An Alfred Station couple has been presented with the first Extraordinary Contributions to the Betterment of Allegany County recognition.
Judson and Mary Stearns, who have operated Stearns Poultry Farm, a third-generation agricultural and retail food operation at Alfred Station, for nearly 50 years, along with being a provider for many summer chicken barbeques, were honored by the Allegany County Board of Legislators today for decades of combined community service.
The recognition came in the form of a resolution, which board members indicate they hope to continue each month for other county residents.
County Board Chairman W. Brooke Harris of Alfred, in presenting the honor, said there are “so many people deserving of recognition and don’t get it.”
He said he “looks forward, as the year goes forward, to being introduced to people with similar passion for public service and volunteerism.”
Judson Stearns is a native of Alfred Station and a 1973 graduate of Alfred-Almond Central School, which he served as senior class president, with his wife, Mary, being a native of Alfred, graduating the same year from Andover Central School and being a 1975 graduate of Alfred State College.
Fire department service
Judson is a life member of the Alfred Station Fire Department, having served 49 years in various roles, including chief, assistant chief, president, vice-president, treasurer and company steward.
He also has been a member of the Allegany County Fire Advisory Board for 42 years, serving as chairman numerous times, as well as serving a representative for the Board to the Allegany County Public Safety Committee.
His wife has been a long-time member of the fire company’s auxiliary and also has volunteered in various library and literacy advocacy roles, including the Alfred-Almond Central School “Book-It Reading Program,” Friends of the Alfred Box of Books Library, and the Alfred Box of Books Library Board of Directors.
Boy Scouts of America
Both have been heavily involved in the Boy Scouts of America, each having volunteered for some 35 years.
Mary Stearns has served in numerous roles locally, and for Thunderbird District and Five Rivers Council as cub scout training chair, council training committee member, Cub Scout Roundtable commissioner, district activities chair, day camp director and program director, and district committee member.
She is a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award, as well as the District Award of Merit and the District Executive’s Award.
Her husband has volunteered in numerous local, district, and council leadership roles, including Cub Scout den leader and cubmaster, assistant scoutmaster, and scoutmaster of Troop 19 of Alfred, along with the Thunderbird District Committee, Eagle Board of Review, and Cub Scout Roundtable.
He has been recognized by the Boy Scouts of America with both the Thunderbird District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver Award, the highest council-level recognition in the national organization.
Local government service
The couple has served in various local government capacities.
He has been a member of the Town of Alfred Zoning Board of Appeals for 30 years, with more than 20 years as chairman, while his wife was a member of the Alfred Town Board from 2009 to 2017.
Both are members of the Union University Church in Alfred, Judson for 54 years, with five terms as a member of the Board of Trustees, with his wife joining the church in 1991 and serving as treasurer for 10 years and Christmas Bazaar co-chair.
A video of today’s recognition ceremony is available at https://bit.ly/3j3sr2A, starting at approximately 4:30 minutes.