Agricultural Environmental Management Award

2006 Winners - The Arnold family’s Twin Oaks Dairy and the Cortland County

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The Arnold family’s Twin Oaks Dairy and the Cortland County SWCD were the recipients of the 2006 AEM Award. Since the 1930s, conservation has been the mantra of the Arnold family’s farm. Today, Bob and Rick Arnold carry on their parents’ legacy with their own families. Among the first farmers in the state to participate in AEM, the family now operates a 140 cow organic dairy with 250 head of cattle on nearly 700 acres.  They also grow hay, corn and small grains.

“The Arnolds are innovators and leaders in applying new technology and exploring non-traditional techniques to further their conservation goals,” said District Manager Amanda Barber.

The Arnolds have been working with the District for years, implementing everything from strip cropping and diversion ditches for erosion control, to water quality projects including fencing and planting trees along the river. They also utilize intensive grazing, which is beneficial to the cows and keeps the rolling hills of their property in permanent sod cover, reducing erosion. “Going to intensive grazing was the most helpful innovation we made,” says Rick.