A great time was had at the 2018 FNDinner. Mark Printz of Canticle Farm gave a great presentation on "What is CSA" and the benefits of buying products from local farmers.
Be sure to congratulate any of the awardees below.
2018 Ag Awards
- Ag Legacy Award - Barb Andera
- Farmer of the Year - Hill's Valley Farm
- Conservation Farm of the Year - Bliss Dairy Company
- Friend of Agriculture - Jack Searles
2018 Ag Legacy Award - Barb Andera
For 2018, the Cattaraugus County AFPB has selected Barbara Andera of Great Valley for the Ag Legacy Award. Barb, and her late husband Francis, operated Frangalex Farm in Great Valley for many years. This farm was a beautiful, well maintained dairy facility that was highly visible to anyone travelling down Route 219 between Ellicottville and Great Valley, and its picturesque and photogenic appearance showcased the pride they had in their operation, and also provided a very positive image of the agricultural industry in our county. However, the Andera’s commitment to agriculture and the community reached far beyond the boundaries of their farm.
Together, Barb and Fran were widely known and highly respected throughout the county and across the state for their dedication to promoting the importance of the agricultural industry, as well as supporting their community and providing quality education and opportunities for our youth. This award recognizes the many accomplishments of both Barb and Fran throughout their lifetime.
- Longtime members and active participants in Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau, including hosting the annual Farm Bureau picnic at their farm for many years.
- They were well known by local, state, and federal elected officials representing our area, and communicated with them regularly regarding various issues that impacted agriculture.
- They believed in conservation and protecting the environment, and practiced what they preached, implementing many conservation practices on their farm. They were presented with the Conservation Farm Award several years ago. Francis also served on the Catt. Co. Soil & Water Conservation District board for over 30 years, and encouraged other farms to work with conservation agencies to address resource issues.
- Barb served on the Farm Service Agency County Committee for several years.
- Barb & Fran were active members of their church & community. Barb has helped prepare meals for church functions and other events for many years.
- The Anderas believed that our youth were the future of agriculture, and were dedicated supporters of the Cattaraugus County 4H program and other youth activities. Francis served on the Ellicottville School Board for many years.
They mentored many youth from their community over the years, providing them with opportunities for employment on the farm, and even more importantly, guidance and support to follow their dreams and be the best that they could be.
The Cattaraugus County Ag & Farmland Protection Board is pleased to honor Barbara Andera, and her late husband Francis, for their many contributions to the agricultural community throughout the county & region.
2018 Farmer of the Year - Hill's Valley Farm
Hill’s Valley Farm was founded in 1959 by Roland and Onalee Hill. They sold the farm to their son Richard, and his wife Donna, in 1979. Roland continued to help with field work for many years. Roland’s FFA project was a Brown Swiss heifer, which ultimately led to today’s current herd of Brown Swiss. He passed away in August, 2017 at the age of 85.
Richard and Donna have been involved in the farm since 1979. They raised two sons. Derek is a high school math teacher in Hamburg. He and his wife, Michelle, have two young children, Mackenzie and Gavin. Darin and his wife, Katie, have been partners in the farm since 2008. Katie hails from Perryville, Missouri and grew up on a Brown Swiss farm. Darin and Katie have three children; Blake, Garrett and Averi. Darin graduated from Cornell and Katie from the University of Missouri.
The farm currently consists of nearly 300 head of mostly purebred Brown Swiss. The herd is one of the highest Brown Swiss production herds in the country with a herd average of over 25,000 milk and 1100 pounds fat. While production is an important part of the operation, Hill’s Valley farm is likely more widely acclaimed for the herd’s type. They have shown their cattle at local, state and national shows and have received many All-American recognitions. The most notable was a homebred cow, Hills Valley Perfecta Ritz, who was intermediate champion at both Harrisburg and the World Dairy Expo in 2011. Ritz has 25 daughters and granddaughters in the herd through the use of embryo transfer and invitro fertilization. The 2017 show season resulted in being Premier Breeder at Harrisburg and 3 All –American nominations. In addition Hill’s Valley bred, raised and sold the reserve Junior Champion at Madison which has been named All-American Fall Calf.
The farm owns and rents 350 acres which produces all the roughage for the farm. The ration for the milk cows is corn silage, alfalfa and grass baleage, and purchased concentrate. Field work is shared by all family members, except corn chopping, which is custom harvested.
The milking herd of 150 head is housed in a compost bedded pack barn which was built in 2008. The pack is bedded with dry sawdust and is stirred daily with an s-tine cultivator and cleaned twice a year. The herd is milked in an 8 stall step –up, walk through parlor retrofitted in the old tie stall barn.
In 2016, Richard and Donna were recognized as the Active Master Breeder by the national Brown Swiss Association. Richard has served as a National director for the Brown Swiss Assocaition as well as Vice President. Richard has judged all 6 of the Brown Swiss National Shows including Madison in 2013. He currently serves on the FSA county committee and the board of directors of Upstate- Niagara Coop.
Darin and Katie have been very active in the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau. Darin currently serves as President and Katie is on the Pro-Ed Committee and is District 1 representative on the State Young Farmer and Ranchers Committee. They were the winners of the 2017 Young Farmers Achievement Award for New York State Farm Bureau.
