It’s a little known gem of a river in northern New York, and those crystal clear waters in the spring are great for kayaking and canoeing. But what you might not know is that the Little River is getting another shot in the arm through the protection of a beautiful family dairy farm, way up in the headwaters of the river, in Amboy, Oswego County.
Rob Spoon and Alix Krueger have spent years working hard to improve the land on their farm, from planting cover crops to improving barnyard facilities to help ensure that the water run-off into the headwaters of Little River is as clean as possible.
Multiple generations lending a hand
Rob is the third generation of Spoon’s to farm the property. Over the years he has enjoyed sponsoring neighborhood children in 4H programs and lending cows to show at the fair. Rob and Alix have a strong appreciation of the value of getting children, no matter what age, excited about farming. The land has given so much to them and they want to give back.
In addition to rolling fields, which glisten in the late afternoon sun with the golden glow of corn fields, the 450 acre farm is home to highly productive and healthy wetlands, providing important habitat for both migratory birds and year-round animals such as red fox and grouse.
Integrating the conservation of wildlife habitat, farmland and water conservation as part of maintaining the water quality of the Little River, is something that has been on Alix’s and Rob’s mind. To help with that they’ve been working with the County Soil and Water Conservation District to improve the design of their barnyard to manage manure and reduce run-off.
Conserving the farm and its woodlands and wetlands was another important part of protecting the headwaters of the Little River. “We had no idea, 20 years ago, that the wetlands on this farm would be as important as the farm itself” reflected Rob. “We just feel blessed that this farm, as well as the wetlands, will be protected forever.“