Grass Whisperer awarded trifecta of journalism recognition

Storied farmer, New York State Agricultural Society member and State Assemblymember Harold “Cap” Creal, via the NYS Ag Society, shared three journalism awards with another farmer and storyteller. Troy Bishopp, “the Grass Whisperer” of Deansboro, NY, was selected in three categories for his Country Folks printed news story, “Stress management for women in agriculture,” his online feature “What is the true meaning of grazing?” at OnPasture.com and his Country Folks newspaper cover photo of a Central New York wheat harvest.

The awards were presented in conjunction with the NYS Ag Society’s 190th annual meeting and agriculture forum held at the OnCenter in Syracuse, NY. Named for “Cap” Creal, the journalism awards are designed to recognize and encourage positive and accurate media coverage of events, people and issues related to NYS agriculture.

The award, sponsored by the NYS Ag Society, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and Zeta Chapter at Cornell University, recognizes well-written, informative and timely news stories and photos about agriculture in the Empire State. Formats include printed news stories, editorial content, audio/visual news clips, photography and blogs/online features. Bishopp joins award winning journalists David Sit (Finger Lakes Times), Jim Ehmke (WIVT-Binghamton), Dean Benjamin Houlton (The Hill) and the Jefferson County Agricultural Economic Development Program.

“It seems like a long time ago since I enrolled in the NYS Soil & Water Conservation Committee’s media training program taught by Barb Silvestri, Bill Cooke, Beth Meyer and Channel 5 News anchor Keith Kobland. Who knew learning about effective outreach strategies and practicing interview techniques would have such a profound effect on my life as a farmer, conservationist, freelancer and resident Pop Pop to my family?” said Bishopp. “I’m forever indebted to my mentors, media outlets, editors and fellow agriculturalists who have supported my practical work over the years.”

Courtney Llewellyn, associate editor with Lee Newspapers/Country Folks, said, “Troy is one of our best writers. He provides a unique angle on a lot of topics, thanks to both his life and farming experience. He also has a ‘voice’ that shines through on the page – one that is decidedly Troy’s. We congratulate him for winning these awards.”

This year’s recognition adds to Bishopp’s 17-year body of storytelling work and timely photography within the ag community. He covers agriculture topics and writes essays for Lee Newspapers/Country Folks, OnPasture.com, Farming Magazine and other regional and national media outlets with over 600 published articles, features and pictures as well as his website, thegrasswhisperer.com.

He also manages Bishopp Family Farm, a distinguished NYS Agriculture Society Century Farm Award recipient, which has been in continuous operation since 1890. Bishopp also works full-time for the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District.

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