Cazenovia Public Library news

(Cazenovia, NY – March 2013Cazenovia library new) All are invited to join Dr. Milton Sernett in the Cazenovia Public Library Community Room Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m. for a discussion of his newest book Farm: A Walk through Agricultural History with Jared Van Wagenen, Jr.

Readers will remember Sernett’s most recent presentation at the library entitled The Great American Tractor Wars.  Now in Farm, Sernett continues his lifelong interest in agricultural history by taking a walk through the changing historical landscape of American agriculture with the late Van Wagenen as his guide and mentor.

Van Wagenen (1871-1960) lived at Hillside Farm in Schoharie County and was known as “the Sage of Lawyersville.”  In his lifetime, he witnessed the advance of mechanized farming and the eventual dominance of corporate agriculture.  A self-proclaimed “dirt farmer” with the gifts of a philosopher, he championed the family farm and an agricultural civilization where human values were prized over profit.

His book The Golden Age of Homespun is an American classic.

A Cazenovia resident, Sernett grew up in Iowa and taught at Syracuse University for three decades.  In his retirement, his interest in agricultural history has produced 15 books, including ones on the transition from horse to tractor farming, the history of cheese making in New York state and the origin of the Holstein breed of dairy cattle in the United States.

Visitors to the library do not want to miss the “Golden Age of Homespun” lobby display. Organized and arranged by Sernett, his wife Jan and library staff member Mary Eckel, a depiction of farm life is artfully featured with animals, books, toys and farming artifacts.

For more information on Sernett’s presentation or other library news, call 315.655.9322 or visit

By martha

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