One of the bigger concerns you never hear mentioned much in the farming world, is the next generations of farmers. The current average age of New York farmers is about 58, and it doesn't appear many are lining up to be the next in line. It's with great pleasure we introduce one who is stepping up to be the next generation, Shannon Sears.

Shannon is 22 years old and recently graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with a bachelor's degree in Dairy Science. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have a wealth of experience in real world farming. Shannon grew up on her family's registered Holstein Dairy farm, Ira - Moos Holsteins in Middlefield. She assisted with raising calves and helped with planting crops. The family sold the original herd in 2017, but they help Shannon continue to raise replacement heifers, milk a small group of Holsteins, and plant crops.

Growing up on the farm, Shannon also raised a string of show animals exhibiting at local fairs and even the World Dairy Exposition in Wisconsin where she took home championship honors in showmanship. She also served as Otsego County Dairy Princess and has done photography work for the All American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA along with Holstein World and Cosmopolitan Magazines.

There are a lot of irons in the fire for Shannon these days, she helps manage the new processing plant making COBY Creamline milk and works at Cowbella Dairy Farm in Jefferson making Cowbella Jersey butter.  Her future plans include opening her own processing plant to offer farm to table products.

As you can tell, her passion for farming and agriculture runs deep, and Shannon is about to embark on another adventure. "The True Story of Agriculture," is a Face Book page she is creating to share the story of New York farmers.

Shannon, thanks for showing us there is a "next generation" of farmers in New York and their passion runs as deep as their predecessors.

Big Frog 104's Meet A CNY Farmer is presented by White's Farm Supply.  It's also brought to you by Louis J Gale and Son Feed Mill in Waterville who holds a drawing for a $100 gift certificate from the farms nominated each month.

Know CNY Farm Family we should salute? Share their story in the form below.

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