Welcome to the 3rd Annual FRESH! Gala at Monanfran Farm July 17th

(MADISON COUNTY, NY) – Madison County’s 4th Annual Buy Local Week begins with the Fresh! Gala on Sunday, July 17, at Monanfran Farm in Canastota, owned by Maurice and Amy Kelsey and family.  The event, a fundraiser that celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of Madison County agriculture, will be held from 2-6 p.m. with local foods and live bluegrass music provided by the Kellish Hill Players.

Monanfran Farm is the perfect venue to showcase not only the history of Madison County dairy farming, but also the recent explosion of farmers who have chosen to bring family farms into the 21st century to ensure the continued viability of local agriculture and offer new products to CNY residents.  The name of Maurice and Amy’s farm is telling:  “Mon” stands for Maurice’s grandfather Monford; “an” pays tribute to his grandmother Annabelle, and “Fran” is for Maurice’s father Francis, all of whom have been running this family farm for over 100 years.

There are only 18 farms in NYS that are certified for the ethical treatment of animals, and Monanfran Farm is the only CNY farm with this certification.  All the cows are pastured, weather permitting, and 95% of their food is grown on the farm.  Maurice said, “I expect anyone who works for me to follow a strict code of conduct in handling my cows.  Trust between farm workers and the cows begin when a calf is first born.  As a result, our cows are very happy, healthy, and productive.”  The Kelsey’s show their registered Holsteins at the World Dairy Expo every year in Madison, Wisconsin, and some of their cows are nominated each year as Reserve All American Holsteins.

This year, the Kelsey’s are also making sweet cream butter, churned the old-fashioned way (as opposed to cultured).  In partnership with four Madison County farm families – the others are: Will and Megan Soden of Journeys Joy Farm in Peterboro; Bruce and Nancy Rivington of Red Gate Farm in Earlville; and Doug and Kathe Evans of Sunny Acres Farm in Georgetown – the Kelsey’s are producing the butter under the label Kriemhild Dairy Farms.  Following three generations of family farmers, the butter is made and packaged at Queensboro in Canastota.  The Kelsey family is the oldest and longest running supplier to Queensboro, also more than 100 years old.

Kriemhild Dairy Farms was started with 2008/9 grants from NE SARE and the USDA Value Added Producer Grant, which provided the funding for the preliminary planning phases for marketing and production.  The butter, which is a rich golden color because the cows are pastured on grass, will be sold at several locations in Central New York. For more information on where and how to purchase Kriemhild’s Meadow Butter visit www.kriemhilddairy.com.

Maurice and Amy are very excited about opening their farm for this year’s 3rd Annual Fresh! Gala, part of the 4th Annual Buy Local Week.  Maurice said, “We’re very proud of our farm and want everyone to see what a modern dairy operation is all about.”

Dinner at the Fresh! Gala will be prepared by Serendipity Catering with foods supplied by local farms.  Over 2 dozen farms supplied product to last year’s gala feast. Wine and beer will be provided by Owera Vineyards from Cazenovia and Empire Brewing Company of Syracuse along with hops lemonade provided by Foothill Hops of Munnsville and coffee and tea from Shapna.

Wagon rides to the dairy barn will offer a first-hand glimpse at the dairy operation and the Kelsey’s prizewinning Holsteins.  A silent auction and raffle will also be included in the festivities.  More than 200 people attended the Fresh! Gala last year.  Tickets for this year’s Gala can be purchased online athttp://madisoncountyagriculture.com/buylocalweek/?page_id=4 . All proceeds will support Buy Local Week and Madison County agriculture.

More information on this year’s 4th Annual Buy Local Week, including maps and directions to farms participating in Open Farm Day on Saturday, July 23, and a list of restaurants participating in Taste of the County from July 18-23 can be found at www.madisoncountyagriculture.com. Don’t forget to follow Madison County Buy Local Week on Facebook and Twitter!

Madison County Agricultural Development is proud to announce this year’s sponsors of Buy Local Week:  Price Chopper Grocery Stores, Cazenovia Equipment, National Grid, Rosamond Gifford Foundation, Gorman Foundation, Central New York Community Foundation, Eastern Carolina-Vail, Farm Credit East, Madison County Farm Bureau, Empire Brewing Company, Owera Vineyards, Shapna Tea & Coffee, Serendipity Catering, Off the Path Media, Madison County Tourism, Madison County Agricultural Economic Development Program, CNY Bounty, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County.