Date: October 27, 2022
Contact: Kristina Hartzel, AdkAction Communications and Operations Manager,
or 518.856.3233 or Audrey Schwartzberg, ANCA Communications Officer,, 518.891.6200


AdkAction and ANCA Announce Three Grants for Compost for Good

$170K boost and nonprofit partnership will help community-scale composting program expand


SARANAC LAKE, N.Y. — Turning food waste into compost will be easier for North Country communities,
thanks to expanded funding for a regional community-scale composting program. AdkAction and the
Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) announced that the Compost for Good (CfG) initiative has
been awarded $170,000 in grants to provide technical assistance for organizations, municipalities and
other institutions interested in designing and implementing composting programs in their communities.
The three grant awards — $120,000 from the USDA Rural Business Development Program, $30,000 from
the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program and $20,000 from the
New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) — will help AdkAction and ANCA bring the
composting initiative to more North Country communities.

“We’ve seen remarkable growth in both the work accomplished, and the need for services provided by
Compost for Good since they joined AdkAction in 2020 as one of our projects,” said AdkAction Executive
Director Sawyer Cresap. “Thanks to this exciting award from USDA, AdkAction will be able to support
increased reach for the Compost for Good project. We’re pleased that ANCA will also be joining us as a
partner in sparking a composting revolution in the North Country.”

CfG was established by co-founders John Culpepper, Katie Culpepper and ANCA Energy Circuit Rider
Jennifer Perry in 2020, when NYSP21 provided a $20,000 grant to launch the program. Regional demand
for CfG’s services — including site visits, presentations, case studies, educational videos, grant assistance,
regulatory navigation, and peer-to-peer connections — has grown significantly over the last two years.
AdkAction and ANCA’s partnership, bolstered by each organization’s established networks and local food
programming, will increase CfG’s capacity and support more community-scale composting efforts across
the region, particularly among North Country farms.

“As demand for our support has increased substantially in the past year, our team realized we needed to
expand our capacity. We are excited to work with these two powerhouse nonprofits that are already well
connected with local farms and communities. Together, we are better able to respond to the growing
demand for composting in our rural North Country communities,” said Perry.

AdkAction will oversee the $120,000 USDA Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) to support
community-scale business development for composters, haulers, manufacturers, retailers, software
creators and other enterprises. The second-round grant allows CfG to build on efforts that were
supported by a $93,000 RBDG in 2021 and 2022. ANCA will administer the SARE and PPI grants to
provide technical assistance for farms interested in improving and expanding their composting efforts.
The SARE Partnership Grant will support a research and pilot project on Whitten Family Farm in
Winthrop, N.Y. The funding will allow farm owner Cherie Whitten to conduct research on the amount of
gas, moisture and heat produced by her compost, which will be used to heat and fertilize greenhouses
on her farm. ANCA will support Whitten’s research with a team of scientists and provide educational
materials and technical assistance for farmers interested in replicating her project.

“Northeast SARE provides grants to address key issues affecting the sustainability of agriculture,” said
Candice Huber, SARE Grants Program Coordinator. “This is an important project that could reduce farmer
costs and effectively process organic waste.”

“ANCA is glad to build on the work AdkAction has accomplished over the last two years to bring Compost
for Good to more local communities and grow awareness around the economic and environmental
benefits of community-scale composting,” said ANCA Executive Director Elizabeth Cooper. “ANCA has a
long-standing relationship with both AdkAction and Compost for Good, and we look forward to working
with them to make community composting more accessible for North Country farms and communities.
We’re grateful to the Rural Business Development Program, SARE and the Pollution Prevention Institute
for helping us achieve that goal.”

The Compost for Good initiative grew out of a collaboration between ANCA and North Country School
Camp Treetops, where John Culpepper served as director of facilities. The design and construction of the
Lake Placid school’s in-vessel large-scale composter was funded by a 2015 grant from the New York State
Energy and Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) and administered by ANCA. While CfG has
supported over 100 U.S. and international organizations, businesses, universities, school districts,
manufacturers, haulers, composters and regulators to decrease the amount of food scraps sent to
landfills, the team’s primary focus is New York’s North Country region.

To learn more about Compost for Good, contact ANCA’s Jennifer Perry at
AdkAction is a member-supported nonprofit organization whose mission is to create projects that
address unmet needs, promote vibrant communities, and preserve the natural beauty of the
Adirondacks for all.

ANCA is an independent, nonprofit corporation with a transformational approach to building prosperity
across northern New York. Using innovative strategies for food systems, clean energy, small businesses,
and equity and inclusion, ANCA delivers targeted interventions that create and sustain wealth and value
in local communities.

Attached: one (1) PDF and three (3) photos.

Photo 1: The Compost for Good Team: John Culpepper, Katie Culpepper and Jennifer Perry.
Photo 2: Laura Cook of Cook Family Farm in Owls Head is working with Compost for Good to improve and
expand composting processes and services.

Photo 3: John Culpepper of Compost for Good and Chris Neil of Norman Ridge Farm in Vermontville
discuss how best to compost the farm’s manure and bedding mix and how specialized equipment — like a
hygrometer and thermometer — is used to ensure high-quality compost.