For the first time ever, a Northern New York Farm Progress Show is planned for St. Lawrence County next Aug. 14 to 16.
The counties of St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Clinton, Hamilton, and possibly Essex will be represented in the panorama of agriculture-related enterprises that will make up the show’s comprehensive presentation, according to spokesman Gerard Monnat of Winthrop.
“It has been a dream of many agriculture connected folks for some time, and though it is just in the planning and development stage of this endeavor, a group of dedicated men and women are determined to see this event take place,” Monnat said.
The Northern New York Farm Progress Show will be open to all agricultural enthusiasts, exhibitors, tourists, and anyone wanting to see “How Northern New York Farms.”
An all-volunteer board of directors has been chosen. Peter Mitchell of Lisbon has been hired as show manager, and a possible site has been offered for the three-day event.
The board is made up of active and retired farmers, agricultural specialists, and area business owners, all dedicated to advancing agriculture in northern New York. With their combined experience and knowledge of agriculture, they have laid out the show’s exhibits and venues to illustrate not just dairy framing, but the whole picture of agriculture in this area.
All types of agriculture, including apple orchards, apiaries, dairies, hops growers, forest and maple products industries, wineries, those who raise sheep and even zoological exhibits will be on tap. If it can be grown, marketed, produced, raised, and bring economic well being and stability to farmers, families, neighbors, and communities, then this Northern New York Farm Progress Show is the place to see it.
As it occurs the week after Empire Farm Days, and during a lull in field activities for local farmers, with the schools not yet in session, this show is geared toward families and their neighbors. It is meant to be a wholesome three days of exhibits, items to buy, food to eat, demonstrations and seminars to attend, and with luck, sunny and dry weather.
Show manager Peter Mitchell is an alumnus of Canton High School, where he was active in FFA and continues to be part of the FFA activities in St. Lawrence County and beyond. His love of and experience in farming and all aspects of agriculture, and his understanding that the North Country is economically dependant on a vibrant agriculture for regional stability, makes Mitchell an excellent choice for show manager, Monnat said.
“He acknowledges the hard work that lies ahead of him in getting this show underway, and asks for the support of all who want to see this (hopefully annual event) to happen next summer,” he said.
The show’s committee hopes to have a web site up and running with information about the show, and is currently courting agriculture-related sponsors and business interests to help with expenses. When a web site and proper contact information about the show and its manager is available, it will be released.
Monnat said that, having been without a local or regional agricultural show for many years, “there is much excitement and expectation at the thought of having a show highlighting northern New York’s economic engine and rural way of life.”
The organizers hope the show will be a real boost to the North Country’s image, and make the rest of the state, New England, and even Eastern Canada know that there is more than snow and cold in northern New York, and that there is and always will be agriculture.