get You Gardening is framed with ideas and advice on how you can start growing!

Sponsored by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Bank of Cooperstown.


CarouselThe Empire State Carousel is a beautiful example of a traditional country fair ride. Called “the museum you can ride.” it has 25 hand-carved animals representing the agricultural and natural resources found in New York State, and chariot rides of a scallop shell (the State shellfish), an Erie Canal Boat, and an original Lover’s Tub. Other carved elements, such as folklore panels, depict Uncle Sam and Deerslayer, and portrait panels of such notable figures as Susan B. Anthony, Teddy Roosevelt, Grandma Moses and Jackie Robinson enhance the rounding boards.

There are eight foot curved murals whose paintings depict moments in New York history from the arrival of the Half Moon to the construction of Levittown. The hand carved frames around the mirrors depict 11 different regions of New York, and there are carved place names from all over the State. Even the sweeps of the carousel feature over 300 feet of hand stencils of the bluebird, rose, apple, sugar maple leaf and state map!

First conceived in 1982, it opened at The Farmers’ Museum on Memorial Day 2006 and represents voluntary artistic contributions by over 1,000 New Yorkers. Housed in a twelve-sided building, the Empire State Carousel is open during museum hours.

Cardiff Giant

The Cardiff Giant, a ten-foot-long gypsum figure known as “America’s Greatest Hoax” has been on exhibit since the 1940s at The Farmers’ Museum. The Cardiff Giant traces the story of this “petrified man,” which was the centerpiece of a moneymaking scheme by a businessman from Binghamton, New York. The Cardiff Giant was created and displayed in the 19th century, and public reaction to it reflected the scientific and religious beliefs of the time.

George Hull, a cigar-maker and get-rich-quick artist, came up with the idea to create the Giant during a business trip to Iowa. Hull, an atheist, argued with a revivalist minister about a biblical passage. The phrase “There were giants in the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4), sparked Hull’s imagination and led to an involved plot that eventually made him a fortune.

In 1868, Hull went to Ft. Dodge, Iowa, and ordered a five-ton block of gypsum to create, he explained, a piece of patriotic statuary. The block was delivered to a stonecutter, Edward Burghardt, in Chicago, who, having been sworn to silence, created the Giant. The figure was then secretly shipped to the village of Cardiff, just south of Syracuse, where it was placed in a pit and covered. In 1869, the man on whose farm Hull had hidden the Giant hired two workmen to dig a well. He ordered then to dig it in the spot where the Giant had been buried, and the workmen thus directed soon made their startling discovery.

Word of the unearthing of a petrified man spread quickly around the countryside. People came from miles around to see the Giant, which was identified as an example of an ancient race mentioned in Genesis by some believers. “Found” in the heart of New York’s Burnt Over District, the Giant benefited from the religious fervor sweeping the area. Scientific experts offered another theory on the Giant’s origin. Dr. John F. Boynton, scientific lecturer, declared that the Giant was a statue created by a Jesuit priest during the early 17th century to awe local Indian tribes. State Geologist James Hall was also convinced that the Giant was an ancient statue. A third group said it was a hoax, but this in no way diminished its popularity.

In 1947, the Giant was sold to The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown. He is now on display inside the main barn of the museum.

Historic Village

Historic VillageThe 19th-century Historic  Village is comprised of buildings gathered from rural communities around New York state and painstakingly relocated and restored, piece by piece.  Each building provides an intimate view of commercial and domestic practices common to rural life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Lippitt Farmstead

Lippitt FarmsteadThe Lippitt Farmstead is a living example of how a farm would have operated in the mid-19th-century. Seasons are celebrated at the farm with the changing scene and changing occupations: cultivation and harvesting of hops, the area’s most valuable crop of the period; nurturing of young farm animals; shearing the sheep and combing, spinning and weaving the wool. Children will delight in petting or feeding the young animals in the Children’s Barnyard. The farm is welcoming, friendly and hearty, a tribute to the pioneering spirit that shaped the American countryside.

This collection of buildings that includes two barns and six other outbuildings, animal sheds, a smoke house, and the Lippitt family farmhouse reflects the design of houses in Joseph Lippitt’s native Rhode Island. The house dates from 1800 and was built in Hinman Hollow, N.Y.