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Jon Ignatowski

Manager of Food Systems Business

Jon’s role in ANCA’s Food Systems Program evolved from his prior position as Grants Advocate & Coordinator, where he helped small business owners and organizational leaders identify relevant grant opportunities and support them in their applications. This one-one-one experience is also key to his current work with farmers and local food entrepreneurs as they navigate grant opportunities and awards.

Jon became infatuated with the Adirondack North Country Region as a boy scout at Camp Massawepie
in Piercefield, NY. In order to be close to the mountains, Jon attended St. Lawrence University and
majored in Environmental Studies and English. As a student, Jon participated in St. Lawrence’s
Adirondack semester, where he lived in a yurt village with eleven other students while learning about
Adirondack history, land use and culture.

Following graduation, Jon decided to remain in Canton, NY, and quickly discovered the thriving
homesteading community in that area. Immediately taken with their resiliency and self-sufficiency, he
was inspired to spend his free time learning new skills, including carpentry, mechanics, hunting and
music. Not being particularly career-minded in that era of his life, Jon took a winding path and adopted
many roles, such as substitute teacher, bicycle tour guide and mechanic, scout camp director,
handyman, and collegiate athletic coach.

While coaching at Clarkson University, faculty in the Civil Engineering Department took Jon under their
wing and introduced him to the field of community planning. Realizing that this was his calling, he
attended Cornell University for graduate work in Regional Planning, focusing on obtaining information
and tools that would prepare him for a career in the Adirondack-North Country Region. Jon is passionate
about developing an economy that creates prosperity for everyone and protects the landscapes that
make this region special.

You can find Jon running up a mountain, paddling on a lake or river, repairing an ancient tractor,
working on his house, or playing a guitar.