MORRISVILLE, NY — It can be said that diversity enriches agriculture. This sentiment was a powerful draw to the over 5,000 visitors that participated in the 8th annual Open Farm Day throughout Madison County New York.
This year’s event organized by the Agricultural Economic Development Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County partnered with 38 farms and seven mobile extension specialists who provided a passport and mapping system to families interested in finding out more about their local farms and farmers. As the guests traversed the hills and valleys, they visited operations from bees to bison, cheese to chickens, horses to hops and mushrooms to milk.
Despite some much-needed showers, participating farms reported an increase of visitors with some saying they doubled last year’s attendance. This not only translates the interest in knowing local farmers but most saw their products flying off the shelves and tables with an estimated visitor spending from $3 to $50 per farm. “It’s great for business,” said Marva Hogan from 7 Trees Dairy Goat Farm in Perryville, NY who sold goat cheeses and soap.
“We’ve been coming every year since our boys were 4 years old,” said Justin and Laurie Turner from nearby Eaton, NY. “We love learning and supporting local agriculture.”
Todd and Nicole Lynch with daughter, Abrielle, and son, Ayden, from East Syracuse commented that this was their rookie season to the farms. “We are new to the area and wanted to see where we can buy our food locally.”
“This annual celebration of our farms and local businesses has been an outstanding opportunity for the public to see, understand and be able to buy the vast array of diverse Madison County produced products. We appreciate being a conduit in promoting our region’s bounty,” said Jennifer Farwell, Madison County Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Agriculture Economic Development Educator.
For more information visit: OpenfarmdayMadisonCounty.com or call 315-684-3001 Ext. 126.