Kimberly Conrey and Meredith Chilson stand with “Farmer Jim”
By Mary Gardner-Ruch
Kimberly Conrey and Meredith Chilson representing the National Society Descendants of American Farmers showed up at the Alfred Farmers Market on Sunday, September 11th, to present 13-year-old, Jim Eshelman of Scio with an award. The non-profit organization honors, past, present, and future American farmers.
The family farm that Jim runs, The EIEIO Farm, was built in the 1800s and the farm buildings still reflect their history as a working farm with a dairy herd and workhorses. Since 1960, when Jim’s grandparents, Pete and Kathleen McDonald purchased the farm, it has been a sheep farm.
The farm currently has about 200 acres of mixed pasture, hay fields, and some woods. Jim, who is the current farmer, is a third-generation farmer on the property. He took over his grandfather’s flock of sheep two years ago and has been actively working with the flock to increase their efficiency. Jim also maintains a huge vegetable garden, meat chickens, laying hens, and turkeys. He recently won a scholarship for a Guernsey calf.
When Jim is not attending school at Alfred-Almond Central or working on the farm, you can find him at the Alfred Farmers Market on Sundays where he is a regular vendor. He likes to say, “I will grow the food as long as someone else will prepare it.”
It is a high honor for Farmer Jim to receive a prestigious award like this at such a young age. Stop by the Alfred Market which takes place from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Sundays, and meet this incredible young man. While you are there pick up some veggies, chicken, lamb, or eggs. You won’t be disappointed.
ICYMI: Read Michael Whitney’s piece on Jim: