Chobani Agricultural Leader Scholarship Essay Contest

The Farmers’ Museum announced the winners of the 2020 Junior Livestock Show’s Chobani Agricultural Leader Scholarships essay contest, which recognizes young agricultural leaders in our region. Each year, youth who are participating in The Farmers’ Museum’s annual Junior Livestock Show are encouraged to participate in the essay contest. Although the Junior Livestock Show was cancelled this year due to COVID-19, the essay contest was able to continue.

Chobani helped establish this contest and has been the sole funder of the awards since 2014. Chobani also plays an active role in all the steps necessary to coordinate the event each year.

Since the beginning, Chobani has been committed to sourcing the freshest milk possible from nearly 1,000 farmers in our local communities. From Chenango County, New York, to Twin Falls, Idaho, we work with farmers who share our values and sense of community. That’s why we’re excited to recognize young agricultural leaders we believe embody the Chobani spirit.

The essay competition consists of two groups, each with its own goal. The Senior Scholarships category (ages 15-18) was developed to help advance a teenager’s path to becoming a local farmer and encourage leadership skills, personal growth and practical knowledge through further education. Awards can assist with the purchase of new equipment or livestock, or other agricultural training opportunities. All Junior Livestock Show participants in this age group were asked to submit a 300-500 word essay answering questions such as “Why is farming important to you, your family, and the community?” and “Do you think farmers have a role in protecting the environment?”

The Junior Scholarships category was developed to help youth, ages 8-14, grow as farmers–whether to further education, purchase a first animal or finance a visit to an agricultural camp. All Junior Livestock Show participants in this category were encouraged to submit a 200-250 word essay answering questions including “What is your favorite part about farming?” and “Why is farming important?”

This year, the Terra Jackson Scholarship was added to salute a respected committee member who helped establish this essay contest. In honor of her commitment to youth in agriculture and the dedication she brought to the committee, a special scholarship of $500 was offered in her memory to recognize the most outstanding essay submission.

The scholarship recipients are determined by the awards committee consisting of representatives from the Junior Livestock Show and Chobani. Three $350 scholarships (Seniors), three $150 scholarships (Juniors), and the Terra Jackson Scholarship ($500) are presented annually to the winners.

Both Junior and Senior essays were written in the spring of this year and can be found online at


2020 Terra Jackson Scholarship (Most outstanding essay)
Clare vanLieshout (Durhamville, NY)

Senior Scholarship Winners
Aidan Ainsle (Little Falls, NY)
Dylan Dyn (Jordanville, NY)
Autumn Madugno (Deposit, NY)

Junior Scholarship Winners
Abbie Ainsle (Little Falls, NY)
Ashley Madugno (Deposit, NY)
Jeffrey Palmetier (Hobart, NY)

A Christmas Carol Audiobook

New Audiobook of Charles Dickens’ Classic A Christmas Carol

Just before the holidays, The Farmers’ Museum and Fenimore Art Museum were thrilled to announce that Glimmer Globe Theatre and Templeton Players released a full-cast audiobook of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. The release marks their eighth annual production of the classic tale.

The new audiobook production, featuring the voices and musical talents of 30 local and regional performers, simultaneously premiered across all The Farmers’ Museum, Fenimore Art Museum, and Glimmer Globe Theatre social media on Tuesday, December 22, starting at 6:00 p.m. It was free to stream for the duration of the holiday season and available afterward for purchase on Audible, iTunes, and Amazon.

A Christmas Carol, the audiobook, was voiced by many returning favorites, including Michael and Danielle Henrici, Peter Exton, Jake Wansor, Carl Loewenguth, Carolyn Chryst, Caley Sharratt, and also introduced several new cast members–Michael Tamburrino, Annalia Anderson, Helen Truszkowski, and John Willis. Besides offering music by Rob Montecalvo and B.J. Baker, the production featured sound effects and perhaps a few surprises! It also featured narration by Michael Tamburrino, the museums’ Manager of Performing Arts Programs, who also produced and directed the project.

Glimmer Globe Theatre’s Founding Artistic Director, Danielle Henrici, had long wished to bring Dickens’ beloved story to life on stage in Cooperstown when the Sohns family approached her with the same idea, in the same spirit, in 2013. Thanks to the Sohns’ generous and steadfast support, the museums’ annual production of A Christmas Carol has become a wonderful local holiday tradition.

Michael Henrici, Glimmer Globe’s Co-Artistic Director, has thrilled audiences with his portrayal of Ebeneezer Scrooge since 2016, and each annual production has featured exceptional actors and musicians, often providing a launching pad for burgeoning talent. Whether during rehearsal or in performance, the play has brought people together in celebration.

The museums plan for the live production of A Christmas Carol to return in 2021.

So far, nearly 3,000 people have viewed it on Facebook, where it was shared 76 times. Those views came from more than a dozen states, and at least 10 different countries! As a fundraiser, the audiobook premiere raised $875 in donations for The Farmers’ Museum.

Generous support for the Performing Arts Program provided by The Clark Foundation.

Member’s Day at the Farm

On Saturday, September 12, we showed our love for our members by sharing a day celebrating them with our first Members’ Day.

At The Farmers’ Museum, we had music, giveaways (including hearts handmade by our talented blacksmiths, as well as flowers grown in our farmyard!) and a guest food truck (Mangia Macrina) providing a variety of delicious lunches for sale.

There was also an extra benefit across the street at Fenimore Art Museum to enjoy a 20% Fenimore Art Museum Shop discount (discount was also good at The Farmers’ Museum Store)!  Although this year we couldn’t gather in the same ways we used to, we still wanted the opportunity to say hello and thank our members in person for all the kind support they have given––socially distanced. It is through our special relationships that we will endure all challenges!

Celebration of Autumn

In 2020 we savored the change of seasons during Celebration of Autumn at The Farmers’ Museum, taking place September 19 through October 12. This tribute to the beauty and fun autumn brings was developed in place of the museum’s traditional fall events. Every day of the week, visitors found activities relating to the season with additional happenings planned for each weekend.

Visitors of all ages had fun in our Country Village and Farmstead––experiencing what it was like living in Upstate New York during the autumn season in the mid-1800s. The knowledgeable visitor guides told the story in the museum’s bygone setting. The grounds were decorated for the season with cornstalks, pumpkins, and hay bales. There was also a hay bale maze for kids and a scarecrow contest.

Holiday Lantern Tours

This year in lieu of Candlelight Evening we held a new wintertime activity, Holiday Lantern Tours. Visitors enjoyed an intimate, hour-long guided walking tour of The Farmers’ Museum and saw it dressed in its winter finery. Our museum guides led visitors through the museum’s sparkling grounds by lantern light and guests learned about the history of Christmas and how it was celebrated in Upstate New York in years past. They heard about the origin of Christmas trees, cards, and carols, and saw what foods were prepared and how homes were decorated. Guests discovered the history of Santa Claus and heard him read A Visit from St. Nicholas, and also learned about major holy days of other religions. These hour-long walking tours took place on Friday and Saturday the first three weekends in December, with multiple tours offered each evening starting at 3:00 p.m. and running every 20 minutes. Reservations were required, and each tour was limited to eight people in order to accommodate for proper social distancing.