Since 1959, the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District has honored a deserving agricultural producer with the Conservation Farm of the Year Award. This award is given to a producer that has displayed a long-term commitment to sustainable conservation, leads by example, and implements farm conservation best management practices. This year’s recipient is Grassland Dairy, Inc, an organic dairy farm in the town of Pavilion.
Grassland Dairy, Inc., is a 250-cow organic dairy farm that is owned and operated by Brent Tillotson and his family. The farm raises their Jersey cows on a rotational grazing system with a focus on animal welfare. The farm also operates under a comprehensive nutrient management plan that is updated annually to provide nutrient and manure application recommendations based on soil testing, crop requirements, and environmental conditions. Several best management practices have been installed since the farm’s inception in 2008, including a waste separation facility, waste storage facility, erosion control systems, and subsurface drainage. Currently, the farm is working to incorporate cover crops into their corn production by planting a mix of cover crop species into their standing corn crop during cultivation. This approach will help to improve soil health and reduce erosion on the cropland.
Grassland Dairy, Inc., has voluntarily implemented the aforementioned best management practices to protect the environment and create a more sustainable farm operation. They have also been an active participant with the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. To recognize the work that has been done, the farm will be presented the 2021 Conservation Farm of the Year award at the Celebrate Agriculture Dinner on April 2, 2022, at the Alexander Fire Hall.