By Allison Collins
The sixth annual Family Farm Day, presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension, comes to Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie farms from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. next Saturday, Aug. 25.
The event, started in Schoharie County, integrated Otsego County farms in 2016 and welcomed Delaware County farms last year. Roughly 55 family-owned farms across the three counties will participate, showcasing rural agriculture at its best.
According to Family Farm Day literature, the daylong event “provides a unique opportunity to discover so much of what our local agriculture has to offer.”
David Cox, an ag program leader with CCE, said the day doubles as a business boon for farms and an agro-tourism opportunity.
“The idea is really to bring awareness about farming and what products are available (while) building longterm customers,” he said. “And this is an event that allows that to happen and brings people into the region for the day.”
Last year, Cox noted, an estimated 5,000 farm visits took place, bringing approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people to farms they may not otherwise patronize.
“People love it,” he said. “And a lot of people locally just never get to the farms, so they say, ‘This is our day to go.’ At least half of our audience is local within the counties.”
Cox said farmers, too, appreciate what the day brings.
“Overall it’s been quite positive,” he said. “It ends up being a good, busy day for them with a lot of activity. People show up and, it’s not all about sales, but sales are usually quite good.”
Aspects of upstate ag such as fish farming, beekeeping, maple-syrup making, cheese making, milk bottling, wool processing, cider making and more will be highlighted this year.
Participating farms are coordinated through county-specific CCE branches and chamber of commerce officials, Cox said. The event, he noted, requires nearly a year of planning.
“It’s a long process,” he said, “and this kind of agro-tourism takes a great deal of time. Essentially, it takes a year to pull off something that lasts a day.”