Special Events

The Farmers’ Museum is home to a variety of beloved special events that visitors look forward to year after year. Each event also provides us with an opportunity to welcome new friends, as our signature event series is more popular than ever.

The 2015 event season kicked off with Sugaring Off Sundays, where 2,815 people enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast while learning the history of the local maple industry.

Long-standing fall favorite, Harvest Festival, attracted 2,967 visitors who enjoyed family entertainment and activities, shopping with regional vendors and experiencing the autumn beauty that The Farmers’ Museum has to offer. Tractor Fest, held on Columbus Day weekend, had its second best year since the event started in 2010. Showcasing classic tractors, small engines and other machinery, Tractor Fest is a true celebration of our agricultural heritage.

Attendance for six Step Back in Time themed-weekends totaled 3,500 visitors. Carousel Weekend, Civil War Weekend and Blacksmithing Weekend were the most popular of the themed events. The museum’s “Things That Go Bump in the Night” Halloween program continued to be a popular event attracting 383 visitors on three separate evenings, nearly 100 more attendees than in 2014!

The event season closed with the most successful Candlelight Evening in our history. A record 3,544 visitors enjoyed a beautiful evening at The Farmers’ Museum, taking advantage of unseasonably warm weather while they enjoyed special programs and performances in the Historic Village, which was decked out for the holidays in traditional greens and thousands of candles.


Participants line up for the Parade of Champions at the 2015 Junior Livestock Show.

Junior Livestock Show

The 68th Annual Junior Livestock Show was held July 12-14, 2015 at the Iroquois Farm Showground. The number of exhibitors (275) and animals (612) participating in the event was up from 2014. All 35 award classes were sponsored by generous supporters, and Chobani co-sponsored the Sunday BBQ and continued to provide Agricultural Leadership Scholarships, given to four high school students who were selected based on their essays.

The top three Junior Livestock Show winners were:

  • Brett Post with his Holstein, Delaware County, recipient of The Farmers’ Museum Dairy Cup
  • Megan Cranwell with her pig, Oneida County, recipient of The F. Ambrose Clark Livestock Cup
  • Kalvin Abrams with his Toggenburg goat, Chenango County, recipient of The Farmers’ Museum Dairy Goat Cup

Junior Livestock Show Donors

Chobani, Inc.

$100 – $999
Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Bantham, Jr.
Gold Star Feed and Grain, LLC
Land O’Lakes/Purina
Nasco Farm and Ranch
Organic Valley
Stewart’s Shops
SUNY Cobleskill

Mr. and Mrs. Richard Aborn
Ainslie Family
Mr. and Mrs. David Bliss
First Frost Traditions – Kathryn Boardman
Brandow’s Feed ‘N Seed, Inc.
Brandow’s IBA, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. John Clark
Cobleskill Agway
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Dutcher
Farm Credit East, ACA
FourSmyles Farm
Hessian Hill Farm
Dr. William Johnson and Dr. Lisa Johnson
Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Kersman
Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Lesniak
Lutz Feed Company
Mrs. Alice A. Mosher
OHM Holstein Club
Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Opalka
Otsego Land Trust
Mr. and Mrs. James Rice
Mr. Jeffery Schonberg
Ms. Linda Smith
Stamford Farmers’ Cooperative
Ms. MacKenzie L. Waro
Pam Woodrow and Lester Tyler


Farming’s New Era: From Field to Table in New York State on display in the Main Barn.

Exhibition Highlight

Farming’s New Era: From Field to Table in New York State
May 9, 2015—October 31, 2016

What do we eat, when do we eat it, where does the food come from, and how does it get to our plates? Farmers in New York State employ the latest technologies, as well as historical practices, to increase the quality and availability of their crops. Today there are fewer farms and farmers, but they are producing more food and feeding more people than ever before. Thanks to the use of emerging technological developments, commercial farmers can manage crops and herds more efficiently for sale to their regional markets. Other smaller-scale farmers are using historic agricultural practices to raise desirable products well-suited to their geographical region and commercial markets. Still others are using a combination of both.

This exhibition explores how New York State farms strive to be sustainable, efficient, viable, and inter-connected. New York State products and crops such as dairy, beef, apples, and hops are used to follow food from farms to table. This exhibition was guest curated by Suzan D. Friedlander and made possible through gifts from The Tianaderrah Foundation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New York Susquehanna & Western Railway, Smith Ford Cooperstown, Inc., Bank of Cooperstown, Bruce Hall Home Center, The Otesaga Resort Hotel and Mabie Brothers, Inc.

