SPRINGWATER — All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm was recognized by the county for 50 years of service to the community.
Livingston County Environmental Management Council Chairman Alexander Pierce presented Katherine Humphrey and her daughter, Jerrianne Scheiderich, with the Earth Day Award.
Humphrey shared several reasons why her farm has been so successful over the past five decades.
“I have had successful operation of tree farming in Springwater for over 50 years. I feature state-of-the-art culturing, integrated pest management, and conservation land management strategies,” she said. “With three generations having worked the farm, this is a family operation that will have a positive and lasting presence in the county for years to come.”
The farm has used integrated pest management for 30 years, which works to solve pest problems while minimizing risks to people and the environment. Humphrey is the recipient of the Cornell IPM Award for her work in developing better methods and techniques to prevent disease and insect infestation with weed control methods that are low on chemicals.
Humphrey is also known for bringing a Conservation Reserve Program to prevent erosion, and to promote best practices in forestry and crop management.
All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm is also known for its lifelong involvement in both learning from and educating others.
“We share our best practices with fellow farmers, growers, landscapers, and arborists by holding hands-on seminars and tours. We take part in local, regional, state, national, and international associations, conventions, and research projects to enhance and share knowledge of the industry,” Humphrey said. “We provide jobs and training for our youth, and hosts school and public education tours, hikes and workshops. We are very dedicated to our community.”
Humphrey is a member of the Springwater Comprehensive Planning Committee, assisted in the development of the town’s first comprehensive plan, and a member of the Springwater Trails Group.
Pierce said the county appreciates everything All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm has done in the last five decades.
“We recognize Katherine Humphrey, Jerrianne Scheiderich, and the late William Humphrey for their impressive work and lifetime achievements at the All Western Evergreen Nursery and Christmas Tree Farm. They have demonstrated a long-term commitment to environmentally responsible tree farming, best practices that protect the health of our land, and stewardship of our natural resources,” he said. “We appreciate the involvement in their professional and local communities. Their achievements have contributed to the protection and conservation of Livingston County’s natural resources, and to the quality of life for our residents.”
Humphrey said that her favorite part of the more than 50 years of tree farming is the over 100 young people that have come to learn life lessons on it.
“We have had over 100 young people since the 1970s come on this farm to work the land,” she said. “One of the earliest was Gilbert Farr, whose mother worked with me at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in the late 1970s. I worked there from 1969 to 1991 full-time and continued from 1991 to 2017 part-time.”
Humphrey reflected on all the young people who have come and gone through the youth program on the farm over the past decades. It is something that she continues to do with anticipation every year. She has also hired over 50 adults to help work the farm full-time from April to December every year.
“I hope my young people learn more about agriculture, horticulture, how to get along, work as a team, and become good citizens. I want them to learn things they will take with them all of their lives. I want them to remember us as a wonderful place to work, and look back at the first job they ever had as a good memory,” she said. “We eat lunch and have a conversation about good manners. We talk about how when they go out to find work they need to have good manners. They need to have goals in life.”
Humphrey guides the youth through what it means to be successful not only in a job, but also in all of life’s goals.