June 1, 2011


Dairy industry honors longtime C’ville farmer

Don Reed given annual Warm Hands award at dairy breakfast kicking off Dairy Month

FarmerJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Tom Dumas, left, toasts Don Reed, right, with a glass of milk at the home of Charles and Caroline McEvoy in Marathon. Reed was recognized with the Warm Hands Award at the June dairy kickoff breakfast Wednesday.

Staff Reporter

MARATHON — Cortlandville farmer Don Reed was named the Warm Hands Award recipient at the annual dairy breakfast this morning at Mac-Mara Holstein Farm.
The annual breakfast, presented by the Cortland County Dairy Promotion Committee, kicks off June as Dairy Month in Cortland County.
Tom Dumas, the former executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cortland County and a member of the committee, said Reed has worked as a dairy farmer and a seed farmer, and also had experience with the business aspect of the industry.
“He is a real ambassador to the agricultural community,” he said, adding that the committee has brought up Reed’s name in the past, but he has been out of town and unable to accept the award.
Reed’s Farm, which celebrated its 200th anniversary last year, is best known for its cabbage breeding program.
Reed, 70, has also helped out with many community events, including the Dairy Parade, where he has provided vehicles to carry the dairy princess candidates.
“If something needed to be done, his first words would be, ‘How can I help?’ “ Dumas said. “That’s just the kind of person he is.”
Reed, a 1962 graduate of Cornell University, has also been active in many community boards and programs in the last 50 years.
He has worked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension, the state and county Holstein Associations, the county Planning Board Advisory Committee and was the treasurer of the Cortland Community Foundation.
Reed has also been on the board of directors for the Cortland YMCA, the Dryden-Groton Cooperative Fire Insurance Co., the Homer National Bank and the Cortland Savings Bank.
After reading the pledge to join the Exalted Order of Warm Hands, Reed downed a glass of milk, joking that he would not have consumed so much at the breakfast had he known he had another glass coming.
As the description of the winner was being read, all indications pointed to Reed.
“I kind of suspected it was me,” he said.
Reed said his family hosted the breakfast about 35 to 40 years ago. No one could put an exact date on when the tradition started.
“It seems to go back as far as I can remember,” Reed said.
It was the second time Chuck and Caroline McEvoy have hosted the breakfast, with the last time being about 10 years ago.
The McEvoys have eight children and 17 grandchildren.
Chuck McEvoy told the story about how his father purchased the farm in 1951, and the farm is now managed by his youngest son, Ken. The farm has about 35 cows that are milked, with about 65 to 70 cattle total over the 220 acres.
The McEvoy farm is known for its excellent cattle breeding, and is No. 1 in the state for its size.


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