Agriculture Awards

We have several Agriculture-related awards in Cattaraugus County.

Conservation Award

2017 Conservation Farm of the Year: Blesy Farms

Blesy Farms, LLC has been selected by the Cattaraugus County Soil & Water Conservation District as the 2017 Conservation Farm of the Year.  This award is presented by the Conservation District to a farm which has demonstrated a sincere commitment to the conservation and protection of our soil, water, and related natural resources.

Blesy Farms is a family owned dairy operation including Harold, Nathan, Brandon Blesy & their families.  The farm has worked closely and cooperatively over the years with the Cattaraugus Co.  SWCD, as well as with partner organizations such as the WNY Crop Management Association to plan and implement several conservation projects on their farm.  These projects include manure storage structures (most recently in 2016), nutrient management, silage leachate management, and cover crops to prevent erosion and improve soil health.  On-going participation in the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program helps the farm keep up to date in addressing current environmental needs on their operation.

2016 Conservation Farm of the Year: R&D Adams Dairy Farm


2015 Conservation Farm of the Year: Triple R Farms


2014 Conservation Farm of the Year: Tim Ploetz Farm


2013 Conservation Farm of the Year: Pimm’s View Dairy in Conewango Valley

Watch a video from the 2013 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner

2012 Conservation Farm of the Year: Nichols Dairy Farm

The family operated, medium sized Nichols Dairy Farm located in the Town of Freedom owned and operated by Doug and Betty Nichols and family. This award was presented to them because of their commitment to protecting and improving the soil, water and related natural resources on their farm. Read more about the 2012 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner.

Farm of the Year Award

2017 Farm of the Year: Pumpkinville

Pumpkinville is a 200 acre farm owned by Dan & Diane Pawlowski and their children – son, Jim and wife,  Melissa, daughter Lisa, and son-in-law Greg Spako.  Each family member contributes individual talents and takes on responsibilities instrumental to the success of the farm.  In addition to the family members, over 100 seasonal employees help keep Pumpkinville running smoothly.

Pumpkinville promotes family fun on the farm.  Every year in seven weeks over 80,000 visitors from many different states and countries enjoy coming to Pumpkinville for a unique fall experience.  Pumpkinville grows larger each year as new activities and products are added.

2016 Farm of the Year: Angus Hill Farm


2015 Farm of the Year: Canticle Farm


2014 Farm of the Year: Sprague's Maple Farms

Randy Sprague began sugarin' thirty years ago on a small scale, as a hobby. "I used to visit the Deschler Farm when I was a kid," says Randy, " and I would watch Van Deschler making and finishing maple syrup. I just fell in love with it." In the beginning, Randy would just make enough syrup for the family's use or to give a little away. A couple of years later, he decided to expand into a commercial operation, which meant a major shift with larger equipment. “We had to increase the number of taps we were putting out," he continues, "from a few hundred to now over 20,000. We have purchased several pieces of property, and also rented taps from other owners."

The sugarin' season is short and intense, generally from mid February to the end of March. The harvesting of maple sap is totally weather dependent. Maple sap is a diluted liquid, with only 2% sugar content. You have to boil away 40-45 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.

Sprague’s Maple Farms is an agritourism business, meaning that it falls both within the agricultural farming industry and also within the tourism industry.

The owners, Toni and Randy Sprague, welcome visitors from all over Western New York and beyond. “Our 265 seat restaurant features many menu items that use the maple products we produce. Our well-stocked country gift center offers a wide selection of seasonal gifts, homemade fudge, chocolates, and our full line of award winning maple products.”

Sprague’s Maple Farms has been and continues to be an area attraction that allows people to see the maple operation from the tree to the table. There is a lot of history in sugaring, which has been passed down through generations. At Sprague’s you are able to see the tradition of the industry, with a real hands-on feel. Marked trails make it possible to learn about the history of maple sugarin’ all year long.

2013 Farm of the Year: Tom & Robin Degenfelder of Pine Villa Farm

Watch a video from the 2013 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner

2012 Farm of the Year: Telaak Dairy Farm

The family operated, medium sized Telaak Dairy Farm, located in the Town of Mansfield run by brothers Don and Dave Telaak and their wives, Lynn and Joyce, along with 10 employees. This award was presented to them because of their commitment to portraying a positive image and promoting the importance of the agricultural industry throughout the County. Read more about the 2012 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner.

Friend of Agriculture Award

2017 Friend of Agriculture: Lloyd "Ev" Lamb

Lloyd supports many different types of agriculture events and activities such as the Future Farmers of America (FFA), 4-H, the Cattaraugus, Erie, Allegany and, Wyoming County Fairs, and The Cattaraugus County Farmer-Neighbor Dinner. In his earlier years, he received the National FFA Award.

2016 Friend of Agriculture: Jim Ellis


2015 Friend of Agriculture: Joan Petzen


2014 Friend of Agriculture: Charlesworth Family


2013 Friend of Agriculture: Rick Miller

Rick has taken many agriculture photos and has shared many stories about agriculture in Cattaraugus County in the Olean Times Herald and other publications. Watch a video from the 2013 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner

2012 Friend of Agriculture: Lisa Kempisty

Lisa Kempisty, a 28 year Community Educator for Dairy/Livestock for Cornell Cooperative Extension. Ms. Kempisty teaches dairy and livestock producers, family members and farm employees production management information, works with the 4-H youth and facilitates the Dairy Youth Explorers Program. Read more about the 2012 Farmer-Neighbor Dinner.

Dairy of Distinction Awards in Cattaraugus County

View Dairy of Distinction awards from Cattaraugus County on

Signup for the Ag Newsletter

Get the freshest farm news, events and updates from in and around Cattaraugus County, NY at least once a month! Go signup!

Other ways to stay connected:

Fresh. Local. From the Ground Up.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cattaraugus Counties ... putting knowledge to work