Sotheby's Celebrates The Art Of Farming
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Sotheby's auction house in New York turned its focus to the art of farming on Thursday night, auctioning off rare animals and heirloom vegetables for the benefit of local farming charities.
"We have a very long tradition of sponsoring philanthropic events that support the local community, and we decided to venture a little far afield this time and get into the art of farming,” explains Sotheby’s Director of Marketing Amy Todd Middleton.
P. Allen Smith is a farmer and an artist who donated to the event.
George Whipple: “You also brought some turkeys, ducks and geese. Is this the first time that turkeys, ducks and geese have been auctioned off at Sotheby's, as far as you know?"
Smith: "Well, according to Jamie Niven, who is our very humorous auctioneer, yes! And these are live heritage birds. They come from the Heritage Poultry Conservancy and the Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch in Kansas and so we're happy to share the genetics of these animals. These are some rare birds that we've really almost lost. I mean, these are the birds that fed this country through the Great Depression. They went through the second and first World War, so they've been with us for a long time. Many of them have gone out of production now because of mass farming, so there's a big push not only to save heirloom seeds and vegetables, but also our poultry and our livestock: cattle, sheep, swine, and so forth."
Liz Neumark's Sylvia Center, is one of the beneficiaries of the event.
"Sylvia Center is a not-for-profit and our mission is to educate children about through healthy eating through hands-on experiences with growing and cooking,” says Neumark. “So it's a fun solution to a very serious problem."
Farming is close to George Whipple's heart as he, too, raises rare and endangered early-American farm animals at Tilly Foster Farm. To learn more about the farm, go to tillyfosterfarm.org or jump on at Grand Central and head up to Southeast and visit the farm directly.