It takes a lot of hard work to keep a farmstead not only tidy, but pretty. In between chores and crops, farmers try to keep the lawn mowed, flower beds full, and farm equipment and spare parts put away. After rain storms it’s especially tricky to keep mud under control – but they try hard to do so because it’s not only their farm, it’s where they live.
Farmers that are successful in keeping their farm beautiful may be considered over achievers to some, but to others they are considered a Dairy of Distinction.
The Dairy of Distinction Program is based on the concept that attractive farmsteads enhance consumer confidence in the dairy industry. The program recognizes the hard work and dedication of dairy owners and operators who have attractive, well kept farms and promote a good image for the dairy industry.
To receive this honor, farms must apply by April 15th. Volunteers throughout the state will judge the entries in May, by driving by the farmstead and evaluating the condition of the farm and its cows. Farms that meet or exceed the criteria are then awarded in June with a metal red and white sign that they can hang with pride. Winners are re-judged every year to ensure they maintain the high standards of the award.
“This grassroots recognition has been the key to the program,” said William Underwood, New York’s first president and farmer from Tully. “This is one way dairy farmers can directly promote their industry”. By honoring dairy farms for their diligence in keeping a beautiful farm, the industry can say “thank you” and hopefully encourage other farmers to do the same.