Elliott family harvests Century Farm Award
By Brian Sweeney
A New Kingston farm has earned a Century Farm Award from the NYS Agricultural Society.
Junior and Andrea Elliott and their children, Brian and Brittney, operate Crystal Brook Farm at 1892 New Kingston Road.
The agricultural society’s Century Farm Program honors the traditions of progressive agriculture and community service by farm families in New York State. The program began in 1937 and honors New York Farms in continuous operation on the same land, by the same family, for 100 years or more.
The Elliott farm was established in 1817 by Thomas Elliott, Junior’s great-great-great grandfather. Junior and Andrea helped his parents, Bill and Betty, operate the farm for more than 30 years. They have been running the farm since 2001, but didn’t officially take over the operation until about a year ago. Bill Elliott passed away in August 2011, but Betty continues to reside on the family farm.
Brian, 31, and Brittney, 23, assist their parents in running the farm. Andrea said Crystal Brook Farm has been primarily a dairy operation and they have approximately 90 cows. However, she pointed out that they have steadily been expanding into other areas during the past three years or so. Beef, veal, chicken and sweet corn are now among the products they offer. Crystal Brook Farm spans about 300 acres and the Elliotts lease several other parcels for their operation.
Doing their part
The Elliott family is pleased to be carrying on its longstanding tradition of farming in the Catskill Region.
“We are proud to represent Delaware County and, most importantly, Middletown’s farming history. Hopefully we can sustain this rich heritage and help keep our area able to feed itself and others,” Andrea commented.
The Elliotts’ Crystal Brook Farm will be honored at a ceremony on January 10, 2013 at the NYS Agricultural Society’s annual Agricultural Forum in Syracuse.
Eligibility for Century Farm Awards alternates between farms located in the Western and Eastern halves of the state. Ten families are chosen each year by the Agricultural Society to receive Century Farm designations.
The Agricultural Society’s Bicentennial Award is awarded every five years with all farms statewide eligible for this honor. The next round for presentation of this honor will be in 2016 and the Crystal Brook Farm will be among the eligible operations.