Lewis County’s cheese auction raises $22K for local groups

WWNY Lewis County’s cheese auction raises $22K for local groups

LOWVILLE, N.Y. (WWNY) - In Lewis County, the annual cheese auction is over for another year. This year was different, but it worked.

At the Lewis County Fairgrounds, the grandstand was empty, silver barriers were packed away and the Forest Park pavilion was open with nothing inside.

The pandemic canceled the fair. Organizers moved it online, calling it "The Unfair".

Part of the switch included the annual cheese auction.

One group that donates cheese for the auction is Lowville Producers Dairy Co-op. Manager Brien Tabolt was unsure how it would go.

"That was the biggest hurdle, most of us didn't have the knowledge of how we were going to do this and they got it done and it looked like it worked out well for them," he said.

The virtual auction and donations brought in $22,000. The proceeds support the local Future Farmers of America Chapters, 4-H clubs, and the dairy princess program.

Store Manager Lynn Cole helps to cut and package the cheese.

"I think it went good considering it was a last minute, like, quick get it ready thing because they weren't sure what they were going to do at first when the fair got canceled," said Cole.

Even though they couldn't have an in-person fair, Tabolt says he is thankful that they could still come together to raise money through the auction.

"The FFA and the 4-H and the organizations that recieve these funds, scholarships, all rely on it so I was glad that their committee could pull this off," he said.

Auction winners can go into the Lowville Producers Dairy Co-op starting August 3 to claim their winnings.

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