ROME, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) – Wagner Farms was recently recognized with the 2021 Specialty Crop Grower Sustainability Award. The award recognizes the farm’s efforts to practice sustainable farming.

Ronald Wagner, the farm’s owner and operator, said sustainable farming is “the action of reducing, reusing, adjusting, and adapting to the changes that are both climate, economic and the times.”

Sustainable farming practices also involves reducing plastic and chemical use; using more efficient equipment; reducing soil erosion, run off and carbon emissions; and improving plant health. The farm has replaced old equipment with equipment that is more fuel efficient, reduced their use of pesticides and tillage practices, implemented a cover crop system, and put an emphasis on plant and soil health, among other things.

“One of the big things that the award committee was impressed on is our biofuel corn boiler that actually burns our own corn that we produce in house to heat our greenhouse and actually dry our corn,” Wagner said.

“We’re actually reusing our own product to produce our own product which is a cool item. That’s sustainability.”

Despite already making so many improvements to become a more sustainable farm, Wagner has no plans of stopping in the future.

“We are now awarded the sustainability award; that doesn’t mean we’re gonna stop doing what we’ve been doing, and we’re going to change,” he said. “We’re going to continue changing up the program to that system.”