Chester County Ag Council
The Board of Chester County Commissioners and the Chester County Agricultural Development Council (Ag Council) present two annual awards, Farmer of the Year and Distinguished Agricultural Service. The Farmer of the Year award recognizes a farmer, farm family, partnership, etc., who maintains and exemplifies outstanding farming practices.
The Duncan Allison Award for Distinguished Agricultural Service, named after a former long-serving and incredibly dedicated board member, honors an individual(s) who has positively promoted, made significant contributions to, or provided exceptional services for the Chester County agricultural community.
Jamie Hicks, owner-operator of Hicks IV.
The 2022 Chester County Farmer of the Year award was presented to Jamie Hicks, owner-operator of Hicks IV; a crop farming business on over 5,000 leased acres in Chester County and the surrounding region. His customers include everyone from equestrians with a couple horses to large-scale dairies. He also farms land for high profile organizations including Longwood Gardens and land trusts.
Hicks was nominated for the Farmer of the Year Award by the Chester County Agricultural Development Council. He is widely regarded in the agriculture community for his entrepreneurial drive, sustainable farming practices and innovative partnerships with research institutions including Stroud Water Research.
He sees great promise in farmers driving agribusiness which involves all the steps required to send an agricultural good to market, namely production, processing, and distribution. He believes new markets and product opportunities are the way forward including Pennsylvania's emerging hemp industry and looking at ways farmers can partner with nontraditional customers like online retailers interested in environmentally friendly packaging materials.
"We need to find ways to connect the next generation to the land and focus on emerging industries," Hicks says. "We need to connect agriculture to industry."
Learn more about Jamie Hicks and his business at www.hicksiv.com.
The Baily family of Baily's Dairy of Pocopson Meadow Farm.
The 2022 Duncan Allison Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture was presented to the Baily family of Baily's Dairy of Pocopson Meadow Farm in West Chester, Pa. Three generations of the Baily family currently run the farm including patriarch Bernard Baily; daughter Becky Baily and her husband Eric Cockroft; and daughter Meredith Parsons and her son Tyler Parsons.
The family was recognized for positively promoting local agriculture and serving as community ambassadors on the industry's behalf. They have also played an integral role in hosting the Chester Valley Dairy 4-H club and leasing cows to young club members who wouldn't otherwise be able to participate.
"We grew up on the farm and were used to how things worked," says Becky, who oversees the milking and processing. "Now, there are so many kids in Chester County that are removed from the farm but want to get involved once they visit us."
The family is also deeply involved in helping to host the livestock portions of several area county fairs and festivals which are often the first time children get to meet farmers and see livestock up close.
The pandemic provided even more opportunities for the Baily family to make a difference, especially when it came to helping their Chester Valley Dairy 4-H club members cheer up nearby Pocopson Home residents with special bovine visitors in the summer of 2020.
"It made the Pocopson residents so happy to see the cows," recalls Meredith. "It was a really special moment for everyone."
Learn more about the Baily family and their dairy at www.bailysdairy.farm.
|Year||Farmer of the Year||Distinguished Service to Agriculture|
|2022||Jamie Hicks||The Baily Family|
|2021||Darryl King||Betsy MacCauley|
|2020||Sonya Beltran & Family||Chester County Agriculture Community for Pandemic Food Assistance|
|2019||The Gable Family||Duncan Allison|
|2018||Duane and Marilyn Hershey||Charles Graydus|
|2017||Don Cairns||Deborah Ellis|
|2016||Elias and Rebecca King||Sara Manning|
|2015||The Team at Seven Stars Farm
|Howard and Janet Robinson|
|2014||Robert Lange||Robert Ray|
|2013||Drs. Thomas and Barbara Schaer
|2012||Dave and Roberta Rotelle||Larry Welsch
|2011||Ike and Lisa Kerschner
|2009||Norman Laffey Family and
Anthony and Karen Vietri
|Nancy L. Mohr
||Joseph and Ben Cordivano||Donald (Buster) Needham|
|2007||Stan and Cathy Guest||Charles Harris|
|2005||I. Glen Engle Family
|2004||Phillips Mushroom Farm
|2003||Angelo J. Zunino and Son Inc.||Charles L. Roten|
|2002||Knight Run Farm||George and Sue Lamborn|
|2001||Walmoore Holsteins, Inc.||Arthur Hershey|
|2000||Gottlieb Strohmaier Family||Gary W. Smith|
|1999||David Lantz Family||Cheryl Fairbairn|
|1998||The Raymond Harnish Family||Furman Gyger, Jr.|
|1997||Tim Barlow and Ben Beiler
|1996||Matthews Family||Robert Lange|
|1995||Rosazza Family||Hoopes family|
|1994||Omar and Nelson Beam families||G. Pownall Jones|
|1993||Yeatman Bros.||Charlie Brosius|
|1992||Horace/Hazel Walton||Charlie Gable|
|1991||Ken/Marilyn Umble||Hoopes Yarnall Family|
|1990||Bill Beam||Harold Kulp|
|1989||Mason Brothers||Charlie Wollaston|