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Sunnyside Farms and John Lehr are honored

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Cornell Dairy
  • Animal Science

Sunnyside Farms, Scipio Center, and John Lehr, Farm Credit East, received the 2023 PRO-DAIRY Agriservice Award presented by NYS Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY Director Dr. Thomas Overton during the Dairy Day Recognition and Awards ceremony at the Great New York State Fair on August 31.

The Agriservice Award is given in appreciation and recognition of outstanding contributions to NYS agriculture through support of PRO-DAIRY.

“This year’s recipients include a farm and a agriservice professional, and join a distinguished list of award winners who are chosen for their committed participation and exceptional support of the many applied research and educational programs in PRO-DAIRY," said Dr. Thomas Overton, PRO-DAIRY Director. "We appreciate and respect their leadership and service to PRO-DAIRY and the broader agriculture industry. They are examples of the best of what the New York dairy industry has to offer.”

Sunnyside partners Greg and Neil Rejman are respected industry leaders, who have been active at the local, regional and state levels, and are always a willing partner in service of the dairy industry. They have collaborated with PRO-DAIRY specialists on education and applied research projects over many years, especially in the areas of the environment and cow health, and their farm serves as a role model to the industry.

Jan Bitter, Farm Credit East, accepted the 2023 Agriservice award from NYS Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball and PRO-DAIRY Director Thomas Overton on behalf of John Lehr.

John Lehr has been especially engaged with farm business management programming and applied research, and was instrumental in developing and championing the Dairy Advancement Program. The Dairy Advancement Program through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is designed to enhance long-term viability of New York dairy farms while maintaining a commitment to environmental stewardship. The program is coordinated through Cornell PRO-DAIRY and delivered to farms in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension and agriservice professionals. Funds are used to engage professionals to improve human resource management processes, for financial analysis and to create business plans, to design new or remodeled facilities, and to develop farmstead environmental plans, including design of practices identified in the farm CNMP.

PRO-DAIRY’s mission is to facilitate New York State economic development by increasing the profitability and competitiveness of its dairy industry. PRO-DAIRY specialists have made a positive impact on the technical knowledge, management skills and economic strength of New York State’s dairy industry since 1988.

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