SYRACUSE, N.Y. — In its sixth year, the Dairying for Tomorrow awards sponsored by American Dairy Association North East, recognize dairy farms throughout the Northeast that have taken their level of care and commitment one step further into the future of dairy farming.
Dairying for Tomorrow awards are divided into three categories: animal care, community outreach and environmental stewardship. In each category, dairy farms must demonstrate forward thinking and display leadership in these areas that will benefit the farming community and the community-at-large.
“Our dairy farmers are dedicated to producing an affordable, safe and nutrient-rich product, while remaining committed to the care of their animals, their land, and to being a good neighbor to their local communities,” said Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East. “The Dairying for Tomorrow awards were designed to help recognize these efforts.”
The 2020 Dairying for Tomorrow award winners are:
Animal Care Winner: Zimmerman’s HillTop Dairy, Danville, Pa.
Merle Zimmerman uses modern technology to maintain cow comfort and efficiency on the 400-cow dairy, including fans, sprinklers and automated curtains to keep cows cool. He also uses pedometers and ear monitoring tags to routinely assess animal health and make breeding decisions.
- Honorable Mention: Spruce Haven, LLC, Union Springs, N.Y.
- Honorable Mention: Hemsarth Dairy, LLC, Millville, Pa.
Community Outreach Winner: Maple Bottom Farm, Dawson, Pa.
Mike and Vickie Baker whose farm is located in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, opened a sunflower field at their farm during the pandemic which drew more than 8,000 visitors the first year. They also offer the Farmhouse B&B, tours of their dairy farm that features a DeLaval robotic milker, and they process Golden Guernsey dairy products as part of Naturally Golden Family Farms, a group of local dairy farmers working together to bring quality dairy products to their communities.
- Honorable Mention: Rocky Point Creamery/Farm, Tuscarora, Md.
- Honorable Mention: Pleasant Lane Farms, Latrobe, Pa.
Environmental Stewardship Winner: Will-O-Crest Farms LLC, Clifton Springs, N.Y.
Bill and Barbara Young along with daughter Hannah Worden were early adopters of sustainable practices since purchasing their farm in 1976. Since they have incorporated cover crops, buffer strips, tile drainage and no-till/strip-till practices, and installed LED lights and use the plate cooler as a hot water source.
- Honorable Mention: Bloss Farms LLC, Wapwallopen, Pa.
- Honorable Mention: Stronghaven Farm, LLC, Barton, N.Y.
To help demonstrate the impact dairy farmers have on their local communities, winners in each category received a $1,000 prize in their farm’s name to either a local school district to provide portable coolers or other equipment to keep dairy products fresh, or to a local food bank where the funds will be directed for the purchase of milk and dairy products. Honorable mention recipients received a $500 prize.
–American Dairy Association North East