NOFA-NY Field Notes


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Set your Sights on a Blue Ribbon!

Set your Sights on a Blue Ribbon!

 Thanks to Nancy Weber for writing this blog about the New York State Fair's Certified Organic Divisions:

Since 2011, the Hearts Hill Farm of Rome, NY has been bringing home blue ribbons for their organic produce at the Great New York State Fair. That’s when the Fair introduced new divisions specifically for Certified Organic fruits, vegetables, forage and hay.  


Owners Kent and Michele Roberts had considered entering their produce in the New York State Fair Commercial Vegetable competition for many years. When the Department of Ag & Markets and NOFA-NY sent them email flyers announcing that the State Fair was going to have a special organic division they thought, “Why not!” The Roberts’ entered their garlic braid (Czech variety) in 2011 and won First Prize and Organic Grand Champion. They made a clean sweep in  2012 when they entered their garlic braid and it won Organic Reserve Champion. They also entered their cherry tomatoes which won First Prize and Organic Grand Champion. According to Michele, they use their awards not only as marketing tools to increase sales but to also increase awareness of organic growing.  

The Fair believes that having commercial organic classes at the Great New York State Fair will expose our hundreds of thousands of fair-goers to organics. Organic growers are now able to compete for premiums and ribbons in all categories of fruit, vegetable, forage and hay classes in their own division. The entries are displayed for 12 days at the Fair in the Horticulture Building, guaranteeing plenty of exposure to fairgoers. Organic growers no longer compete with conventionally grown crops and they receive specifically identified ribbons and champion rosettes. The winners also are also posted on the Fair’s website for a full year.

The ribbons can be a great marketing tool!

Entry forms for the 2016 fair are available at Don’t delay! Applications are due July 29.

Download the particular forms you need, fill them out, and mail them or drop them off at the Fair office in Syracuse. For questions about competing, contact the Entry Department by phone at 315.487.7711 ext. 1337.

And good luck!                                          

Conservation Buffers
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