Collection Highlight & 2015 Acquisitions

Collection Highlight – Plowline: Images of Rural New York

 With several seminal acquisitions in 2015, the Museum continued to demonstrate the impact the Plowline project can have in showing change over time in agriculture. The addition of an archive of the Gardner Seed Company in Rochester, NY helped create a greater understanding of the effects of hybrid vegetable varieties on production in the early 20th Century. Impactful, documentary images of Lancaster Big Crop ensilage corn, which grew upwards of seven to eight feet tall, greatly increased farmers’ ability to feed their herds with less input. A large glass plate negative collection by photographer Arthur Austin added vivid, bucolic images of cows grazing, the Ouleout creek, county road scenes and streetscapes in Franklin, Delaware County, NY before the arrival of key infrastructure such as paved streets. A donation from Joyce Turner Ogden revealed an intimate glimpse into the impact of farming on a family of the 1950s near Syracuse, NY. To support his family, Wayne O. Turner started a truck farm later in life, selling his produce from a repurposed school bus at local Farmers’ Markets to make ends meet.  Contrasting these early collections are portraits from 2010 and 2011 by Richard Walker of youth posed with their livestock, and the resurgence of younger farmers growing produce, hops, dairy and beef within our local communities.  With the continued support of The Tianaderrah Foundation, we strive to create a greater understanding of the transformations in agriculture over time and the progress related to technology in the farming industry. See images from these and other acquisitions at plowline.farmersmuseum.org.

2015 Museum Acquisitions

Anvil. Anvil used by the Dorsch prosthetics to construct prosthesis. ca. 1880. Gift of Marita Carozza.

Business Records. Johnstown Cheese Factory Papers; .5 linear feet. 1867-1880. Museum Purchase.

Glass plate negatives and ambrotype. Several hundred glass plate negatives by photographer Arthur Austin of Franklin, NY. 1855-1930. Museum Purchase.

Glass plate negatives and photographs. 11 items documenting livestock, feed mills and barns in various New York State locations. 1890-1940. Museum Purchase.

Grain Drill. Crown grain drill made by Crown Manufacturing Company of Phelps, NY. 1875. Gift of the Kreiger Family in Memory of Frank and Olive Kreiger.

Organization Records. Middlefield Neighbors Association Papers; 1 linear foot. 2010s. Gift of Jim Gates.

Painting. Almost Evening, by Tracy Helgeson, oil on canvas, 10″ x 8″. 2013. Museum Purchase.

Photo archive. 143 items documenting the Gardner Seed Company in Rochester, NY. 1920-1939. Museum Purchase.

Photograph. F.A. Gifford’s Agricultural Ware House in Hudson, NY. 1890. Museum Purchase.

Photograph. William H. Morrow preparing a field in Lewis County, NY. ca. 1900. Museum Purchase.

Photographic album. Wayne O. Turner’s truck farm, Lafayette, NY with accompanying farm account book. 1947-1953. Gift of Joyce T. Ogden.

Photographs. 106 portraits of Junior Livestock Show participants with their animals by Richard Walker. 2010-2011. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. 33 items from the Rochester and New Berlin, NY areas including wheelwright shop, creamery interior and dairies. 1890-1947. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. 71 prints and digital images of Otsego County farms and farmers produced for Farming’s New Era exhibition by Richard Walker. 2014-2015. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. Four items showing stages of soil preparation in Ogdensburg, NY. 1920-1929. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. Six items showing farmsteads and seeding in Herkimer and Lewis Counties. 1880-1920. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. Two items depicting cheese production in Lowville, NY. 1910-1915. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. Two photographs of a tractor dealership in Sharon Springs, NY. ca. 1945. Museum Purchase.

Photographs. Two promotional photographs for the Louden Machinery Company’s Litter and Feed Carrier.1910-1920. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards and photographs. 10 items from the Putnam County area including farmstead scenes and ice harvesting. 1890-1935. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards, photographs, and glass plate negatives.  107 items including creameries, livestock, dairy and meat wagons, harvesting, gang plowing from a variety of New York State locations. 1880-1947. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards and photographs. 48 items documenting agricultural equipment and processes in Cattaraugus, Montgomery and Schuyler Counties. 1905-1950. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards and photographs. 49 items documenting  potato farming, barn raising, orchards, wineries, dairy and other agricultural pursuits in the Rochester area, as well as  Orange, Herkimer, Cattaraugus, Delaware, Broome and Washington Counties. 1900-1956. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards and photographs. 58 items documenting a wide range of farming processes in six counties. 1905-1950. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards and stereographs. 22 items documenting crop harvesting, New York State fair, creameries and livestock. 1905-1913. Museum Purchase.

Real photo postcards and photographs. Group of 27 items including those of Summit and Warnerville by Henry C. Sollman of Cobleskill, NY. 1890-1970. Museum Purchase.

Slides. 26 slides of the Tully, NY Potato Festival and harvesting. 1940-1945. Museum Purchase.

2015 Gala Highlights

Doug George Kanentiio, Mohawk of the Bear Clan, speaks at the 2015 Annual Summer Gala.

Doug George Kanentiio, Mohawk of the Bear Clan, speaks at the 2015 Annual Summer Gala.

