Community DevelopmentNews

The 6th annual Chautauqua Farmer-Neighbor dinner was held at “The Grandview of Ellington” on August 23rd. Over 225 were in attendance to enjoy and celebrate Chautauqua County agriculture. The dinner featured locally produced products, with 36 local producers’ agricultural products being incorporated into the meal.

The goal of this event was to help open the lines of communication between farmers and neighbors and educate about the farming community in Chautauqua County. Dennis Webster served as the Master of Ceremony for the event and provided insightful agricultural statistics for the County. This year’s speakers were 4-H member Laine Carpenter, who is a fifth generation farmer and his grandfather Bob Carpenter. Their perspective on agriculture gave those in attendance a snap shot of how agriculture has changed through Bob’s years but also what has stayed consistent and is being passed on in skills and knowledge to Laine.

Multiple awards were presented to recognize local leadership, excellence, and innovation in agriculture. Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District presented their Chautauqua County Agricultural Environmental Management Farmer of the Year to Cabhi Farm, LLC of Clymer. Cabhi Farm, LLC has implemented multiple best management practices on their farm to protect their natural resources and ensure the future of their farming community.

The Chautauqua Farmer-Neighbor Committee presented three awards during the event. Clyde Rodgers, Rodgers & Sons, Inc. of Cherry Creek received the Friend of Agriculture Award. Clyde, Jan, and their three sons, Ken, Mike, and Bob have helped countless producers when it comes to purchasing and servicing agricultural equipment, educating the public at Ag Days and supported youth by purchasing animals in the 4-H auction. Roberto Fred of Roberto Fred Farms was recognized with this year’s legacy producer award. Roberto Fred Farm specializes in produce both wholesale and retail, participates in five local farmer’s markest, and was featured in the documentary “Foodways; Stories of Farms, Food, and Resilience. Roberto has been farming for over 35 years and with the continued support of his family and community plans to continue farming into the future. New this year, the committee presented an Agricultural Impact Award. This award was presented to the Card Family of Moon Meadow Farm for their efforts to support not just their family farm but other farms as well. In 2022, the Card Family opened Moon Meadow Farm Custom Cuts and Butchering, a 20-C licensed kitchen to cut and package not only their meat products but surrounding producers’ products as well with a goal to market local livestock and provide quality meats to customers who want to know where their food comes from.

This year’s event would not have been possible without the support of our many sponsors including our Barnraisers: Chautauqua County Farm Bureau, Emma J. Brook Flower Farm of Westfield, Farm Credit East, ACA, and Sheriff Jim Quattrone and our Harvesters: 3 C’s Catering of Kennedy, Good Grass Farm of Ashville, Hillside Metal of Sherman, and Knight Vineyards, LLC of Ripley. The Chautauqua Farmer-Neighbor Dinner is held annually and is always looking for new sponsors and producers to contribute. Interested parties can contact Lauren Sharp at sharpl@chqgov.com to be added to next year’s contact list. The Chautauqua Farmer-Neighbor Committee is a collaboration between public and private businesses supporting agriculture and local producers.