Time to celebrate Ice Cream Month and return of the fairs!

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is another installment in a series of columns highlighting the area’s agricultural community.

Happy National Ice Cream Month!

July was declared National Ice Cream Month in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan who encouraged our country to enjoy this delicious treat and to celebrate the hardworking people responsible for producing it. He also declared the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

Did you know that the first ice cream parlor opened up in New York City in 1776? Some 9% of the milk produced in the U.S. goes toward making ice cream. Vanilla is the most popular flavor but there are some great flavors out there, including wine and bourbon ice creams.

What a wet summer it’s been so far. I hope you’re getting to enjoy it in between the raindrops.

Farmers are used to challenging weather patterns. This summer has certainly been that. I can only speak for DiNitto Farms in that the weather has us behind with our chopping and baling of our hay. It’s very frustrating, but we continue to hope for some dry days in a row so we can get back to it.

Wet weather also brings challenging conditions in pastures along with abundant flies. Farmers are working hard to keep cows happy and comfortable when the weather doesn’t cooperate.

It’s also a challenge to harvest vegetables and fruits when the weather stays wet. I feel bad complaining about our rainy weather when so many of our farm friends are in severe drought out in the western part of the country. Here’s hoping we dry out and they get some much needed rain.

July is also “fair time.” While our area fairs are always fun and highly anticipated, their return from being closed last year because of the pandemic is truly a cause for celebration!

On Tuesday, July 20, the 200th Lewis County Fair in Lowville will open — and the event will run through Saturday, July 24.

The following week, the 133rd Boonville-Oneida County Fair opens on Tuesday, July 27, and
it will run through Sunday,
Aug. 1.

Both fairs are fun and family-friendly, and I encourage you to go spend the day at the fairs and enjoy all of the food, rides, exhibits, shows and of course, animals that await you. The parade for the Boonville-Oneida County Fair is on the Tuesday, July 27, at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, July 28, if you bring a non-perishable food item for the Feed Our Vets program, you get in free. Friday, July 30, is Children’s Day at the Fair as well as Pink Out Day in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Gates open every day at
the Fairgrounds in Boonville at 8 a.m.

I’m excited that the New York State Fair will be happening next month, too. The event has a number of great concert choices, and the buildings will be open. There will also be lots of animals to see. Some food choices and 4-H exhibits won’t be there this year — also there are some later gate and building openings — so make sure you have the most current information before you head out. You should be able to get the most up-to-date information on the New York State Fair’s website at https://nysfair.ny.gov.

The Dairy Cow Birthing Center is where you will find me 99% of the time. It’s been tweaked to accommodate 18 days of the Fair instead of 13, but we will have the wonderful cows and calves there this year as normal. I’m excited to share a little bit of farm life with those that visit and answer any questions people have.

We are located at the end of the midway toward Gate 10 — not in the cattle barn!

Please stop in and say, “Hi.”

Thank you for supporting your local farmers; and remember your food starts at a farm.

— For comments, e-mail photojournalist John Clifford at jclifford@RNYmedia.com.

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