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Thaw Collection of American Indian Art at the Fenimore Art Museum, the Annual Summer Gala took place on Friday, July 17th. Hosted by Jane Forbes Clark, and held at the Glimmerglen property, the magnificent event honored Clare and Eugene Thaw while supporting the museums’ educational programs. Inspired by the exhibition 50 at 20: Masterpieces of American Indian Art from the Thaw Collection, the event featured an on-site exhibition of pieces from the collection as well as a performance by Grammy award-winning recording artist Joanne Shenandoah and her daughter Leah.

Thank you to the evening’s generous sponsors who made contributions to support educational programming in honor of Clare and Eugene Thaw:

Dr. and Mrs. Lewis L. Hamilton
Allison and W. Keyes Hill-Edgar
Mr. Tom Morgan and Ms. Erna Morgan McReynolds

Dr. and Mrs. Allan J. Ahearne
Mr. David Beightol and Mrs. Ann Beightol
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew M. Blum
Mr. Fritz Rosenorn-Lehn and Ms. Helene Bonnier
Mr. and Mrs. Marc Bresee
Ms. Bonnie Burnham
Dr. Paul S. and Anna T. D’Ambrosio
Mrs. Karen M. Elting
Dr. and Mrs. Gerald Evans
Dr. and Mrs. Douglas E. Evelyn
Mr. and Mrs. Steven D. Glazer
Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Hage
Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hanft
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Harris
Mr. and Mrs. Gates Helms Hawn
Mr. and Mrs. James Howarth
Dr. Marilynn Karp
Honorable and Mrs. M. Langhorne Keith
Paul Kellogg and Raymond Han
Mr. Charles B. Kieler
Mr. and Mrs. Jason McCoy
Mr. H. William Michaels and Mrs. Brenda P. Michaels
Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Miosek
Dr. Jeffrey Pressman and Dr. Nancy Kollisch
Mr. and Mrs. John Sanford
Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Stack
Mr. and Mrs. John B. Stetson
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Thompson
Ms. Ellen R. Tillapaugh and Mr. Gary M. Kuch
Mrs. Rose C. Wadsworth
Mr. and Mrs. William Waller
Dr. and Mrs. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr.
Francesca Zambello and Faith Gay

Bank of Cooperstown
Dr. Carlos Bermejo and Dr. Jennifer Lucas
Dr. Timothy Campbell and Dr. Sally Graumlich
Mrs. Phyllis B. Dunning
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony S. Esposito
Mr. Keith J. Fulmer and Dr. Terry T. Fulmer
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen M. Gotwald
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Graig-Tiso
Mr. Hugh Hardy
Mr. and Mrs. Tim Horvath
Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Jakubowicz
Mr. and Mrs. Brian J. Kegelman
Mr. and Mrs. Todd Kenyon
Mr. and Mrs. David Kerko
Mrs. Suzanne Kingsley
Mrs. Shelley Knight and Dr. Reginald Knight
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Malesardi
Dr. Bertine McKenna and Mr. Patrick McKenna
Mr. and Mrs. James L. Northrup
The Otesaga Resort Hotel
Mr. and Mrs. James C. Plowden-Wardlaw
Mrs. Nancy Reynolds
Mr. Matthew Sohns and Ms. Mary-Margaret Robbins
Mr. and Mrs. Hugh K. Webster
Dr. and Mrs. Michael Zahn

Gifts to $500
Dr. Jacqueline M. Atkins and Dr. Edward G. Atkins
Ms. Brenda Ayers
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas M. Barry
Dr. Douglas H. Cannon and Mrs. Barbara Cannon
Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Church
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Consigli
Ms. Paula DiPerna and Ms. Mary DiPerna
Dr. and Mrs. John G. Freehafer
Mr. Richard Friedberg and Ms. Elisabeth Searles
Ms. Nancy Friedman
Mrs. Erika Hall and Ms. Carla Hall-Friedman
Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Harris
Dr. Day Hills
Ms. Susan J. Huxtable
Ms. Marjorie Turrell Julian
Mr. Arnold Jungkind
The Honorable and Mrs. Jeffrey Katz
Miss Suzanne Langworthy
Dr. and Mrs. August Leinhart
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Mahon
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Maloney
Mr. and Mrs. Andrew R. Marietta
Dr. Douglas DeLong and Ms. Lynn E. Marsh
Dr. and Mrs. Kai Mebust
Ms. Paula H. Newman
Ms. Margaret Nocciolino
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Perrone
Mr. and Mrs. James Richardson
Mr. John Ryland and Ms. Karen Craig Ryland
Ms. Ramona Sakiestewa
Mr. Roland Sanchez and Ms. Mary Gadomski
Mr. and Mrs. Alexander J. Shields
Mr. and Mrs. Ken Steigelman
Mr. and Mrs. Bruno Talevi
Mrs. Denise Wicks
Drs. Jay G. Williams and Hermine Williams