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Agricultural Adventurers

Eastern States Exposition annually bestows the Eastern States Exposition Agricultural Adventurers Award to outstanding leaders in New England agriculture. A special committee, appointed by the trustees of ESE, selects its annual fellow on the basis of innovation, pioneering and lifetime dedication to the betterment of agriculture. Each award winner has made significant contributions to New England agriculture. Click here for a full list of Agricultural Adventurers Award recipients.

ESE Agricultural Adventurers Nomination Form


2018 Crane Brothers Farm

2018 Crane Brothers Farm

The Crane Brothers story begins with Mildred and George Crane who in the 1950s sold their farm to sons Vernon and Neil. In 1961, they entered into a contract with Frito Lay to produce chip potatoes for a plant in Fall River, Mass. In the mid-1970s Frito built what, at the time, was considered the largest snack food plant in the world in Killingly, Conn., and Crane Brothers Farms would keep pace with the plant’s needs by growing and expanding their potato acreage and becoming one of the largest suppliers of chip potatoes in the Northeast. 
2017 Jan & Michelle Eckhart

2017 Jan & Michelle Eckhart

From a humble beginning as a small strawberry patch in the early 80s to a beautiful farm market, café, wedding venue, pick your own and “the place to go” in the Newport, Rhode Island area, Jan and Michelle Eckhart’s Sweet Berry Farm of Middletown is the hallmark of a true agricultural adventure. In addition to their own produce, they sell local farmers’ products such as meat, eggs, milk and cheese, and developed a free concert series with local musicians and themed meals. 
2016 Steve & Joan Verrill

2016 Steve & Joan Verrill

Verrill Farm has been in operation since 1918, when Stephen’s parents opened a successful dairy business. Steve and Joan assumed operation of the farm in 1957. The business expanded to include sale of milk, eggs, baked goods and pick-your-own strawberries, eventually converting into a thriving market garden operation with a state-of-the-art retail stand and kitchen. 
2015 Al & Barbara Bishop

2015 Al & Barbara Bishop

Bishop’s Orchards, in Guilford, Conn., is a thriving Farm Market run by multiple generations of the Bishop family. The operation sells fruit, vegetables, fresh cut flowers, milk, eggs, jams, honey, cheeses and a variety of meats. Apples, berries, vegetables and flowers can be picked by customers. The Bishop’s Farm Bakery turns out fresh pies, breads, muffins and cookies daily and the award-winning Bishop’s Orchard Winery offers dozens of locally made wine, including 12 kinds of wine made at the orchard. 

Ag Adventurers Committee

Chair: Stephen Taylor

Committee members: Randolph Blackmer, Roderick Carr, Alan Curler, Anthony Donatelli, Jr., Douglas Gillespie, Debra Hopkins, Lynville Jarvis, Seth Johnson, M. Arthur Kelley, Sawin Millett, Thomas Sandham, Martha Seifert, Robert Spear, Donald Upton, H. Dexter Young.

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