York, August 16, 2004 (ENS): The Beckerink
Family of Findley Lake, Chautauqua County is the winner
of theNew York State 2004 Environmental Stewardship
Award. The award is given each year to a New York farm
family that incorporates exceptional conservation practices
on their farm.
The Environmental Stewardship Award was presented to
the Beckerink family by New York State Agriculture Commissioner
Nathan Rudgers at the annual Empire Farm Days in Seneca
The Beckerinks' were one of the first farms in the
state to incorporate best management practices as defined
by New York's Agricultural Environmental Management
(AEM) program, along with the use of technology and
technical support provided by the Chautauqua County
A bunk silo leachate containment system and a barnyard
water management system to treat polluted water and
remove clean water were installed. An integrated crop
management plan, an integrated pest management plan
and a nutrient management plan were all developed specifically
for the family's Dutch Road Dairy.
Diversion ditches and waterways and a conservation
cropping system have been set up.
Most recently, the Beckerinks have installed a manure
treatment system to efficiently handle and recycle sand
for bedding. They attribute use of this type of bedding
to the exceptional production on the farm.
Rudgers said, "The Beckerink family is an excellent
example of the type of innovative young farmers working
here in New York State. This young couple understands
the importance of environmental stewardship and has
seen the positive effects of good management practices
in the overall productivity and profitability of their
farm. Congratulations to the Beckerinks and to the Chautauqua
County Soil and Water Conservation District for nominating
The Environmental Stewardship Award is jointly sponsored
by the New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets, American Agriculturist Magazine and the Empire
State Potato Growers. The award winner was chosen from
nominees submitted by County Soil and Water Conservation
Districts from around the State.
This is not the family's first environmental award.
The Beckerinks received the county's Conservation Farmer
of the Year Award and the New York State Farm Bureau
Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement Award in 2003.
Matthew and Nancy are both graduates of Cornell University
with a B.S. in Animal Science. Matthew is a member of
the Chautauqua County "Advocates for Agriculture,"
a leadership development program of LEAD NY. He has
also served on the Agricultural Committee for Chautauqua
County Cornell Cooperative Extension, the French Creek
Agricultural Working group and the Findley Lake Watershed