COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD — Ben Simons received the Community Service to Steuben Award at the 92nd annual Steuben Old Home Days recently. Among those at the award ceremony were, from left: Robin Simons; Ben Simons, award recipient; Mark Williams, president of the Old Home Days; and presenter Oneida County Sheriff Robert M. Maciol. (Photo submitted)

Steuben honors local man

Published Sep 9, 2018 at 9:00am

TOWN OF STEUBEN — The 92nd annual Steuben Old Home Days honored a local resident with the Community Service to Steuben and the surrounding area award.

Ben Simons was chosen for the honor this year. Sheriff Robert Maciol was on hand to make the award presentation.

Simons moved to New York from New Hampshire in 1984. He and his wife Robin were married in 1985. They have three children, Chris, Randi and Emily.

Simons has been known to say, “Marrying Robin was the best thing he has ever done in his life.” They moved to their Starr Hill farm in 1987. He started his involvement in the community by serving on the Town of Steuben Planning Board in 1992 and has served as chairman for six years.

He continues to serve on the Board today. Simons initiated efforts to get Steuben Town Hall designated as a disaster shelter. He served as vice-chairman of the Oneida County Association of Towns.

Simons has served as 2nd vice-president of the Remsen-Steuben Historical Society. He has also volunteered with the Steuben Players, playing many parts in the annual dinner theater plays. 

Simons has served several roles in several agricultural organizations throughout Oneida County. He is a past board member and president of Oneida County Farm Bureau. He has served 27 years on the Oneida County Soil and Water Conservation District Board. He has served six years on the Cornell Co-op Extension Board of Directors and also served as their secretary.

Simons has been a Board of Directors member and treasurer for Boonville Farms Milk Co-operative. He has been the group’s treasurer for the past 15 years. In 2004, Simons was recognized by the Oneida County Dairy Promotion Committee as the Dairy Farmer of the Year. Those that follow many of the local tractor pulls will find Simons with the microphone in his hand and serves as the announcer for many of these events, including the tractor pulls at the Oneida and Herkimer County fairs.

Simons currently serves on Claudia Tenney’s Agriculture Advisory Committee. He also served in a similar capacity with congressmen Michael Arcuri and Richard Hanna during their terms.

Simons has often been known to lend a helping hand to neighbors and others across Oneida County in their times of need. For all of these reasons the Steuben Old Home Days Committee honored Simons for his contributions to the Steuben Community and surrounding area.