NYS Ag Society seeks 2019 award nominations

Until September 1, 2018, the NYS Ag Society will be collecting 2019 award applications

Established in 1913, the Holst Hill Land & Cattle, LLC of Constantia, NY has been a resilient family farm operation and a point of pride for Oswego County’s agricultural industry, which is primarily comprised of a wide variety of small farms. In 2019, the NYS Agricultural Society will honor century and bicentennial farms in Eastern New York State. For more information or to apply for this special recognition, go to www.nysagsociety.org. By recognizing individuals and businesses who are doing good work on behalf of the NYS ag and food industry and sharing their unique stories with the non farm public, the NYS Ag Society strives to create better understanding and working relationships with farm neighbors, consumers and government leaders. (Courtesy Photo)

At 186 years old, the NYS Agricultural Society has a long history of sharing stories about individuals and businesses who have lifted the state’s ag and food industry to new heights in terms of environmental stewardship, animal husbandry, cropping efficiency, farm safety and the production of quality, safe foodstuffs. The major platform to honor these leaders and share their success stories is the Society’s Annual Meeting & Forum conducted in January where award winners in eight categories are announced including: farm safety, agricultural promotion, journalism, next generation farmers, business of the year, distinguished service, and century and bicentennial farms. Through this unique type of recognition and sharing, the 700-plus members of the NYS Ag Society strive to build better understanding and positive working relationships with audiences living off the farm including neighbors, consumers, and government leaders.


Until September 1, 2018, the NYS Ag Society will be collecting 2019 award applications on their website: www.nysagsociety.org. Additional information is also available online.

AG PROMOTION AWARDS – The award recognizes individuals, groups and/or teams of partnering organizations that work to improve the general public’s understanding of agriculture. Sponsored by Alpha Zeta Fraternity at Cornell University, Kreher’s Farm Fresh Eggs, and NYS FFA Foundation. 2018 award winners include:

NY Beef Industry Council, Rome, NY
Dryden Dairy Day, Dryden, NY

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR – The award promotes our state’s food system by recognizing the quality, leadership and innovation demonstrated by NY farms and agribusinesses. Sponsored by the Northeast Agribusiness & Feed Alliance. 2018 winners include:

Producer – Critz Farms, Cazenovia, NY
Agribusiness – The New York Apple Association (NYAA)

CAP CREAL JOURNALISM AWARDS – Named for farmer, Society member, and Assemblyman Harold “Cap” Creal, the Journalism Awards were created to inspire more coverage of the positive aspects of agriculture in NYS. Prizes are presented in the following categories: Print – News Story, Feature, Series, Editorial. Audio/ Video – News Clip, Feature, Internet. Blogs/Online Feature. Photography. Sponsored by Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Cornell University. 2018 winners include:


Printed News Story: Paul Post, The Saratogian
Printed Feature Story: Paul Post, The Troy Record
Printed Editorial: Justine Vanden Heuvel and Mary Jo Dudley, MarketWatch
Audio News Clip: David Sommerstein, North Country Public Radio
Audio/Video News Clip: Spectrum News Staff, Spectrum News
Audio/Video for the Internet: NYFB Foundation for Agricultural Education Inc.
Blogs/Online Feature: Christa Lemczak and Michelle Breidenbach, Syracuse.com
Photograph: Julie Lewis, The Daily Star

CENTURY & BICENTENNIAL FARM AWARDS – The program honors NY farms in continuous operation on the same land by the same family for 100 years or more. The NYS Agricultural Society will recognize farms in Eastern NY in 2019. East/West counties are identified online at www.nysagsociety.org. Sponsored by Farm Credit Northeast Ag Enhancement. 2018 winners include:

Johnson Estate Farm & Winery, Westfield, NY (Century Farm)
SUNY Cobleskill (special recognition)
Jerome’s Fruit Farm & U-Pick, Naples, NY (Bicentennial Farm)

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CITATION – The award recognizes individuals who have dedicated a lifetime of service, resulting in outstanding contributions to NY agriculture. Sponsored by NY Farm Bureau Member Services. The 2018 Distinguished Service Citation winner was:

Jim Bittner, Bitter-Singer Orchards, Appleton, NY

FFA CHAPTER OF THE YEAR – The award recognizes a NYS FFA Chapter for service to their community and promotion of agriculture. Sponsored by the NYS Grange. The 2018 winner is:

Pioneer Central School FFA, Yorkshire, NY

NEXT GENERATION FARMER AWARD – Launched in 2016, this award recognizes both a long-standing operation who is excelling under new leadership and owner/operators who are brand new to agriculture and food production. Sponsored by The Voss Group and FreedMaxick. 2018 winners include:

Dan and Brett Osborn, Genoa/Auburn/Perry, NY
Kast Farms, Albion, NY

NYS FARM SAFETY AWARDS – Recognizes farm operators who have unique and successful farm safety programs for their employees. Sponsored by Cargill, Inc. The 2018 Farm Safety winner is:

E-Z Acres, LLC, Mike and Peter McMahon, Homer, NY

Established in 1832, the mission of the NYS Agricultural Society is to foster, promote, and improve the NYS food and agricultural industry through education, leadership development and recognition programs. It has played a vital role in the development of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, the NYS Fair, and the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute (LEAD NY). In 2011, the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation was formed. For more information or to join the NYS Agricultural Society visit www.nysagsociety.org or contact Executive Secretary, Ann Noble Shephard, at ann@nysagsociety.org, (315) 727-5449.