Hunter Jackson, 9, finds a creative way to sweep the floor of the family barn at Skyblu Farms in Felton.
Hunter Jackson, 9, finds a creative way to sweep the floor of the family barn at Skyblu Farms in Felton. (John A. Pavoncello photo)

For Roy "Butch" Jackson, a clear sky means a good day for doing farm work.

And receiving a 2013 Outstanding Farm Family Award from the York County Agriculture Business Council means his family is appreciated for working hard and honorably in the community, adds Jackson, 61, of Felton.

"We're doing what we love to do," Jackson said. "We love raising cattle and crops. You're feeding the country. You're feeding the world. A lot of people do not realize how important farming is."

The family and their farm will receive their award during the 27th annual York County Agricultural Recognition Banquet, beginning with a social at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in the Old Main Hall of the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave. in West Manchester Township.

The York County Agriculture Business Council also

will give the Tony Dobrosky Future Leaders Award to Gabrielle Murphy, an Airville resident and junior at Delaware Valley College in Bucks County.

The Outstanding Ag Industry Award will go to Hoke Mills Inc. in Abbottstown, Adams County.

Farm's history: As the 2013 Outstanding Farm Family, the Jacksons are being recognized for their excellence in farming and production quality, dedication to agriculture, participation in ag-related organizations and activities, and positive lifestyle example, said Michele Grove, the York County Agriculture Business Council's executive assistant.

In 1975, Jackson and his wife, Lisa Jackson, bought their first farm and started raising potatoes, grain and steers. They eventually focused on grain and cattle operations and started Skyblu Farms Inc. in 2003.

They expanded their farming business, with their son -- who grew up working on the farm -- becoming a partner.

Skyblu now includes a feedlot, a 600-head beef barn, and about 3,000 owned and rented acres.

The farmland spreads into Chanceford, East Hopewell and North Hopewell townships and Crossroads Borough, according to Jackson.

Jackson said he appreciates his family and farm being recognized by the local agricultural community.

"Every farmer plays a role in being an actual pillar of the community due to the fact that he's trying to be very much a conservationist of the air, water and soil of the community, and take care of the environment, as well as the crops and livestock," Jackson said.

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmillan@yorkdispatch.com.

Agricultural banquet

The 27th Annual York County Agricultural Recognition Banquet will begin with a social at 5:45 p.m. Thursday at the Old Main Hall at the York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave. in West Manchester Township.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m., and the program starts at 7:30 p.m.

For information, call 246-3578 or email the organization at ycabc@comcast.net.