Farm Fest returns with plenty of fanfare

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MARCY — Farm Fest is back.

After a two-year pandemic forced hiatus, the popular Farm Fest event will once again invite area residents to experience life on the farm with the 2022 event to welcome visitors from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3, at DiNitto Farms — a Dairy of Distinction— 6586 Benton Road.

The New York Dairy of Distinction program provides recognition to attractive and well-kept dairy farms who are actively shipping milk, recognizing the hard work and dedication of dairy farmers who operate these immaculate farmsteads.

Farm Fest has been a staple in Oneida County since the late 1990’s, encouraging families to come out and enjoy local farms once a year.

This will be the seventh year the event will be held at DiNitto Farms.

The event is important to the area and gives the farming community a chance to show off and explain what it’s like to farm, according to event organizers.

“We want the non-farming community to see how their farmers are growing their food,” stated Terri DiNitto of DiNitto Farms. In addition to showing folks where our food comes from and how it is produced, it also provides a glimpse for non-farmers into the importance of agriculture, which is a pillar of the local and state economy.

A virtual Farm Fest took place in 2020 — but the pandemic and difficulty of bringing the event to life virtually led to a complete hiatus in 2021. This year’s on-site Farm Fest will be the first since 2019 when the event was held at Brabant Farms in Verona — and it provides both children and adults with an array of entertaining sights, activities and demonstrations.

What can you expect?

“You’ll be able to see calves, ride hay-rides and pony rides, see antique tractors (juxtaposed with) the latest farm technology, there will be a draft horse here, mini-donkey and baby (foal),” said DiNitto.

“There will also be some goats, hopefully some pigs (including Hamilton the pet pig at the farm) and chickens,” she added. “You’ll be able to go in and learn how the cows are fed and taken care of and learn when they’re milked and how they’re milked and there will be farmers here to answer all your questions.”

There will food vendors on site with “Grape Vine being a new addition along with the Stittville Fire Department” with their barbecue, “along with hamburgers and hot dogs.” The dairy ambassadors will also be at Farm Fest with their grilled cheese products and ice cream.

The event will happen rain or shine and is free with a request for a $5 donation for admission. DiNitto advises to bring cash, there is no ATM on site and although the event is free the food is not. During the day school groups from all over the area will be visiting to learn about the farm. For the schools there will be 25 different timed tour stops with 23 volunteers leading them to all the different aspects of the farm.

“It’s going to be lots of fun,” exclaimed DiNitto.

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