Cream of the crop: Farm Fest names grand marshal for event

Submitted Photo Pictured, from left are Colleen Yerico, retail manager farm market, greenhouse marketing, flower grower; Katherine Yerico, daughter-in-law, assistant greenhouse grower, office assistant; Rachael Yerico, daughter-in-law and assistant greenhouse grower, office manager-website; Derek Yerico, son, field manager, assistant vegetable grower; John M. Yerico, owner and vegetable grower.

The Fredonia Farm Festival has announced Yerico Farms as the grand marshal for the 54th annual festival.

John and Colleen Yerico, married for 42 years, started their style of farming 30 years ago by moving the farm market to their property after the retirement of John’s parents, John E. and Carolyn. The thriving farm that has won the Readers’ Choice Award for Best Overall Country Market for the last 15 years has 60 acres of crops with everything from corn to raspberries to pumpkins. Part of the greenhouses are used for raising early season vegetables before field crops are ready.

Yerico Farms is a family business. John grew up on the farm and eventually took the reins making it into the thriving business it is today.

The couple has two sons and one daughter who, along with their families, are all involved with the farm one way or another. They represent the third and fourth generation of “growth.” “All of them have drawn great strength from the farm. They have forged ahead together with technology, knowledge and experience, with generations of family and friends. Learning and experiencing all through the journey,” Farm Festival organizers said. “They would be nowhere without the hard work and dedication of their employees.”

Because life gives us twists and turns, in 2015 the sagging price of concord grapes fueled a major decision.

The closed and abandoned Loyal Oak Greenhouse, next door was purchased and became Yerico Farms Heritage Greenhouse. The original owner of that property was John’s Aunt Josephine Yerico Pulvino and husband John until 1973. Thus the “Heritage” part of the name.

Colleen worked as the retail sales manager for 11 years for Kirk and Amy Gugino Loyal Oak Greenhouse, bringing her greenhouse knowledge and customer service into the families decision. Though things will always change, Yerico Farms believes their mission statement has the qualities to be timeless – “If you do a little every day, you will never get behind.” The operations will adapt to meet the needs of that change. They live their mission statement as John’s father and grandfather did, with all that will change and has – their statement will remain the same.

Yerico Farms is also big with the community. For six years, they have been the growers of the baskets that hang in Fredonia, Dunkirk, and all Silver Creek Hanover sites.

They also assist by conducting two annual flower fundraisers for Infinity and Collage Dance Teams. They also donate flowers to WCA Home, St. Columban’s, Fredonia Place, and many churches around the area.

The Yerico family will be opening the 54th Annual Fredonia Farm Festival at the Gazebo in Barker Commons on Friday, Aug. 26 at noon. They will also be in the Grand Parade on Sunday, Aug. 28 at 1 p.m. and presenting the trophy for the Grand Marshal’s pick at the Antique Car Show the same day. More information the Fredonia Farm Festival can be found at festivalsfredonia.org/fredonia-farm-festival.


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