Matthew R. Garner, Ph.D.
“FingerLakes Farms is a business we formed to provide locally produced food to consumers at a price that guarantees the farmer and producers a wage to continue farming and support their own families. I believe this business model provides that consumers can get to know more about the way their food is produced and feel comfortable in their food purchasing decisions. On top of that, our microbiological lab makes sure that the food we produce and distribute is as safe as what the big food companies produce.”
Matt’s passion is the production of safe local food in a sustainable manner. Matt received his PhD in ruminant microbiology (the study of bacteria that live in cow stomachs) in 2004. He then worked as a Post-Doc. for Dr. Kathryn Boor (Dean of Agriculture at Cornell) publishing on topics in food safety. Matt comes from a family that has been involved in North American Agriculture dating back to the mid-1600’s.
“I want to do everything I can to ensure that small farmers continue to have the opportunity to farm and provide others with safe, healthy, minimally-processed foods.”
I love good food, I love working with the farmers who produce the food, and I love to see people get excited about good food.
At 15 years old I landed my first restaurant job in Ithaca, NY and I have been involved in the business of food production, distribution and presentation ever since. It has been over 25 years. After studying small scale farming and graduating from the Ag School at Cornell, I headed West to California and found work at Good Humus, an organic fruit and vegetable farm on the western edge of the Sacramento Valley. After working for a few years, missing rain and the color green, I returned to New York and promptly busted a couple discs mulching rhubarb (no kidding) on a local farm. After the surgery it was off to great state of Kentucky to attend graduate school. Never far from food, I also managed a local produce stand and worked with tobacco farmers helping them transition into vegetable production.
I love Kentucky but always being in a New York State of mind I came back to work for the next 10 years or so in distribution as a produce buyer until taking the plunge and founding FingerLakes Farms. Today I am focused on using my experience to help develop a more efficient, sustainable and profitable local food system for everyone including the producer and the consumer. I am committed to giving farmers a fair value for their diligent production and to giving the consumer affordable, safe and wholesome local food.