by Al Dorantes
CNY Farm Progress Show took place Sept. 10 and 11 at Len-Lo Farm, Robinson Road, Mohawk (Leonard Gilbert Family). The Central New York Farm Progress Show provides an essential service to the agricultural community. The Central New York Farm Progress show is put on by the Farm Show Committee, a group of hardworking volunteers. The CNY Farm Progress Show is a non-profit organization; any excess funds generated by the show are used to fund youth scholarships and educational programs that will foster learning and involvement in the agricultural community. The show featured about 120 exhibitors ranging from agriculture products and services to equipment and machinery. Attendance averaged about 8,000 – 10,000 people. Activities included an antique tractor show, most attractive display, presentation of Herkimer County Dairy of Distinction Award, and much more.
A quick walk around the CNY Farm Progress Show will show attendees that the farm progress show is about bringing agricultural innovation to the farmers of Central New York. Vendors display their newest seeds and breakthroughs in equipment. Fuel and alternative fuel vendors were on hand as well as banks and insurance companies to finance and insure everything from new equipment to new buildings.
Kirk Schwasnick from Schwasnick Farms LLC was displaying Pioneer seed. He said, “Regular customers stop by but the CNY farm progress show is mostly PR.” Schwasnick explained that Pioneer offers CNY farmers seed for corn, soybeans, alfalfa, and silage inoculant. Pioneer is one of inoculant leaders because of their patented bacteria that they use in their inoculant.
New equipment of all different colors dotted the outdoor area. Green tractors, yellow mowers, orange ATVs dotted the outdoor area like fresh flowers coming up in a side yard. Chris Slifka of Whites Farm Supply said, “We were there Wednesday. It was a nice day and a good turnout, lots of people there. They had demos of equipment throughout the day, a bale toss competition, The Oneida and Herkimer County Dairy Princesses gave out free ice cream with the politicians. There was also a tallest corn stalk and largest pumpkin contest. Joe and Rose Hubiak won that. The weather wasn’t as nice on Thursday.”
Todd Bortiatynski of Hobby Hills Farm Sales was selling Mahindra tractors at the Farm Progress show. Hobby Hills has been selling Mahindra tractors since 2011. Bortiatynski said, “Wednesday was fantastic. Very productive with sales! Mahindra is the number one selling tractor in the world, number three in the USA and that’s based on quality and prices.”
As fuel prices continue to rise farmers are looking for alternative fuels to power equipment and heat their homes. Jorose Clean Wood Waste of Herkimer said “The CNY Farm Progress Show is a good show. The weather never cooperates though.” Jorose sells wood pellets and does custom work for farmers. At the 2014 Farm Progress Show they were also promoting recycled paper cow bedding made from recycled cardboard. Joe Hubiak said, “Some big farms use a tractor trailer load a week — approximately 85 yards.”
Insurance has become a huge part of the farmer’s life. The Shults Agency’s Tammy Sorensen said, “We deal with a lot of farmers; from Long Island to Buffalo. Price is a big thing for everybody but especially farmers.” Sorensen added, “We’ve seen an increase in claims due to weather. Some farmers are finding out (the hard way) that they’re not properly covered. Home owner policies are often outgrown by hobby farms. You have to have the right packages.”
Nothing gets done without money. That is where banks enter. Thomas Weingart of NBT bank said, “We have been working hand-in-hand with farmers for 150 years. We have a specialized AG department for farm loans, financing and realty. We go right to the farms. Most of our work is done right at the farmer’s kitchen table.”
Herkimer County Sheriff, Chris Farber, said, “It was great fun serving ice cream with the dairy princesses. Farming is still the number one industry in Herkimer County and New York State is the third largest dairy producer in the Country. Yet we are ranked 49th in the country for being agribusiness friendly followed only by California. This is a sad position for us to be in and something must be done on the state level that is not being done to help local farmers. If you walk around the Farm Progress show you see the different industries that are supported by our farms. Everything from insurance companies, feed companies, auto and truck dealers, tractor and farm implement dealers. We need to keep farms in Upstate New York to support these spin off industries and to provide good local food and dairy products.”
The CNY Farm Progress Show is a great opportunity for farmers or anybody interested in agriculture to learn more about the processes and to continue moving farming into the future. For more information go to: www.cnyfarmprogressshow.net .
CNY Farm Progress Show
by Al Dorantes