Photos by Beth McKellips
To the Editor:
(Madison County) The 5th Annual Open Farm Day on Saturday, July 28 was a great success again this year! Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Economic Development (AED) Program of Madison County were thrilled to have 39 farms and three farmers’ markets participate in this year’s event.
Over 5000 people came to Madison County for the event to tour farms, sample local products, meet farm animals and learn about the amazing diversity of Madison County Agriculture first-hand. Many farmers reported record sales despite the rainy start and 83 percent of farmers reported that Open Farm Day helped to increase awareness of their farm products.
Open Farm Day is an tremendous community event that allows farmers access new markets and expand their customer base, as explained by Aileen Randolph of Empire Buffalo: “Open Farm Day was the best possible way we could launch Empire Buffalo. We would never have been able to reach as many people on our own.”
There was also a drawing this year for 12 local food baskets that featured products from 18 farms. From Madison County hops to miniature horses and donkeys to organic sunflower oil to the four different styles of dairies on the tour, it was impossible to not find something new and interesting on Open Farm Day! See you next year!
Open Farm Day would absolutely not be possible without the support of our sponsors: Price Chopper Grocery Store, Cazenovia Equipment Company, Madfoods.com, Gorman Foundation, Farm Credit East, CaroVail, Chiobani, WMCR, Gifford Foundation, Plank Road Magazine, Farm Bureau Madison County, Empire Brewery, Colgate Inn, Upstate Institute at Colgate University, Organic Valley, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Obreza Trucking and Romagnoli’s Tree Farm.
Stay tuned to madisoncountyagriculture.com for the next Buy Local event….Tour De Farms- a scenic bike tour of Madison County with three loops, approx. 10, 20, 40 miles, starting and ending at Critz Farms in Cazenovia. Riders will be invited to visit a few farms along the way, enjoy a Tour De Fork lunch, featuring Madison County products.
Beth McKellips, AED Specialist