Owner of Chickadee Creek Farm
Jess Niederer is the founding partner of Chickadee Creek Farm in central NJ. Jess Niederer was born into a farming family but was not actively encouraged to think of agriculture as a viable career path. After studying ecology and graduating with a bachelors of science from Cornell University, Jess was influenced by her experiences volunteering in post-Katrina New Orleans and time spent working in Central America to turn from scientific research to a field that was more humanities based. She learned to farm organic vegetables by working on several farms in and near her hometown. In 2010, at age 25, she launched her business Chickadee Creek Farm as a sole proprietorship. That first year she was the single employee and farmed 2 acres with all borrowed equipment, sold at two farmers markets, and had a farm CSA (community supported agriculture) program with ten members. The farm is now an S Corp in the process of including a second partner, with ten employees, farming 20 acres, all with fully owned capital, selling at 7 weekly farmers markets, with 470 CSA members. The business was built without taking out any loans. Jess was awarded the Edible Jersey Magazine’s Local Hero Award in 2014 and 2017, the NJ Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year Award in 2016, and the National Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year Award in 2016. She is the Vice President of both the Mercer County Board of Agriculture and the NJ Vegetable Growers Association and is a volunteer EMT with the local first aid squad.