FONDA - U.S. Rep. Paul D. Tonko had a smile on his face the whole time he helped dish out ice cream to folks at the Fonda Fair on Saturday.
The Montgomery County Farm Bureau sponsored a giant ice cream sundae for the 172nd Fonda Fair. The bureau provided bins of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream that were dumped into a huge container to build a massive sundae.
Members of the Farm Bureau, Miss Fonda Fair pageant winners and volunteers helped serve the ice cream. Tonko, who represents New York's 20th Congressional District, was one of the many jovial volunteers.
U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, sits with Miss Fonda Fair pageant winners, from left, Alexys Conti, Allexa Christiano, Lillian Lighthall and Morgan Mooney on Saturday at the Fonda Fair. They all helped hand out free ice cream to fairgoers. (The Leader Herald/Casey Croucher)
"It's a tradition and I don't think I've missed a year yet," he said of the fair. "It's a great event to support."
Tonko said he's a big supporter of dairy farmers and appreciates all of the work that they do.
"Being the grandson of dairy farmers, I have a lot of appreciation and support for what they do. They're very dedicated and have great work ethic," he said.
He said farmers play a critical role as food providers.
"These farmers provide us with nutritious food for our tables; we owe a lot to them," he said. "Not to mention they have to deal with Mother Nature, and that's something you just can't control."
Tonko noted that while he served as a state assemblyman for 25 years, he was a member of the Agriculture Committee "from beginning to end."
The fair continues today and concludes on Labor Day.