The Livestock Foundation’s mission is to preserve the rural traditions and communities of Delaware County through programming that supports and encourages agricultural engagement and education.

Livestock Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a 55-acre working farm in Bovina Center. The farm is just one piece of a larger vision for Bovina Valley that focuses on farm- and food-focused development in rural Delaware County and sits between the Bovina Valley Creamery and the future Dry Town Tavern & Inn. The farm will become home to Cowbella's herd of Jersey cows whose milk will supply the Creamery. The Tavern & Inn will complete the circle by featuring local farm products. We plan to open the farm to the public in 2018, offering truly distinctive engaging and educational experiences.

At Livestock Foundation, we value collaboration and community. We are proud members and collaborators of the following organizations. 


Our Team

Sonia Janiszewski, Executive Director

Since 2010, Sonia Janiszewski has served the Catskills region’s farm and food entrepreneurs as a strategic consultant through Make Hay Sales & Marketing LLC. She's specialized in communications, marketing and relationship management for agriculture- and tourism-based organizations and businesses. Passionate about the future of Delaware County, Sonia has utilized her skills to promote the businesses, people, foods and farms of the Catskills region. This gained the attention of the Livestock Foundation’s Board of Directors and in August of 2016, Sonia was offered the position of Executive Director, which she assumed full-time in January of 2017.

Sonia’s family has farmed in Delaware County since 1950. After graduating from Delaware Academy, she resided in San Francisco, parts of Westchester County, the Hudson Valley and finally made her way back to the Catskills with 10 years experience in corporate marketing communications. She worked for companies such as Aetna US Healthcare and Dannon before joining JMC Marketing Communications & PR in Kingston. While at JMC, she developed integrated marketing strategies and tools for companies such as BAE Systems, DSM, Grace Construction Products, Honeywell Advanced Fibers & Composites, Messe Frankfurt, Performance Fibers, Plasma Air International, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Vectran.

Since returning to the area, she has held management positions with the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE), the Watershed Agricultural Council’s Farm to Market program, and Delaware County Tourism. In 2011, she was selected as the Farmhearts Fellow and launched Catskills Farmlink, a website to link landowners with available properties, and started a Catskills CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) chapter, a networking group for beginning farmers. She initiated the development of Catskills Family Creameries, working closely with a group of local dairy farmers to explore collaborative models to support each others businesses. In 2013, she convened a group of hops farmers to explore opportunities and challenges growing this high-demand crop in the Catskills, as well as a group of farmers seeking market access into NYC. The latter was the beginning of the Lucky Dog Local Food Hub, for which Sonia was the manager for three years, and which now transports products from nearly 50 local farms to approximately 30 buyers twice a week. In 2016, she launched CADE’s Farm and Food Business Incubator and provided technical assistance and business support to numerous local farmers. She has also worked with Delaware County Department of Watershed Affairs, Farm Catskills, Leatherstocking Handsplit Billet Co., Story Laurie, Fieldstone Farm and Wildflower Farm.

Sonia is active in her community and has served on numerous Boards in the region, including Farm Catskills, where she was President for the past three years. She recently moved to Andes, just five minutes from the Livestock Foundation's farm in Bovina.

Board of Directors

John Finn, President With the addition of the farm, which would have otherwise remained idle and fallen into disrepair, we have an opportunity to further preserve the culture and heritage of Bovina while showcasing dairy farming with a modern take on value-added production.

John Finn, President

With the addition of the farm, which would have otherwise remained idle and fallen into disrepair, we have an opportunity to further preserve the culture and heritage of Bovina while showcasing dairy farming with a modern take on value-added production.

Steve Burnett Making our agriculture accessible to the many - to both the Prince and the Pauper - in the forms of food, experience and a community is the work of the Foundation.    

Steve Burnett

Making our agriculture accessible to the many - to both the Prince and the Pauper - in the forms of food, experience and a community is the work of the Foundation.

 

 

Lisa Wisely

Lisa Wisely

Wendy Buerge, Vice President i returned to this area to reconnect with the beauty of the mountains and commit myself to work that has meaning and purpose.  John and i are committed to bringing the type of commerce to the area that will not change it, but enhance it.  

Wendy Buerge, Vice President

i returned to this area to reconnect with the beauty of the mountains and commit myself to work that has meaning and purpose.  John and i are committed to bringing the type of commerce to the area that will not change it, but enhance it.

 

Ed Denison It is difficult to imagine our rural landscape without barns, traditional farm houses and livestock in meadows. The Foundation is important to our community because rural life and its history is invaluable, and merits preservation.

Ed Denison

It is difficult to imagine our rural landscape without barns, traditional farm houses and livestock in meadows. The Foundation is important to our community because rural life and its history is invaluable, and merits preservation.

Lisabeth Collins, Treasurer The traditions within many rural community economies and families are slowly deteriorating, but Livestock Foundation offers the opportunity to keep the true spirit of these places alive and historically intact by promoting farming and local food production.

Lisabeth Collins, Treasurer

The traditions within many rural community economies and families are slowly deteriorating, but Livestock Foundation offers the opportunity to keep the true spirit of these places alive and historically intact by promoting farming and local food production.

Kim Riera Its important to me that we remember our roots and where we come from; the values that brought us together; and the traditions that cemented our community. I'm excited for people to see what we have here, to appreciate the local architecture, the quiet beauty of an old barn, and to taste fresh eggs, cheese and vegetables.

Kim Riera

Its important to me that we remember our roots and where we come from; the values that brought us together; and the traditions that cemented our community. I'm excited for people to see what we have here, to appreciate the local architecture, the quiet beauty of an old barn, and to taste fresh eggs, cheese and vegetables.