Archie and Elaine Winton knew everything about the dairy industry and they enjoyed sharing that knowledge with others throughout their community.
The couple, who married in 1955, both came from a long line of dairy farmers and, together, owned and operated the multi-generational Arlaine Farms in Sinclairville.
In addition to working on the farm and raising a family, Archie and Elaine volunteered with several community organizations. Both were members of the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau and the South Stockton Wayside Chapel, while Archie served on the Agricultural Advisory Board for Cassadaga Valley Central School’s Future Farmers of America.
And like many farming families they, and their children, became involved in the local 4-H program. For many years, Elaine even served as leader of the Towerville Tornadoes 4-H Club.
“Mom was a fixture at the Chautauqua County Fair and for more than three generations, she could be seen ringside at various dairy and livestock competitions cheering on the young people and keeping track of show results,” their son, Jeff Winton, said.
Although Archie passed away in 2000, it wasn’t until Elaine’s passing in 2018 that her family wanted to do something special to honor their passion for the dairy industry and for educating youth.
The Archie and Elaine Winton Memorial 4-H Dairy Program Fund will provide annual support to the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County 4-H Dairy Program.
“The Dairy Program offers members the opportunity to participate in programs that develop their confidence, critical thinking skills and the value of teamwork,” said Kate Ewer, 4-H community educator.
With approximately 65 members in 2019, the Dairy Program offers activities for youth of all ages to learn first-hand about the dairy industry. Dairy Bowl encourages youth to research facts about the industry and near the end of the program, allows them to compete against other 4-H youth in a quiz bowl-type setting while Dairy Judging teaches youth how to evaluate cattle for their best traits.
“Thanks to the dedicated and knowledgeable volunteers, Chautauqua County youth excel in dairy judging,” Ewer said. “Many have gone on to compete at the state and national levels.”
A new initiative within the Dairy Program is the Dairybuds program where 4-H members ages 5-8 years old are paired with an older 4-H member to learn about dairy cattle, fitting, showmanship and more.
“These relationships encourage our older 4-H youth to volunteer their time as mentors,” Ewer said. “It is rewarding to see our members come together to share their knowledge.”
According to Jeff, there was no question about the type of organization he and his family wanted to support in his parents’ memory.
“In my mom’s final days, her wishes were to benefit the local 4-H Dairy Program, a program that benefitted her four sons, several grandchildren and today, her great-grandchildren,” he said.