Agricultural Environmental Management Award

2005 Winners - The Neal Family of Orleans County

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The 2005 Agricultural Environmental Management Award was presented to the Neal Family of Orleans County at the annual Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls. The Orleans Poverty Hill Farm has 330 cows, averaging 75 pounds of milk a day in two milkings. The farm has 585 acres of land, 285 of which is planted with corn for silage and grain, 275 with hay, and 25 as pasture used in rotational grazing for heifers.

The 50-year old farm has been a participant in the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Program since 1995 and a role model for other farm operations in the county. Currently the Neals are working on improving a bunk silage leachate collection system, and implementing a larger manure storage system with the assistance of the Orleans County SWCD.

The Neals received the 2001 Orleans County Soil & Water Conservation District Farmer of the Year Award. Family members are also heavily involved in the community, serving on school and town boards, the fire department, helping the county fair, and the Farm Bureau.

Owner Edward Neal grew up on Orleans Poverty Hill Farm, which started with 16 milking cows on 90 acres in 1956. Today, the farm is run by Edward and his two oldest sons, James and Jody, who joined the partnership in 1989 and 1997 respectively. Recent additions to the farm include a new free stall barn able to house 200 cows, and a new 32-cow milking parlor.