by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
Rogers’ Family Orchards of Johnstown, NY generously hosted Fulton County’s 4th annual ‘Day at the Farm’ on Sept. 29. The event has taken place at Rogers’ since its inception.
“We like to see people have fun,” explained Todd Rogers. “Everyone gets to take a nice break. It’s a lot of work, but everything turns out well.”
Rogers jokingly said he likes to see how many people they can collect in one place, and this year’s estimate topped the past few years, with approximately 4,000 visitors throughout the day.
“It’s wonderful to see all of the families!” said Sam Rogers. She said the event provides an opportunity for folks to learn about agriculture in a variety of ways, including an awareness of what the animals exhibited look like, where they come from and what they are used for. Many baby animals were on display, including lambs, calves and miniature horses. Folks were able to pet some of the animals and children were able to put their handprints on one heifer calf, with paint provided by the calf owner, Mohawk Valley FFA President Stephanie Arndt.
“Between 500 and 700 kids and even some adults put their handprints on Pandora,” said Arndt. “I do this so people can have the experience of putting their hands on a cow — something most kids have never actually done before.”
Arndt said many people asked her why the calf was painted and most families took photos of their children with Pandora. Attendees also enjoyed watching Arndt bathe the calf once it was covered with handprints — before beginning afresh.
This was only one of the new displays at Fulton County’s Day on the Farm. Clarissa Putman provided demonstrations of hand milking her Brown Swiss cow, Cider. Hummingbird Hill Winery informed folks about grape growing and Windy Hill Goat Dairy informed folks about making cheese with goat milk. Cornell Cooperative Extension displayed a variety of grains and animal feed for attendees to view and handle.
The Mohawk Valley FFA provided a food booth and told attendees about their program.
Oxen, dairy and beef cattle, horses, rabbits and poultry were all on display and wagon rides, provided by the Eastern Regional Draft Horses, were very popular with attendees.
Everyone was invited to try their hand with an apple cider press and a large variety of apples, pumpkins, vegetables, honey, maple products and nursery stock were available from local producers who had arranged colorful booths.
Free ice cream, donated by Stewart’s, was served to very long lines of attendees.
Sponsors of the event include Fulton County Farm Bureau, Fulton Co. Soil & Water, Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce and Rogers’ Family Orchard.
by Elizabeth A. Tomlin