Chenango County Board Of Supervisors Proclaims March As Agriculture Recognition Month
Published: March 13th, 2024
By: Kelli Miller

Chenango County Board of Supervisors proclaims March as Agriculture Recognition Month On March 11, at the county board meeting, Terry Ives, President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau, receives the 2024 Agriculture Proclamation from Jeffrey Blanchard, Chairman of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors. (Submitted photo)

NORWICH – Farmers unite across Chenango County, as well as the nation, as the agricultural community is recognized for their positive impact on every American's life. This annual celebration, in the month of March, sets aside March 19, as National Agriculture Day (Ag Day).

At the March 11 county board meeting, Jeffrey Blanchard, Chairman of the Chenango County Board of Supervisors, presented the 2024 Proclamation to Terry Ives, President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau. This year’s theme for Agriculture Day is "Growing a climate for tomorrow”.

The proclamation states agriculture makes up about 25% of the entire United States gross national product, being that food and fiber production and services are the largest segment of the United States economy. A vital segment of Chenango County's economy is based on agriculture and the efforts of the agricultural community members, who daily perform their jobs with pride and dedication, and should be recognized by the county citizens.

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Ives said farming provides $2.6 million jobs and supports more than 19.6 million relatable jobs in the nation.

“The Ag Council posted each American farmer feeds about 165 people,” he said. “And agriculture is America's number one export, with new technology, that means farmers are more environmentally friendly than ever before.”

Ives supplied statistics from the US Ag Census from the NY State information page and said in 2022, there were 656 farms in Chenango County compared to 770, in 2017; which is a loss of 114 farms. He said net cash income for farmers in 2022 was $51,549 and in 2017, the income was $25,039. There were 12,631 milk cows in 2022 and in 2017, there were 11,237, an increase of 1,394. Dairy farms shipping milk in 2022 totaled 98 and in 2017 there were 150 farms, a loss of 52.

“I think the numbers show agriculture is trying to be sustainable,” said Ives. “But we must continue producing and promoting milk.”

Recently, he attended the Farm Bureau Policy Development Meeting and an annual state meeting, along with lobbying to the legislators in Albany, to explain to them what farmers support, and what they oppose.

“There are a lot of things that effect agriculture and the legislators have a lot of say in what happens,” he said. “It's important for them to hear our point of view, because we know they will hear someone else, whether its right or wrong.”

“I've been up to Albany many times and it's an important part of the Farm Bureau's mission to lobby and to educate our legislators,” Ives said. "We have a lot of downstate legislators that have other ideas, some don't understand agriculture.”

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“Assemblyman Joe Angelino is a strong supporter of agriculture in Chenango County and was at the most recent meeting with the Farm Bureau,” he said. “They recognized him as a “Circle of Friends” legislator.”

Angelino said, “’No farmers, no food,’ has been a rally cry for family farms for quite some time. The 121st Assembly district is mostly rural and agricultural and of course, I support all the farming families in the district.”

He said, "Currently my focus in Albany is on advocating for agriculture by legislation. Such areas of concern are: maintaining tillable farm land, CDL exemptions for farm vehicles, getting whole milk back in schools, and just making farming more profitable."

"The farms in my district are family owned, so having Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters in local schools is important to bring the next generation into agriculture,” said Angelino. “Everyone's life in Chenango County, and beyond, is better when we have more farmers."

Ives shared his plans set for this year to include Dairy Day in June, and looks forward to educating the consumer about the importance of dairy in Chenango County. Ives said Dairy Day started in 1941 and they call it “A celebration of agriculture”.

Ives said the county fair is also on his calendar of events and has always been a part of his family for generations. He said they show Holstein cattle and his great-grandfather was the first president of the Holstein club when it was first organized in Chenango County about 1920 or 1921.

At the end of this month, he said he'll be going to the meeting with the American Dairy Association and has served on that board for over 20 years. He said they will discuss current promotional efforts and how to focus on milk and dairy products for the nutritional value they have.

In between traveling to Albany and planning ag events, Ives still has his own cows to look after at his farm.

“I'm a full time farmer with my son, and I’ve hired a hired full time helper who tends the cows, but I still do all the cropping amongst other farm duties,” he said.

He said he’s also working with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Director/ Chenango County, Craig Brown, who is helping him put together a social media page where agriculture articles and information can be found.

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For more agriculture information visit