E-Z Acres in Cortland County has won the state's top environmental award – the 2015 Agricultural Environmental Management Award.
Each year, the award
honors the outstanding efforts of a farm to protect soil and water
quality. E-Z Acres Farm , located near Homer, and its owner Mike McMahon were recognized for its environmental ethics, progressive production practices and community service work.
The honor was presented during a ceremony at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls. Also honored was the
Cortland County Soil and Water Conservation District.
McMahon family operates a 680-cow dairy farm on 2,500 acres of land in
the Skaneateles Lake watershed. To support their dairy
operation, they also raise corn, alfalfa, and grass
As early adopters of the principles of agricultural
environmental management, E-Z Acres farm has implemented several
conservation practices that have also increased productivity.
farm has replaced the traditional alfalfa-corn silage rotation with
intensive grasses, which enhances soil conservation while also
benefiting dairy herd health.
With E-Z Acres’ land resting
over Cortland County’s sole-source aquifer, the McMahons are also
dedicated to quarterly monitoring of the water quality through stream
and well testing.
In addition, the farm uses a monitoring system and
liner for the farm’s three million gallon manure storage,
cover cropping of corn silage fields annually, and precision feed
management to protect soil health. The farm has also taken energy
efficiency measures by replacing lighting with energy efficient fixtures
throughout the farm.
to receive this esteemed award," McMahon said. "At McMahon’s E-Z Acres, it’s about doing
things right and not about doing it for the
awards. Like many in our business, we believe if we take care of the
environment, the environment will take care of us.”
McMahons were the first animal welfare-approved farm in New York State
and have been leaders in the community representing the farm and the
agriculture industry’s interests.
E-Z Acres hosts several
annual community events, including an annual Farm Field Day for
Cortland County fifth graders and a Cornell University farm management
class. They also partner with the Syracuse Rotary Club to provide farm
tours for low-income families.
farm has worked closely with the Cortland County Soil and Water
Conservation District, which provides technical assistance to advance
agricultural environmental management practices within the