Local farmer receives state journalism award

“Sometimes it pays to be at the right place at the right time with the right equipment,” says Deansboro farmer and freelance agriculture correspondent Troy Bishopp.

Bishopp, known to many as the “Grass Whisperer,” found himself in a spring pasture with his trusty point-and-shoot Canon camera and got a shot of an Angus beef calf waking up from a nap in a bed of grass and dandelions. Little did he know the picture would adorn the cover of Farming Magazine and become the 2020 Harold “Cap” Creal Journalism Award-winning picture.

The awards are presented in conjunction with the New York State Agricultural Society’s 188th annual meeting and agriculture forum. Named for farmer, state Ag Society member and Assemblyman Harold “Cap” Creal, the journalism award is designed to recognize and encourage positive and accurate media coverage of events, people and issues related to New York state agriculture.

The award, sponsored by the New York State Agricultural Society, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and Zeta Chapter at Cornell University recognizes well-written, informative and timely news stories and photos about agriculture in New York. Formats range from printed news stories, editorial content, audio/visual news clips, photography and blogs/online features. Bishopp joins award-winning journalists, Christa Lemczak and Scott Trimble (Syracuse.com), Margo Sue Bittner (Lockport Union-Sun & Journal), David Sit (Ithaca Times), Judy Rife (Times Herald-Record) and Fernando Narro of North Country Public Radio.

This state honor adds to Bishopp’s 15-year body of work and pragmatic photography within the agricultural community. He covers agriculture topics and writes essays for Lee Newspapers, OnPasture.com, Farming Magazine, Lancaster Farming, The Waterville Times, the Mid-York Weekly and other regional and national media outlets with more than 500 published articles, features and photos.

Bishopp has earned numerous past media awards for his work, including two Harold “Cap” Creal Excellence in Journalism awards, NYS Conservation Committee Agriculture in the News awards, 5 National Association of Conservation Districts photo wins, Madison County CCE Best Farm Promotion by Media award and several Mohawk Valley Toastmasters International Public Speaking contest awards.

Troy also manages Bishopp Family Farm, a NYS Agriculture Society’s Century Farm Award recipient for continuous operation since 1890 and works full-time for the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District.

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