The Niagara County Farm Bureau held its annual holiday breakfast at the Fieldstone Country Inn on December 17th. President John King welcomed everyone and presented a list of talking points. “With the many issues facing farmers today, here is a summary of the topics to highlight with lawmakers,” he explained. New York State Assembly Member Mike Norris and State Senator Rob Ortt were in attendance. Ortt spoke briefly, touching on current issues such as the pay and overtime commission, and the upcoming state budget. He implored those present to get involved and make their opinions known.

The keynote speaker was Carrie Stiver from Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village. After giving a brief history of the place, she detailed its heritage farm and the many programs it hosts. Since 2019, the objective of the organization is to be the first place for teaching agricultural heritage and history.

After describing the various buildings on campus, Stiver detailed the BNHV’s heritage sheep breeding program. The Hog Island sheep are listed as critical on the conservation priority list and the BNHV has been able to maintain and breed them.

During the pandemic, the BNHV grew and added staff. People are interested in the culture of food and traditional crafts, which is why the organization has organized many events and workshops. “Due to the layout of the farm, we never seem crowded,” Stiver said. “We have 35 acres with the buildings on the outskirts. As a result, people can disperse. Most of the experiences are immersive, with staff or volunteers demonstrating in buildings, she added. Volunteers are starting to come back to enrich the offer.

Throughout the year, the BNHV offers various themed days, a maple festival in March and a harvest festival in September. Thursday family evenings offer children a variety of experiences. “Although our roots demonstrate agriculture in the 19th century, we are moving towards more experiments focusing on current practices,” Stiver said. The current museum will be renovated to focus on innovations and the use of technology in agriculture as part of it.

After inviting those in attendance to get involved by presenting, visiting or volunteering, Stiver said his goal is that when people “think of Buffalo-Niagara, think of New York, they think of farming. “.

For more information, see the website or visit Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village on Tonawanda Creek Road.

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