BROOKFIELD, NY — Amongst the backdrop of 4-H livestock shows, carnival rides and the bellowing diesel power of the tractor pulls at the 179th Madison County Fair, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County held a special Agriculture Appreciation Reception to honor Dairy of Distinction recipients and local farmers who bolster the good news of farming.
“Established in 1983, the Northeast Dairy Farm Beautification Program recognizes the hard work and dedication of dairy owner / operators who have attractive, well-kept farms and promote a good dairy image. The Dairy of Distinction Program is based on the concept that attractive farmsteads enhance consumer confidence in the dairy industry. The award also recognizes the hard work and efforts of all Northeast dairy farmers.”
Agriculture Subject Educator, Sarah Ficken, awarded Bill Cody and his family at Cody Farms in Fenner, NY with the 2018 Dairy of Distinction award. Established in 1868, the farm began with dairy, hops (until the early 1900s) and horses, then settled firmly as a dairy farm.
Now in the third, fourth and fifth generations of farm life, the 180 cow operation represents a community-based focused ideal where the farming lifestyle isn’t just about animals or crops. “It’s about beliefs and values passed down through generations, ensuring things are left better for those yet to come. It’s about our heritage and our future,” said Bill. “I’m proud to accept this award which represents a lot of sweat equity and our attempt to maintain a positive image for local dairy farms while educating the public.”
Assemblyman and neighbor Bill Magee said, “I’ve known Ken (Bill’s father) and the family for years and they exemplify the principles of land and animal husbandry. They’re always striving for improvement and being models in community engagement. We are all very proud of their accomplishments.”
Past Madison County Dairy of Distinction recipients were given awards for reaching milestone years in the program. They were: Orth Farms, De-Best Farms, Pugh Farm, Squires Farm, Rose Dairy Farm, Granny Acres Farm and Huftalen’s Organic Dairy Farm.
The award for “Best Self Promotion by a Farm” was given to Hartwood Farm in Chittenango, NY. The multi-faceted farm features a CSA share program which serves Cazenovia, Fayetteville, Liverpool, Manlius and Syracuse customers from their 70 acres of vegetables, maple trees, field crops, hayland and livestock enterprises. They were lauded for their community outreach and social media presence at www.hartwoodfarm.com.
Madison County Agricultural Economic Development Specialist, Jenn Farwell, presented Troy Bishopp, aka, “The Grass Whisperer”, of Deansboro, NY with the “Best Farm Promotion by Media” award for his 13 years of writing and photography work promoting local agriculture for Lee Newspapers and other regional and national media outlets.
“Agriculture is our top industry in Madison County, so it’s always a nice opportunity to recognize agriculture and the people who help us succeed,” said Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director Karin Bump.