For the last 13 years, the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District has worked with local partners to host an annual event, Sundaes at this Farm. This year, the District had to make the difficult decision to cancel the event that attracts nearly 1,000 community members every year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each year the premise of the event remains the same, a free celebration of local agriculture that brings the public to a different farm where they are able to enjoy locally grown foods and other products while experiencing the farm firsthand. Additionally, attendees are able to meet and engage with the farm family and learn about agriculture from various agencies and businesses.
Sundaes at the Farm is a cherished community event where you’ll always find the Tioga County dairy princess speaking about the benefits of local dairy and serving milk punch; people eating free ice cream sundaes with locally made toppings; families shopping the farmers market comprised of various local foods and products, and learning stations staged throughout the farm where attendees are able to learn about different farm operations.
With Sundaes at the Farm off the table for 2020, District staff went back to the drawing board. A big part of Sundaes at the Farm is the family farm video that is made beforehand for advertising purposes. Based on the success of these videos, the District began to visualize a small series of videos that promoted and showcased both local dairy farms and farm owners working to be good stewards of the environment. And so, Tioga County Dairy Tails was born.
This series of video’s can be found on both the District’s Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/Tiogaswcd) and YouTube Page (search for Tioga County SWCD). A brief description of each video is as follows.
Dead End Farm kicks off the Tioga County Dairy Tail’s series with the Whittemore family welcoming you to their family farm, located in the Town of Candor, N.Y. Farmers Ben, Kate, and Will are “ag-cited” to show you around their family farm and teach you about their organic operation, grazing cows, and their new livestock watering project.
Lawton Jersey Farm: On this episode of Tioga County Dairy Tails, you’ll meet the Lawton Family, from Newark Valley, N.Y. Lawton’s Jersey Farm is a multi-generational farm, with deep community roots. Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of cover cropping, and how the Lawton’s work to remain good stewards of the environment.
Mead Farm: Today on Tioga County Dairy Tails, we’re visiting the Mead Family Farm located in the hills of Owego, N.Y. Watch this video to learn more about the six generations that are working on this CAFO size dairy farm, and all the practices they’ve installed to remain compliant with New York State rules and regulations regarding their large farm size. Environmental sustainability and conservation is of upmost important to this family farm.
Kwiatkowski Brother’s Dairy Farm: On this episode of Tioga County Dairy Tail’s we celebrate Tri Kay Dairy Farm, run by the Kwiatkowski family. This family farm, located in Owego, N.Y., received the 2020 Agricultural Environmental Management award from the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District. Check out the projects that they’ve implemented that helped them to win the award, and don’t miss their unique feeding system.
Luszczek Family Farm: On this final episode of Tioga County Dairy Tails, we’re visiting the small town of Speedsville, N.Y., where we’ll meet the Luszczek family. Parents Chris and Debbie, and sons Josh and Chris Jr. will show us around their farm, and Mike from the Tioga County Soil and Water Conservation District will discuss the importance of stream bank stabilization on farms.