Triple G named ‘Conservation Farm of the Year’ in Orleans County

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District on Thursday presented Triple G Farms with the “Conservation Farm of the Year” in Orleans County for 2018. Pictured form left include: Megan McAnn, a technician for Soil & Water; Guy Smith, Triple G co-owner; and Katie Sommerfeldt, Soil & Water district manager.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 February 2019 at 9:32 am

ALBION – A muck farm that started in 1925 was named the 2018 “Conservation Farm of the Year” in Orleans County. Triple G Farms is now run by brothers Guy and Greg Smith, and their nephew Pete Smith.

They grow potatoes and onions on 645 acres of muckland in Barre, Clarendon and Elba.

Megan McAnn, the Soil & Water technician, holds the Ag Environmental Management sign that Triple G can display for its conservation work. Guy Smith, Triple G co-owner, holds the trophy for the award.

Triple G has worked hard to preserve the soil and improve the soil health, putting in many miles of drainage tile, and putting in cover crops and wind breaks. They have also reduced chemical usage through Integrated Pest Management, including field scouting and targeted application of pesticides, the Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District said on Thursday when it presented the farm with the award.

Triple G also has installed an agrichemical handling and mixing facility which prevents pesticides and chemicals from spilling onto the soil.

“Triple G Farms takes pride in packing a quality product to be enjoyed by consumers while proving their excellent stewardship of the land and desire to protect our natural resources,” Sil & Water leaders said in presenting the award at the agency’s annual meeting at Tillman’s Village Inn.

Guy Smith, one of the farm co-owners, thanked Soil & Water staff for their work in helping the farm implement many of the initiatives at the farm.

“The mucklands are highly erodible and we need to preserve it so it’s there for the next generation,” said Smith, who was worked at the farm full-time since 1981.

The farm continuously is focused on drainage tile, putting in new drainage or replacing tile from decades ago that has deteriorated. The tile helps move water off the muck. Smith said the big rain storms used to be an inch, but now they are 2 inches. That water can flood fields and submerge crops without proper drainage.

The cover crops help hold down the soil after a planting or when a field is plowed. Triple G tends to plant barley as a cover crop for onions and rye in its field of potatoes.

“I just want to thank the Soil & Water staff,” Smith said. “Without the staff we wouldn’t have been able to do it.”

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