2018 Conservation Farm of the Year - Bliss Dairy Company
The Cattaraugus County Soil & Water Conservation District has selected Dustin Bliss of Bliss Dairy Company, LLC for the 2018 Conservation Farm of the Year Award. Mr. Bliss operates a dairy farm in the Town of Freedom. He has actively participated in NY State’s Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program, and has worked in close cooperation with various partner agencies and organizations, including the Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service & Farm Service Agency, and Western NY Crop Management Association to implement many conservation practices on his farm. These projects help to address agricultural runoff, agricultural nutrient management, erosion & sediment control, and grazing management. He is carrying on the conservation efforts of the previous farm operators, Carl Jr. & Barb George, who were also selected for this award many years ago.
Practices and projects implemented to date include:
- Expansion & upgrade to an existing manure storage structure for the main dairy facility, which allows for application of nutrients at optimum times of the year for improved crop production and reduced runoff potential. 350 ft. rock lined outlet to reduce erosion from concentrated runoff.
- Construction of improved waste handling facility for the heifer barn to provide for better storage of manure, improve drainage, and reduce runoff from the site.
- Over 4000 feet of diversion ditch with a 350 ft. rock lined outlet to reduce erosion from concentrated runoff.
- Approximately 100 acres of cover crop planted to reduce cropland erosion and improve soil health.
- Implementation of over 82 acres of rotational grazing and associated practices including 8 livestock watering facilities, over 18,000 feet of fence, and nearly 2000 feet of stabilized livestock laneways including a stream crossing to improve quality of grazing forages while also reducing runoff & erosion from pastures.
Dustin is planning some additional conservation projects over the next few years, including more cover crops, additional components to the manure system, and some additional grazing management practices.
2018 Friend of Agriculture - Jack Searles
Jack Searles has been an advocate for agriculture in Cattaraugus County since he began his term in 2003 as the Cattaraugus County Administrator.
Mr. Searles was proactive in the efforts to keep Cornell Cooperative Extension in Cattaraugus County; and has been an avid supporter of the 4-H program for many years. He is a strong supporter of the Cattaraugus County Soil & Water Conservation District Program. He participated in the Cattaraugus County Bicentennial Wagon Train and Stagecoach Run where he was part of the Finance and History Committees.
In his spare time, Mr. Searles is an avid stamp collector, enjoys dabbling in beer production and has a green thumb when it comes to growing dahlias.
- Bison Meatballs
- Veggie Platter
- Cheese, Cracker & Pepperoni Platter
- Relish Platter
- Spinach Dip
- Assorted Cupcakes (Main St. Sweets / Dina’s)
- Sugar Cookies (Main St. Sweets)
Thank you to ...
- Canticle Farm
- Ford Brothers
- Native Offerings Farm
- Upstate Milk
- Car-Bu Farms, LLC
- Merritt Winery
- Canticle Farms
- Car-Bu Farm
- Cattaraugus County EDPT
- Cattaraugus County Department Heads
- Cattaraugus County Legislators
- Cattaraugus County Soil & Water
- Fat Root
- Hill’s Valley Farm
- Hollamby Agency, LLC
- Pines of Machias
- Seneca Diabetes Foundation
- Telaak Farms, LLC
- Town of Persia
- West Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Cattaraugus County EDPT
- Cattaraugus County Health Department
- Cattaraugus County Soil & Water Conservation District
- Cattaraugus County Cornell Co-op Ext. - SNAP
- Cattaraugus County Cornell Co-op Ext. - EFNEP
- Cattaraugus County Cornel Co-op Ext. - 4-H
- Cornell Co-op Ext - Regional Teams
- Dairy Farmers of America
- Evans Agency
- Farm Credit East ACA
- Gabel’s IBA
- Hollamby Agency, LLC
- Lake Erie Watershed Protection Alliance
- Nannen Arboretum
- NY Sustainable Ag Working Group
- Rock City Chrysler Jeep Dodge
- Weed Ross Agency
- Lamb & Webster
- Rock City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
- Cattaraugus County IDA
- Farm Credit East ACA
- Hollamby Agency LLC
- Ortel Supply Inc.
- Joe Pillittere
- Seneca Resorts & Casino
- Southern Tier West
- Weed Ross Agency
- Car-Bu Farms
- Catt Cty Soil & Water
- Charlesworth Family Farm
- CCE of Catt Cty SNAP
- CCE of Catt Cty EFNEP
- CCE of Catt Cty 4-H
- CCE Regional Team
- Dairy Farers of America
- The Evans Agency
- Gabel’s IBA
- Gramco, Inc.
- Lake Erie Watershed Protection
- NY Sustainable Working Group
- Perry Veterinary Clinic
- Pfeiffer & Pfeiffer
- Seneca Trail RC&D Council
- WNY Crop Management Assoc.
D&H Excavating, Inc.
Erie and Niagara Insurance
West Valley Volunteer Hose Company and the West Valley Firemen's Auxiliary
View the program from the 2018 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner.
"Representing #harvestny @CornellVeg and @CornellCALS at the Cattaraugus Farmer Neighbor dinner! #fndinner #cornell #dairy #vegetables"
"Wonderful evening...great food and company...looking forward to next year! #FNDINNER #DOYOUKNOWYOURFARMER #LOCALLYGROWN"
"Another successful #FNDinner! Thank god for great coworkers!"
We hope to see you at the 2019 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner which will be on April 10, 2019.