EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another installment in a series of columns highlighting the area’s agricultural community.
LOWVILLE — The Lewis County Enhancement Calf Award has been akin to the Nobel Prize for youngsters in Lewis County for many years.
As part of their application, those hoping to receive the award must submit a response essay answering the following questions:
What would a registered calf mean to you?
What would be your plans for raising and showing the calf?
Where would you keep the calf?
And to give a brief explanation of their experiences with farming and showing.
The program often receives a hefty number applications and the competition for an award is exceptionally keen. The two well-earned recipients for the 2021 award are Aliya Parker and Sam Beyer.
Parker attends Lowville Academy School where she will start seventh grade this fall. She is a member of the Lewis County 4-H Program where she has shown dairy cows at the fair for the past two years. Most days, you can find her participating in extra circular activities such as the Jr. Holstein Club, Dairy Bowl, soccer, basketball, and she was on the Lewis County Dairy Princess Court in previous years.
Parker loves to explore what the agriculture industry has to offer. She enjoys spending time with her grandfather at his work of hoof trimming in her free time. When asked what a registered calf meant to her, she said, “a registered calf to me would mean more experience showing and learning more about dairy cattle, and different dairy cow breeds.”
Her essay also expressed her natural love and desire to be a caregiver to any animal.
Parker was awarded a Brown Swiss named Lux, which was born on Jan. 1, 2021. Since receiving the calf, Parker said she has been busy feeding, cleaning, clipping, and training Lux.
Beyer, a senior this fall at Lowville Academy, has been involved with dairy shows for three years but uniquely enough, has never stepped in the show ring himself. Instead, you were able to find Sam helping other exhibitors watch, feed, and prepare their animals for shows.
When asked what a registered show calf meant to him, Beyer said, “To me, having a registered calf would give me the chance to experience the actual “showing” part of working with the animals.” The youngster grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Lowville where he has learned how to tend and give proper care to their animals.
Beyer, who is also enrolled in the Electrical Program at BOCES, has been a member of the Lowville FFA in previous years and a 4-H member. He also enjoys his job, where he works at Ara-Kuh Farm doing chores for Joe Shultz.
In addition to his essay, Beyer was recognized for his work ethic, trustworthiness, and ability to be a leader, and received a Red and White Holstein named Morrill Unstop, which was born in March 2020. Among his efforts to prepare the calf for showing, Beyer attended a clipping clinic and has worked to learn how to properly lead Morrill.
The Enhancement Calf Award would not be possible without the generosity from the Dairy Building Committee. Each year they host the Annual Cheese Auction at the Lewis County Fair that provides opportunities like these to the youth of Lewis County.
— For comments or suggestions on the Farming in Central New York series of articles, e-mail Daily Sentinel
photojournalist John Clifford at jclifford@RNYmedia.com.