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Environmental Stewardship Award Presented to Cayuga View Farm

K. Brosnan | February 26, 2019

This award was established to recognize the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of a New York beef producer.

At the New York Beef Producers Association 2019 Annual Winter Conference Tim and Melanie Pallokat, of Cayuga View Farm located in Union Springs were presented with a Environmental Stewardship Award. This award was established to recognize the outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of a New York beef producer. The winner of this award is commended for their commitment to protecting the environment and improving fish and wildlife habitats while operating profitable cattle operations and will be nominated for regional recognition through the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  

Cayuga View, founded by Wilson Mitchell Jr. has had Black Angus since 1965 when Wilson exited the dairy business and began his beef herd. Tim Pallokat and his wife Melanie worked with Wilson to combine herds and in 2013 moved onto the farm. Since transitioning into ownership Tim has been involved in multiple land improvement projects in partnership with Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. The farm’s proximity to Cayuga Lake and KARST bedrock soils only increases the importance of implementing environmental conservation practices on the farm. Cayuga View Farm is very committed to protecting the farms natural resources by utilizing and implementing a Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP). The plan helps Tim make sound decisions on manure handling, nutrient placement, rotational grazing and keeping clean water clean.  

“Our number one goal is the land” shared Tim when explaining some of their most recent projects. The Pallokats committed 40 of their 140 acres to grassland for the next ten years as part of their improvement project with NRCS. The farm strives to protect neighboring waterways by containing and preventing runoff. One major recent improvement to the farm was a covered barnyard which is equip with roof system specially designed to collect rain runoff that is then directly pushed to the stream on the property bypassing any manure and preventing water contamination. The stream that runs through Cayuga View’s pastures has also been protected through investment in a 12 foot wide, 1000 foot long laneway that connect the pastures and a PO newly built bridge, all designed to make rotational grazing easier and prevent soil erosion in high traffic areas.     

“This is some of the best cropland east of the Mississippi,” Tim described, “You have to treat it well and it will treat you well. If you feed it, it will feed you. Part of that is not overgrazing it.” A rotational grazing plan developed with SWCD includes pasture rotation every 3 days with 30 days of rest in between cycles. In addition to pasture land the farm includes about 70 acres of tillable land. All crop land is rotated and managed under a SWCD developed comprehensive nutrients management plan. A cover crop plan is also being developed.    

Jason Cuddleback of Cayuga County SWCD shared, “Tim has been a pleasure to work with over the past couple years, he cares for his animals and the land that he farms. Improving his land base will in turn give back in soil health and forage for his farming operation, the District will continue to work with Tim to implement environmental stewardship and keep clean water clean.”  

The common trait among all Environmental Stewardship Award winners is the desire to leave the land in better shape for future generations while also inspiring the next generation of land stewards. Tim and Melanie certainly exemplify these traits.