Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ag Society Honors Farmers, Journalists, Ag Businesses, FFA

The 182nd annual meeting of the New York State Agricultural Society was held Thursday in Salina.

The theme of the event was the future of agriculture and young people going in to farming.

In addition, a number of businesses, farms, organizations and people were honored at the event.

Here is a list of honorees:

Business of the Year: Red Jacket Orchards, Ontario County. In 1958, Joe and Emily Nicholson – owners of Nicholson’s Poultry Farm in Bethpage, NY – were forced to move their establishment to make way for an expressway. They then purchased Red Jacket Fruit Farms, on land well known for its fruit production. They set up an improvised one-windowed shed to display their cornucopia of harvested fruits to passersby. They offered grapes, pears, raspberries, strawberries, and, of course, apples. This became the site of the original Red Jacket roadside stand. 

Today, at peak season today, Red Jacket Orchards sells at over 25 markets per week, operating out of a warehouse in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Today, much of Red Jacket Orchard’s connection to the world’s greatest food market is based on their Greenmarket operation. Fueled by their customers’ passion and the growth of market operations, Red Jacket Orchards demonstrates the innovation and leadership worthy of NYS Ag Society Business of the Year.

Business of the Year: Farm Credit East. Farm Credit East is a customer-owned lender and financial services leader committed to serving people involved in the business of agriculture, including farmers, nursery and greenhouse operators, forest products businesses, fishermen, lobstermen, part-time growers, agribusinesses and country home owners. Farm Credit East is part of the national Farm Credit System, which was founded in 1916 to promote the growth and prosperity of agriculture throughout the United States.

Cap Creal Journalism Awards: 
Printed News Story, Karen Miltner, Democrat and Chronicle, “A Lot Of Green”
Printed Feature Story, Karen Bjournland, The Daily Gazette (Schenectady), “Weaving A Spell: Fiber Tour”
Printed Series, Paul Post, The Saratogian, “Changing Face of Agriculture”
Printed Editorial, David Dudajek, Observer-Dispatch (Utica), “We Must Save The Family Farm”

Audio/Video for the Internet, Karen Miltner, Democrat and Chronicle, “Organic Farming Conference Focuses On Resilience”
Audio/Video News Feature, David Sommerstein, North Country Public Radio, “North Country Wines Survive The Cold, Please The Palate”

Blog/On-Line Feature, David Sommerstein, Julie Grant, North Country Public Radio, “The Dirt – Farm and Food Blog”
Howard Owens, The Batavian, “Genesee County Farms”

Photograph, Julie Lewis, The Daily Star, “Pushing In”

Ag Promotion Award: Isabel Prescott, Riverview Orchards, Rexford, near Clifton Park in Saratoga County.

Ag Promotion Award: Farm 2 Table Program, Erie County Agricultural Society

FFA Chapter of the Year: Vernon-Verona-Sherrill, Oneida County

Century Farm: Robb Farms, Spencerport, Monroe County, established on April 1, 1912 by George Robb, Sr.

Century Farm: Stocks Windy Acres, Owego, Tioga County, established Jan. 2, 1913 by Joseph Guy Stocks II 

Distinguished Service Citation: Bob Lewis, of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets

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