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Betts family of Westfield wins Farmer of Year award at new Farmer Neighbor Dinner

May 19, 2016
By Lisa Kempisty - Dairy & Livestock Educator, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County , Westfield Republican

JAMESTOWN- Chautauqua County is rich in agriculture, with over 1,500 farms producing grapes, milk, meat, crops, maple and vegetables. We also have many agribusinesses that serve our farms and families throughout Chautauqua County. Local residents are very fortunate to enjoy the local, nutritious foods produced and the open spaces that our farmers proudly manage.

To celebrate this agricultural bounty, local agricultural producers, agribusiness representatives, elected officials and non-farm neighbors enjoyed dinner and conversation at the 1st Annual Chautauqua County Farmer Neighbor Dinner held recently in Jamestown. The guest speaker was Richard Ball, New York State Commissioner of Agriculture who shared information on the recently approved state budget and the impacts on our local farms. An estimated 150 people were in attendance, sharing their interest in local agriculture and food production.

The highlight of the evening was to honor successful and innovative farm families on their accomplishments and contributions to our local communities, and to recognize an individual who supports our local agricultural industry. The 2016 Farmer of the Year awards were proudly presented to two outstanding local farm families: Betts Farms LLC, Bob and Dawn Betts and son Thom and his wife Logan, who operate a 189 acre grape farm in Westfield and Frontier Brook Farm LLC, Glen and Diane Moss and their daughter Heidi, and son Glen Jr and his wife Sara, who work together on their 250 cow dairy farm in Conewango Valley.

Article Photos

Submitted photo
Dawn Betts of Betts Farms LLC shares her family’s appreciation on being recognized for the 2016 Farmer of the Year Award. From left to right are Dawn, Bob, Thom and Logan Betts from Westfield, with Kevin Martin, business management educator with the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, on the far right.

The Friend of Agriculture award was presented to Dennis Webster, our "radio voice" of agriculture in Chautauqua County who has broadcast radio shows for WJTN Radio in Jamestown for over 30 years.

This Farmer Neighbor Dinner was organized by representatives of: Farm Credit East, ACA; Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County; Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District; Chautauqua County Beef Producers; Lake View Gardens; Chautauqua County Farm Bureau; Nationwide Insurance; and Western New York Crop Management Association.

A special thanks to the many farm families and agricultural businesses for their generous donations of local food products, door prizes, and financial support to help make this event a great success.



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