The Duncan Allison Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award
This year’s Duncan Allison Award for Distinguished Service to Agriculture goes to the Baily family of Baily’s Dairy of Pocopson Meadow Farm in West Chester. Three generations of the family operate Baily’s Dairy, including patriarch Bernard Baily; daughter Becky Baily and her husband Eric Cockroft; daughter Meredith Parsons and her son Tyler Parsons.
The family is recognized for positively promoting local agriculture and serving as community ambassadors on the industry’s behalf. They have played an integral role in hosting the Chester Valley Dairy 4-H club and leasing cows to young club members who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate.
Commissioner Michelle Kichline said, “The Baily family is an example of farmers who want to share the experience of living and working on a farm with others across Chester County. They are commended for their devotion to teaching youth about raising farm animals and letting children see a cow up-close, sometimes for the first time. Thank you to the three generations of Baily’s who continue the traditions of farming.”
Becky Baily, who oversees the milking and processing, said, “We grew up on the farm and were used to how things worked. Now, so many kids in Chester County are removed from the farm but want to get involved once they visit us.”
The family is also deeply involved in helping to host the livestock portions of several area county fairs and festivals, which are often the first time children meet farmers and see livestock up close.
Meredith Parsons, who oversees school field trips to the farm, says she especially loves working with the younger children because they may have read about farm animals but may never have seen them in person. “They are amazed to see how big a cow really is in-person,” she laughs.
The pandemic provided even more opportunities for the Baily family to make a difference, especially when their Chester Valley Dairy 4-H club members brought special bovine visitors to nearby Pocopson Home residents in the summer of 2020.
“It made the Pocopson residents so happy to see the cows,” recalls Meredith. “It was a really special moment for them and the 4-H kids.”
“The Baily family does a wonderful job teaching Chester County residents young and old about the importance of local agriculture,” says Ag Council Director Hillary Krummrich. “We are fortunate to have farmers like them who make the extra effort to help people understand where our food comes from.”
Learn more about Chester County’s agriculture industry at www.chescofarming.org.