Mary Jeanne Packer founded Battenkill Fibers in 2009 to provide value-added, custom carding and spinning services for fiber farms and makers; and to manufacture yarn and fiber products for wholesale and retail markets. The mill produces 100-150 lbs of artisan quality natural-colored and dyed semi-worsted yarn daily using refurbished traditional milling machinery. Since its founding, Battenkill Fibers has grown to provide 15 full-time and part-time jobs and was recognized as Washington County Small Business of the Year in 2015.
Before opening the mill, Mary Jeanne was the owner/co-owner of several local yarn stores serving hand-knitters and crochet enthusiasts. Since 2004, she has been organizing annual guided international and domestic textile tours with a focus on authentic, participatory fiber-related experiences.
Mary Jeanne is one of the founders, and president, of the farmer-owned Southern Adirondack Fiber Producers Cooperative best known for its annual wool pool which connects the region’s sheep farmers with the world market for grease wool. Mary Jeanne is a co-founder of the Hudson Valley Textile Project and serves on its board of directors as treasurer. She is also the secretary of the Empire Sheep Producers Association and a member of the Empire Alpaca Association.
She has a bachelors degree in engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and a masters degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University. Mary Jeanne has served on numerous boards including Cornell Cooperative Extension Washington County, NY Farm Viability Institute, NY Ag in the Classroom, the national Forest Landowners Association, and Empire Council of Ag Organizations.
Listen to interviews with Mary Jeanne Packer on the following podcasts:
- Mary Jeanne’s Handweavers Guild of America Careers in Textiles Symposium (March 2021) presentation
- Hudson Valley Textile Project’s Common Threads : 2021 Trends with Mary Jeanne Packer, HVTP co-founder & Owner of Battenkill Fibers
- Professional Weaver Podcast : Mary Jeanne Packer on Working with a Spinning Mill
- Weave : Commercial Scale Local Wool Carding and Spinning with Mary Jeanne Packer of Battenkill Fibers
- Hudson Valley Textile Project’s Common Threads : An Introduction
- Power Purls Podcast : Farm to Fabric: Staying local with Mary Jeanne Packer of Battenkill Fibers
- Collage Creative with Amy Small : Mary Jeanne Packer: Creating and coming back from a fire to create Battenkill Fibers
- The Farm Report Ep 128 : The Fiber Series: From Fleece to Yarn with Mary Jeanne Packer
- The Farm Report Ep 126: The Fiber Series: Mary Jeanne Packer and Mary Pratt