CE-MR-3-Thank a farmer2by Al Dorantes
On a cold, gray skied June 14, Wild West Frogfest and Rodeo 2014 presented by White’s Farm Supply took place at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds in Frankfort, NY. The smell of French fries, onion rings, barbecue, and pizza made the fairgrounds seem not as cold. The Painted Pony Rodeo, from Lake Luzerne, NY, brought 22 bull riders and 25 bulls as well as bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, cowgirls’ barrel racing, and cowgirls’ breakaway racing. The big draw was the concert promoted by Big Frog 104, featuring James Wesley who returned to thank Central New York farmers.
Art White from White’s Farm Supply said, “Thanking a farmer is easy because June is dairy month. And, of course, farmers are our bread and butter.” White’s Farm Supply got involved by sponsoring Frogfest and supporting the Thank a Farmer effort. White’s Farm Supply has been a family business ever since Willard and Nettie started the dealership in 1946. In the last 68 years White’s has grown into a company of over 90 employees in Canastota, Franklin, Lowville, and Waterville locations. White’s Farm Supply is still a family business, operated by Willard’s sons, Dale, Art and Doug. They are dedicated to providing exceptional parts, services, and sales support to their customers. White’s Farm Supply is a full service Case IH, New Holland and Kubota dealer selling new and used tractors, forage harvesters and farm equipment. This is the second year that White’s Farm Supply has sponsored Frogfest. Along with the sponsoring the festival Whites Farm Supply generously gives a $2,500 store credit to the farm that Frogfest and James Wesley thanked.
Polly Wog, energetic DJ from Big Frog 104 said, “This is the third time Frogfest has thanked a farmer. It is so successful that we are going to do it again. This is the second time with James Wesley. Frogfest is a big event in Upstate New York drawing vendors, fans, and spectators from all around Central New York. Tad Pole, another Big Frog 104 DJ who grew up as a farm boy, added, “No one appreciates what farm life is like. That just tells you what a big job it is.” Polly also said, “James Wesley’s song plus Big Frog 104 lets us thank a lot of farmers at Frogfest.”
Ryan West-Frable, live events manager for Townsquare Media, said, “Frogfest is the biggest live event in this Townsquare market.”
The real headliner was James Wesley. Wesley is signed to Broken Bow Records, an independent record label based in Nashville, TN, specializing in country music. James is not jumping on a band wagon. He was born in a small Kansas town. He grew up on farms so thanking farmers everywhere is second nature. James graciously paused for the national anthem. When the Star Spangled Banner was finished he said, “Some people don’t have a clue where their food comes from. If people were more informed they would know how their food is grown or raised and then they would be more appreciative.” James elaborated, “A lot of work is taken for granted. People think food just shows up in grocery stores. We all should support farmers and thank them for what they do.”
Wesley saluted the Fredericks family at Frogfest. A third generation family farm, The Fredericks family’s 500 head Insight Dairy LLC is located outside Little Falls. Besides the cows and crops they are also raising the fourth generation of farmers on their farm. Jessica Fredericks said, “It was humbling to win, to be thanked. What James Wesley does recognizing the farmer is a great thing.” Jessica already has plans for the gift certificate from White’s Farm Supply including buying a new weed eater.
After his set James exited the stage left. The show promoters turned the tables on James. They called him back onstage not for an encore but rather to present him with a thank you. Wesley was presented with a Distinguished Service Award from National Family Dairy Farmers and Progressive Agriculture Organization — Meshoppen, PA. The plaque read, “In appreciation of his continued efforts to inform the public regarding the plight of the National Family Dairy Farmers”.