Dairy farmers are passionate about providing nutritious food for their communities. In 2020, that took some different forms — most recently, when some award-winning farms made it easier for local school districts to store and serve milk and other child-friendly dairy items to students. Dairy farmers give back to their communities whenever possible.

It’s all a result of the Dairying for Tomorrow Awards, which recognize dairy farm families who demonstrate forward thinking and display leadership in these areas that will benefit the farming community and the community-at-large. To help demonstrate the impact dairy farmers have on their local communities, winners and honorable mention recipients are given the opportunity to have a donation made in their name to a local school district. This year, schools received milk barrel coolers and insulated bags, designed to keep dairy products fresh during transport and ensuring more students have access to healthy, nourishing meals during hybrid learning models.

“Throughout 2020, and despite its many challenges, our dairy farmers continue to produce high-quality milk, while remaining committed to the care of their animals, their land, and being a good neighbor to their local communities,” said Rick Naczi, CEO of American Dairy Association North East. “The Dairying for Tomorrow awards were designed to help recognize these efforts.”

In New York, three school districts benefitted from the generosity of 2020 Dairying for Tomorrow Award recipients Dutch Hollow, Bradley and Reyncrest farms.

Dutch Hollow Farm Donates to Schodack Central School District

Dairy Farmers Give Back to Local Schools

Dutch Hollow Farm, in Schodack Landing, N.Y., winner of the Community Outreach category Dairying for Tomorrow Award, donated $1,000 in equipment to Castleton Elementary School.

“We have all learned just how important our schools are to the community in providing healthy meals to our children, and our farm is proud to be able to contribute to that effort and make their job a little easier,” said dairy farmer Nate Chittenden, whose farm won the award for its outstanding community relations initiatives that help build strong relationships and foster transparency between farmers and their neighbors.

The farm is well-known for holding farm tours and participating in media interviews, and is active on social media. These activities help educate the community about the many ways dairy farmers care for their cows and their land.

Bradley Dairy Farm Donates to Tioga Central School District

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Receiving “Honorable Mention” in the Community Outreach category Dairying for Tomorrow Award, Bradley Dairy Farm in Athens, Pa., donated $500 worth of equipment to Tioga Elementary School in Tioga, N.Y.

“It is such an incredible honor to be able to use this award to give back to our community. These coolers will benefit thousands of children in the years to come, and that really means a lot to us,” said dairy farmer Mark Bradley, whose wife, Nichole, teaches math at the school.

Bradley Dairy Farms started an Adopt a Calf program for classrooms as a way of introducing students firsthand to farming. Mark Bradley is passionate about sharing the story of dairy farming in person, in newsletters and on social media, and Bradley never turns away an opportunity to talk about being a dairy farmer or what life is like on his dairy farm.

Reyncrest Farms Donates to Pembroke Central School District

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Reyncrest Farms, in Corfu, N.Y., received “Honorable Mention” in the Animal Care category Dairying for Tomorrow Award and donated $500 worth of equipment to Pembroke Junior/Senior High School.

“We are so excited that the students at Pembroke schools have more access to milk and dairy products and are able to enjoy a cold serving of dairy thanks to American Dairy Association North East and the Dairying for Tomorrow Awards! Our family works hard to provide the best care possible for our cows so that our community can enjoy these products,” said dairy farmer Kelly Reynolds.

Reynolds is part of the third-generation family farm milking 1,200 registered Holsteins. From the minute a calf is born on the farm until an animal leaves the farm, the Reynolds family takes steps in their management, feeding, facilities, day to day procedures, and treatments to ensure that their cattle are healthy, comfortable, and productive.

Congratulations to the schools on receiving the donations and to all the 2020 Dairying for Tomorrow Award recipients. We’re looking forward to meeting the nominees for next year’s Dairying for Tomorrow Awards! Stay tuned for details on the 2021 program.