Becker Farms & Vizcarra Vineyards has been awarded New York State Agricultural Society Business of the Year for 2013.
The farm, located in Gasport, was founded in 1894 by Julius and Augusta Becker. From its roots as a livestock, fruit and vegetable farm, they have expanded the business to include a winery, microbrewery, tours and private events.
Owners Oscar and Melinda Vizcarra operate the farm alongside their children, Amanda, Andres and Oscar Jr. They continue to expand with recent developments, including a community-supported agriculture program, 100-mile radius meals and a new wedding and event venue.
"We were very surprised to receive the Business of the Year award. It is a great honor and privilege, especially since it is given by such a prestigious organization," Melinda said. "It also gives us a great sense of pride in our little town of Gasport, and in Niagara County, as well. We are looking forward to the upcoming season."
The New York State Agricultural Society Business of the Year Award was created in 2001. Its aim is to promote the New York's food system and recognize the quality, leadership and innovation demonstrated by New York agribusinesses. Two businesses are honored each year: one farm and one agribusiness. The agribusiness honored this year was Chobani Yogurt, located in New Berlin.
Becker Farms is a fifth generation, family-owned, 340-acre working fruit and vegetable farm that sells its products directly to the public. For the past 100 years, Becker Farms has harvested its own fruits and vegetables to provide fresh produce and a wide variety of value-added products such as handmade pies, jams, cookies, cider, fudge and wines. Its goal is to provide families with the opportunity to visit the countryside and embrace "Mother Nature" among family and friends.