NORWICH – The Board of Directors of the Chenango County Fair is pleased to announce that Alyn and Shirley Proskine of Norwich have been selected as"Mr. and Mrs. Chenango County Fair" for the 167th annual Chenango County Fair to be held Aug. 5-10.
The Proskines have lived in Chenango County most of their lives. Alynn grew up in Oxford and attended Cornell University for two years. In 1955, Alynn married Shirley, who has always called Norwich home. The two have owned and operated Chenango Lake Farm in Norwich for over a half of a century. They were fortunate to have raised five children on the farm they call home. All the children were active in the community, and remain active today. The Proskine family was, and continues to be a big supporter of the Chenango County 4-H program. Alynn is a former member of the Farm Service Community Committee and the Chenango County Holstein Club. Shirley is a former member of the Home Bureau.
Alynn got started showing dairy cattle at local and state fairs in the early 1950's under the 4-H direction of Harry L. Case and Larry Chapman, of which two buildings are named after at the fairgrounds. Over the past 50 years, Alynn and Shirley had a herd of approximately 70 head of dairy cattle. For the past few years, the couple has enjoyed "semi-retirement." They have traded the business of milking cows for the pleasure of heifer boarding. While Alynn tends to the barn chores and field work, Shirley takes pleasure in tending to her flower and vegetable gardens. Recently their son Zachary has taken over all responsibilities for the farm operation. Although Zachary fills some large shoes, Alynn still makes multiple visits to the barn each day to do chores.
The Proskines are annual participants in the Dairy Day parade with Alynn's large collection of Alis Chalmers tractors. It's a treat to see Alynn, along with many of his family members, driving the orange tractors together. He also is a regular on the front page of The Evening Sun newspaper with his depiction of seasonal "round bale" characters. Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Thanksgiving turkey along with many other characters have spent time in Alynn's front yard. In the fall, you will find the Proskine family actively involved in the Norwich Pumpkin Festival. The highlight of the Pumpkin Fest is the family's collection of Giant Pumpkins. The contest is to see who has the largest pumpkin in town, but having the largest pumpkin in the Proskine family is something to brag about all year long. Alynn and Shirley feel blessed to have a family that participates greatly in the community.
Family events are plentiful and one-of-a-kind. But nothing brings the family closer together than the county fair. After all these years, Alynn and Shirley continue to own and exhibit dairy cattle at the Chenango County Fair. No matter the breed of dairy cattle, the love for showing has been passed down generously. There have been four generations of family members who carry on this tradition, including seven of their eleven grandchildren, and five of their ten great-grandchildren. It has been a great learning experience over the years. All have enjoyed this family "affair" while having their feet in the sawdust.
Alynn and Shirley express their sincere gratitude to their children and their families for such great love and support over the years and providing help for whatever and whenever needed. They are truly thankful to be part of such a great community and the Proskine's feel fortunate to call Chenango County their home.