2021 Award Recipients and Updates

Congratulations to our 2021 award honorees. Scroll through our eight award categories to hear and see our winners’ stories (YouTube videos are embedded at the bottom).

If you would like to apply or nominate an individual or business for any of the awards below, applications are embedded within each award section (look for the green button). If you have any questions, please reach out to Ann Noble Shephard at ann@nysagsociety.org.

Distinguished Service Citation Award

Application Deadline: September 15 each year
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Retiring in 2020, Mary Ellen Burris had a long, distinguished career at Wegmans Food Markets in consumer affairs. She was an early proponent of healthy eating and encouraged the chain to go local in securing farm fresh produce.
Sponsored by NY Farm Bureau.

For over six decades, it has been the pleasure of the NYS Agricultural Society to award this high honor to an individual who has dedicated a lifetime of service, resulting in outstanding contributions to New York agriculture. 

Business of the Year Award

Application Deadline: September 15 each year
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Cultivating 7,000 acres on the eastern border of Wyoming County, Marquart Companies has developed into one of the foremost suppliers of quality potatoes in North America. In addition to potato, dairy and crop farming, the family operation is involved in industrial hauling, a commercial truck repair facility, and the NY Chips brand of potato chips. Currently the company’s day-to-day activities are managed by Adam, Alex and Aaron Marquart.

For over 17 years, the Society has presented Business of the Year honors to both a producer and an agribusiness, recognizing the quality, leadership and innovation they demonstrate that enhances the integrity of our industry. 

"Cap" Creal Journalism Award

Application Deadline: September 15 each year
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Congratulations to Troy Bishopp, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, and Margo Sue Bittner for being our 2021 Cap Creal Journalism Award winners.
Sponsored by Alpha Gamma Rho

For over 40 years, the historic NYS Agricultural Society has recognized well-written, informative, and timely news stories about agriculture in NYS. In 2020, six individuals were honored with the “Cap” Creal Journalism Award. Formats ranged from printed news story, editorial, audio/visual news clip, photography and blogs/online feature. 

"Cap" Creal Background - Download

Ag Promotion Award

Application Deadline: September 15 each year
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Congratulations to the American Dairy Association North East of Syracuse, NY who has created diverse online educational content including virtual farm tours that have been well received by students, teachers and parents. County princess teams have also stepped up their game to disseminate important dairy messages including recipes, product and farm facts using social media.

The Ag Promotion Award was launched in 2009 to recognize individuals and groups for their efforts to improve the understanding of agriculture in rural, suburban and urban communities of NYS. 

Farm Safety Award

Applications due September 15 each year
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Salvador Saenz of El Paso, Texas is a noted graphic artist for farm safety messages. His images have been used for posters, fotonovellas and other tools to educate farm workers on safety and health priorities in the workplace. Contact NYCAMH/NEC at 800-343-7527 or info@nycamh.org for more information.
SPONSORED BY CARGILL, Inc.

Initiated in 2005, the NYS Agricultural Society's Farm Safety Award recognizes farm operators who have unique and successful farm safety programs that benefit their employees first and foremost. 

NYS FFA Award

Applications due September 15 each year
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Congratulations to the Hamilton Central School District FFA Chapter for being selected as the 2021 Chapter of the Year. The student organization led by Johanna Bossard is actively involved in the local school, community, and Central NY agricultural industry.
SPONSORED BY THE NYS GRANGE.

FFA is among the largest youth organizations in the US. Founded in 1925, FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. It's the honor of the NYS Agricultural Society to recognize local chapters who are doing outstanding work to develop local youths and the communities where they reside.

There are three main criteria for awarding chapter of the year honors:
  1.  Growing leadership
  2.  Building communities
  3.  Strengthening agriculture
Chapters are required to complete basic information and describe program/project activities.

Next Generation Farmer Award

Applications due September 15 each year
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Howlett Farms is a longstanding fixture in Western NY. First located in Henrietta, NY, the farm has expanded its base in Avon, NY to become a successful, vertically integrated business specializing in grain production, trucking, grain handling and marketing. Michael Howlett returned to the family operation in 2013 to focus on grain merchandising. Under his leadership, Howlett Farms has expanded into the ag risk and data management arenas with the launch of Clover Ag Risk Management, and was a driver in the acquisition of Pat O’Brien Grain & Feed of Geneva, NY.

The NYS Agricultural Society honors established producers and industry newcomers who are together farming in new and vibrant ways with the Next Generation Farmer Award. For NY agriculture to be successful long term, a next generation of innovative farmer is needed to work the land, plant crops, raise livestock and feed our global population.

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Bicentennial Farms Award

2021 BICENTENNIAL FARM: DATING BACK AS FAR AS 1817, THREE EASTERN NY FARMS WERE RECOGNIZED AS BICENTENNIAL FARMS, INCLUDING: BELLVALE FARMS OF WARWICK, FURMAN FARMS OF GRAHAMSVILLE, AND JR CLARKE & SON/PROSPECT HILL ORCHARDS OF MARLBORO, ULSTER COUNTY.

Century Farms Award

Schedule of Eligibility/Application Deadlines: Western NY- apply by 9/15/2021, awards presented 1/22. Eastern NY- apply by 9/15/22, awards presented 1/23.
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2021 Century Farm: In 2021, three Eastern NY farms were recognized for their centennial anniversaries, including: Bradt Homestead Farm of Carlisle, NY, Fogarty’s Farm of Schaghticoke, and Overlook Hereford Farm of Afton, Chenango County. 

The Century Farm program is testament to the fine traditions of progressive agriculture and community service by farm families in New York State. The program began in 1937 and honors NY farms in continuous operation on the same land by the same family for 100 years or more. A limited number of deserving farm families are recognized annually by the Society. *For farms submitting applications, eligibility is determined by their respective anniversary date being before or on the date of the annual Forum.*

Eligibility for Century Farm Awards alternates annually between farms located in the Western and Eastern halves of the state.  (See application schedule below.)

(Bicentennial farms located throughout the entire state are eligible for awards every fifth year)

 Past Century Winners - 2021 Past Bicentennial Winners - 2021

Ag Promotion Award


Ag Business of the Year


Cap Creal

Farm Safety

FFA Award

Century and Bicentennial Award

Next Generation Farmer

Facebook Live interview with our 2021 Distinguished Service Citation Award Winner