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Local Farmer South of Syracuse is Thriving with Farm to Table Concept

John Smith / WAER News

According to the State Farm Bureau, 2 out of every 3 farmers have been hurt economically by the coronavirus.  Some are even struggling to stay open through the economic fallout.  However, we met one Central New York farmer who is thriving amid the pandemic.  Dan Palladino never expected a future in farming, but he also never lost his appreciation for it. 

“Every sunsets different… everything is different and, I love it.  Even in the middle of winter, I can find the beauty in that lake effect storm coming up here and nailing us.”   

The farm used to belong to his father. Before that, it was his grandfather’s.  Almost 70 years later, it’s his.  In 2010, Palladino had moved on to a career in finance. His father’s death was his cue to return.

“We had no interest in ever seeing this developed.  My grandfather didn’t, my father and uncles didn’t.  I just felt like nobody should.  The choice for me… purchase it and go all-in on it and figure it out.”     

And just like that, Palladino was left with a 300 acre heirloom of natural beauty.

“I think that’s something that you shouldn’t necessarily own and if you do, you should share it.”

So Palladino Farms opened a restaurant, serving farm to table… on the farm.  A change in the age-old formula of strictly crop-farming was met with serious doubt.

“There is people within my family, within the community that were very skeptical… my mother being one of them.  I was like, I know what this can be.  This is a good avenue to do it and so I pray about it.  Those people now absolutely love this.  They talk to customers, the see it’s reconnecting them with the farm.”  

Credit John Smith / WAER News
Owner Dan Palladino stands next to a tractor he restored.


Palladino added his own brewery and the Farmhouse Café, which sells coffee and pastries to the surrounding rural community.  Right now, it’s what sets his operation apart from the farms struggling through COVID-19. According to the New York State Farm Bureau, nearly 40 percent of farmers say the pandemic negatively affected them.  An additional 30 percent claim the virus has had a very negative impact on their farm.  About one out of every five farmers describe restaurant closures as their primary economic hurdle.  But when the virus struck, and the restaurants closed, Palladino was ready.

“We have an advantage because we’re 300 acres to spread out on.  People are back seeing the animals, walking around… most are following the guidance that we put out there.  It’s just nice to have some sense of normalcy when everything else has had to be cancelled.”

The brewery makes original beer, made with all Central New York ingredients.  The demand was high, and Palladino dabbled with wholesale. But it just didn’t fit the business model.  Palladino Farms never closed during the shutdown.  As a fully functioning farm, it is considered essential. But customers weren’t coming.  Rather than scale back like most of the struggling businesses in Central New York, Palladino expanded 

Credit John Smith / WAER News
The entrance to Heritage Hill Brewhouse at Palladino Farms in Pompey.

operations. He transformed his barn into an events space, which he showed off at a recent open house.