Community celebrates local agriculture, FFA
Photos by Tom Rivers
LYNDONVILLE – Olivia Krenning, an Albion seventh-grader, recites the FFA creed during the Orleans County Farmer to Neighbor Dinner last Saturday.
Olivia’s father, Adam, is the Albion FFA advisor and agriculture teacher. Mr. Krenning has served in the role for 18 years. When he started, he said there were only 70 FFA programs in the state and now there are nearly 200, with new chapters recently starting nearby in Barker, Roy-Hart, Warsaw, Pavilion and Attica.
Albion has started a land lab where students grow crops with some expertise from local farmers. That food is harvested and used in a field to table class, where students learn about canning, dehydration, freezing and cooking. Kenning said the program is looking to add an ag engineering class.
State Sen. Rob Ortt said five FFA students from Albion recently visited him in Albion to voice their support for agriculture and FFA programs. Alan Panek, second from right, is the Orleans County Farm Bureau president. Farm Bureau paid for the students’ expenses with the trip to the state capitol.
The three students, from left, include: Justin Robinson, Haley Black and Carli Henchen.
Ortt said agriculture is an important “economic driver” for the state, especially in the rural communities.
He said he would push in the state budget negotiations to keep funding for agriculture programs, including research and development.
Barry Flansburg served as emcee for the event, which was attended by 170 people at the White Birch Golf Course on March 10. The Farmer to Neighbor Night is now in its 20th year, an annual event before the busy spring planting season.
Flansburg is a member of the Albion FFA Alumni, which helps organize the annual Farmer to Neighbor Night and also the annual food drive where farmers donate more than 30,000 pounds of produce to Community Action.
Leaders from different agricultural agencies addressed the group. Robert Batt is executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County, which has several specialists working with fruit, vegetable and other farm sectors.
Amanda Krenning-Muoio is a senior field representative for Orleans County. She said Farm Bureau continues to advocate for farmers at the local, state and national levels. Mike Southcott of the Southcott Agency, in back, is a long-time sponsor of Farmer to Neighbor Night.