Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) is pleased to announce that the Shaw Family of Dracut, MA are this year’s recipients of the John Ogonowski Award. The annual award is given to a Farm Bureau member who has shown distinguished service to the organization and to the agricultural community as a whole. MFBF established the award in 2001 as a memorial to John Ogonowski, longtime Farm Bureau member, county leader and victim of the September 11th terrorist attack. John was the pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed into the World Trade Center. John was actively involved in the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, renting land to immigrant farmers from Cambodia and then serving as a mentor to them as they learned how to farm in this region. John loved farming and was also very active with the Dracut Land Trust, working to preserve open space for future generations.
The Shaw family has been farming for well over a hundred years. Shaw Farm Dairy was founded in Dracut, MA in 1908 by Mark L. Shaw, and has been passed down through four generations to its current owner, Warren Shaw, Jr. Much as the farming tradition has been passed down through the generations, so has the tradition of service to the agricultural community at large. In 1944, the farm was awarded the Agricultural Pennant for wartime production of milk from the Massachusetts Society for the
Promotion of Agriculture. Shaw Farm Dairy has held a membership in the Massachusetts Farm Bureau Federation (MFBF) since 1955. Warren Shaw, Sr. was instrumental in the development of the Farmer’s Live Animal Market Exchange (FLAME), and the creation of the Farm Family Insurance Company. Following in his father’s footsteps, Warren, Jr. has been a county leader in Farm Bureau, serving as Director and President of the Middlesex County Farm Bureau, as well as on the State Board of Directors.
Warren Shaw, Jr (right) accepting the John Ogonowski award
from MFBF President, Dr. A. Richard Bonanno
Just as John Ogonowski was passionate about preserving farmland, Warren Shaw, Jr. has spent years working on the State’s Agricultural Land Preservation Committee. He received a presidential appointment as the Chairman of the former Agricultural Soil Conservation Service, and he continues to be an active part of the Massachusetts Dairy Promotion Board. He also serves the local community though his work on the planning board and as a selectman.
The family was most recently honored in 2010 with the Massachusetts Century Farm designation, recognizing farms that have been family-owned and continuously operated for over one hundred years. Warren’s children, Mark, Lyndie and Sarah are the fifth generation to inherit the family’s love of farming and have assumed roles in the operation of the farm. It is for these reasons and so much more that the Shaw Family is a deserving candidate for the John Ogonowski Award.