Agricultural Environmental Management Award

2017 Winners - Dueppengiesser Dairy Company and Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District
Third Generation Farm Honored for Environmental Stewardship Efforts

Photo taken by John Vogel, American Agriculturist

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball congratulated Dueppengiesser Dairy Company, located in Perry, Wyoming County, as the recipient of the 2017 Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Award. Each year, the award honors the outstanding efforts of a New York State farm to protect and preserve soil and water quality.

Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Congratulations to the Dueppengiesser Farm on receiving the Agricultural Environmental Management Award. This family-run farm has long worked with the Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District to ensure they are taking the steps to take care of the environment while increasing the profitability of their operation." The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Empire State Potato Growers, and the American Agriculturist Magazine together honored the farm family for their implementation of conservation best management practices that benefit the environment and protect the community.

Mike Dueppengiesser, Owner of Dueppengiesser Dairy Farm, said, "At Dueppengisser Dairy, we have always been aware of the need for environmental conservation, and we strive to implement practices that will protect our lands for the future. Best management practices are a priority for our farm business, and we do our best to keep up with latest technology in conservation efforts such as implementing the use of cover crops, GPS technology, zone tillage, and dragline systems. Working closely with our employees, plus collaboration with the Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District, strengthens our environmental stewardship efforts."

Dueppengiesser Dairy Farm is a third-generation family farm that manages nearly 2,000 milking cows and youngstock and operates more than 2,000 acres of cropland, producing corn, alfalfa, and wheat. As early adopters of the principles of AEM, the family has implemented several practices, such as reduced tillage, use of cover crops, and nutrient management, to protect soil and water quality. Compaction issues on the field led the farm to use zone tilling, which only disturbs a narrow band of soil that the crop is planted into, enabling crop residue to remain on the field's surface as mulch. The decreased soil disturbance maintains the organic matter and biological activity needed for healthy soil.

The family is also very active in the community, hosting several agricultural education programs on their farm, including the Farm Bureau School Education Program and Agri-Palooza. The farm also hosted a Western New York Soil Health Field Day, which included a demonstration plot of interseeded cover crops. This allows cover crops to be planted between rows of standing crops, helping to ensure the cover crop is established before they spread manure.

The farm has worked closely with the Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District, which provides technical assistance to advance agricultural environmental management practices within the county. The Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District has a very active agricultural environmental management program that has assisted over 361 farms since its inception. Their AEM Strategic Plan focuses on nutrient management and reducing cropland erosion, and Dueppengiesser Dairy Company has implemented various practices to address these issues that will improve soil health and protect water quality.

Wyoming County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager Greg McKurth said, "The Dueppengeiser family has been a pleasure to work with over the years as they have proactively undergone numerous implementation projects related to improving conservation on their farm, along with hosting many educational outreach programs on their dairy, such as soil health workshops, and Wyoming County's Agri-palooza event. I am proud of the Wyoming County farms for working collectively and progressively with our District staff to be good stewards of the land."