Cattaraugus County Farmer Neighbor Dinner a Huge Success
Nearly 180 people attended the First Annual Cattaraugus County Farmer-Neighbor Dinner on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church, in Ellicottville, NY. The evening was sponsored by Lamb & Webster of Springville, NY along with the Cattaraugus County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board, the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, the Cattaraugus County Farm Bureau, the Cattaraugus County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board. Additional sponsors were: Farm Credit East; Gernatt Asphalt Products, Inc., Erie and Niagara Insurance; Gramco, Inc., Laing-Gro Fertilizers, Inc., Rural Enterprise Association of Proprietors (REAP), Dairylea Cooperative, Inc., Cattaraugus County IDA, Thompson Ag, Holiday Valley, Blue River Organic Seed, Carolina-Eastern Crocker, LLC and Ortel Supply Inc.
Many of the foods for the dinner were donated by local farms and businesses: Dan Brown; Car-Bu Farms; Canticle Farms; 3 C's Catering; Native Offerings; Maple Ridge Bison Farm; Welch's; Upstate Milk; Horizon Organic Milk; Ellicottville Brewing Company, and WiLean Farms. Additional donors were Elton Greenhouse, Fox Valley Greenhouse, Setterstix, Watson's Chocolate, Pleasant Valley Greenhouse, Salamanca Holiday Inn Express and Malinda's Candies.
Keynote Speaker J. Philip Gottwals, Agricultural & Community Development Services, LLC, spoke on "Tilling the Soil of Opportunity". He stated that
"we have to build a closer relationship with the farmer. Local foods are the new organic. It's about trust. Local farmers can deliver food at a good price and it will be safe."
Three agriculture related awards were presented during the evening.
Farmer of the Year Award honored the family operated, medium sized Telaak Dairy Farm, located in the Town of Mansfield run by brothers Don and Dave Telaak and their wives, Lynn and Joyce, along with 10 employees. This award was presented to them because of their commitment to portraying a positive image and promoting the importance of the agricultural industry throughout the County.
Friend of Agriculture Award recognized Lisa Kempisty, a 28 year Community Educator for Dairy/Livestock for Cornell Cooperative Extension. Ms. Kempisty teaches dairy and livestock producers, family members and farm employees production management information, works with the 4-H youth and facilitates the Dairy Youth Explorers Program.
Conservation Farm of the Year Award honored the family operated, medium sized Nichols Dairy Farm located in the Town of Freedom owned and operated by Doug and Betty Nichols and family. This award was presented to them because of their commitment to protecting and improving the soil, water and related natural resources on their farm.
If you have any questions about this event or would like to get involved in next years event please contact either Crystal Abers, Director at (716) 938-2310 or Deb Miller, Junior Accountant at (716) 938-2318.