Congratulations to Sheland Farms of Jefferson County for receiving the 2013 Agricultural Environmental Management Award, presented by Commissioner Aubertine at Empire Farm Days earlier.


The Shelmidine family demonstrated that good stewardship of the land can help lower costs, improve efficiency and improve the global environment all in the same shot. They didn’t do it alone. The Shelmidines, like other dairy farmers in New York, work closely with their county Soil and Water Conservation District to receive technical assistance and to ensure compliance with strict state and federal environmental regulations. So, we send out a big congratulations to the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District too!

“I congratulate the Shelmidine family on this tremendous achievement,” said Commissioner Aubertine. “For 100 years, the Shelmidine’s have been farming this land in Jefferson County. From generation to generation, their family has grown and their farm has persevered. Today, it is a thriving dairy farm using cutting edge technology to increase profits and protect the environment.”

Sheland Farms milks approximately 700 cows and utilizes 2,100 acres of land to grow all the crops needed to feed the dairy cows and young stock on the farm. They use reduced soil plowing practices and cover crops to enhance the health of the soil and increase the amount of organic carbon that can be sequestered and utilized by growing crops. These proven conservation systems also reduce the loss of nutrients and topsoil to the nearby waters of Sandy Creek, an important tributary to Lake Ontario.

Sheland Farms have made the necessary investments in their farm to not only improve efficiencies and minimize impacts to the local watershed, but have taken an extra step by covering their manure storage, successfully capturing and filtering methane emissions. Sheland Farms are also digesting cow manure to produce a clean, renewable source of electricity for the operation of the farm and utility grid. These advanced conservation systems put into practice on the farm protect the watershed and reduce climate changing emissions, in effect improving the global environment. Read more here.