CARL TABER: These are Frontier. The Orions have been planted, and the [INAUDIBLE] have been planted. Over 600 pounds of seed in here right now.
SPEAKER: And that's what one [INAUDIBLE].
CARL TABER: This year, I think my big goal is to find out if we can grow the crop economically here.
JEAN TABER: And see how the chickpeas like the New York weather because we might not have the same climate conditions they have in Idaho.
JUDY MCKINNEY-CHERRY: When I met the Antithesis leaders, I asked them a basic question about how their process worked, what they were using for raw materials. And when they went through what they were doing, it became really clear to me that they were leaving a lot of profit and money on the table because of where they were receiving their supply of chickpeas.
I asked them why aren't you buying chickpeas in New York? And they said we can't find them in New York. But no one could definitively say it had ever been tried, and no one could definitively say why it wouldn't work. And so with some private-sector partners and with the help of several folks from Cornell University, we were able to test this.
ALAN TAYLOR: My role in this project is just because we had the expertise in the seed treatments. Never worked with chickpeas before last year, but we have the equipment and kind of the know how as far as doing the seed treatments. We want to make sure we get the chickpea seeds off to a good start after they're planted and get them up and running.
JUDY MCKINNEY-CHERRY: So what's great about this is that it really does help all of the ecosystems that we have. Not only does it help us economically from an economic-development perspective because it's diversifying the economy, it also helps us from an educational perspective because now you have proof that what we're teaching in our universities does, in fact, end up being in the real world and, in fact, can create businesses.
It also improves our environment. So because we're not hauling these train loads and truckloads of chickpeas across the country, you're saving on the carbon emissions. You're also helping, just sort of from the flora and the fauna, you're helping to add another crop into the crop rotation.
CARL TABER: Between the transportation differential and just seeing that it's produced locally, you know, there's a little bit of value to that that we can hopefully tap into.
JUDY MCKINNEY-CHERRY: This was truly sort of, from the ground up, a locally grown business that started at Cornell. And so it is so exciting to think that Cornell University not only had the opportunity to help us with this pilot but it actually was the one that put literally the seeds that caused the germination for this little business.
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Antithesis Foods, a startup with Cornell beginnings, has partnered with CALS, CCE-Schuyler County and regional organizations to successfully grow chickpeas in New York state. The initiative not only could offer New York farmers a way to diversify their crop rotations but also act as a regional economic engine, shorten the supply chain and decrease the carbon footprint of chickpeas.