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July 30, 2015 - 4:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

From Cornell Cooperative Extension in Batavia:

We are pleased to present a free on-farm event focused on pre-harvest considerations for corn silage and haylage. This is all made possible by the generous support of local farm equipment companies and agribusinesses. The date is Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Mulligan Farms, Avon.

Our lead-off speakers in the morning will be Ev Thomas and Tom Kilcer. Together they have almost 80 years of research and teaching experience in the area of field crops.

An off-the-grill lunch will be followed by a short presentation and Q & A session by the each of the dealers representing the four major brands of forage harvesters.

These machine will be on site for your inspection and talking point clarification by service representatives.
 
No RSVP needed. No tours of the farm, PLEASE!

July 29, 2015 - 1:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in field to fork feast, Announcements, Le Roy, agriculture.
Event Date and Time: 
September 3, 2015 -
4:30pm to 6:30pm

Field to Fork Feast: A Five Course Showcase of Our Local Agricultural Riches, designed by Chef Selby Davis & Prepared by D&R Depot
When: Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Stein Farm's Field on Hebbard Road, Le Roy
Cost: $100/ticket (Limited to the first 100 paid reservations)

*Please contact Samantha Vagg ASAP for more information and to reserve your seat:  [email protected]

July 29, 2015 - 1:48pm

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension in Batavia:

Fayetteville, NY – The Farmers Market Federation of NY, in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, is pleased to announce the first ever Farmers Market Managers Professional Certification Course to kickoff Nov. 10th to 12th on the SUNY Cobleskill Campus: FMM PRO.

This program will create New York State’s first Market Manager Certification designation and will be recognized through the SUNY system.

The FMM PRO course curriculum will include all aspects of maintaining and growing a successful farmers market given in 22 workshops covering three main topics:
1.    Nuts and Bolts of Managing Markets

2.    Reaching Out to the Market Community

3.    Building Market Systems

Program participants who complete the full curriculum will be receive certificates signed by the three partnering agencies and will have earned the title of Certified Market Manager. As a SUNY FMM PRO Certified Market Manager, graduates of the program will:
·         Be fully knowledgeable in today’s best practices for managing farmers markets;

·         Learn tactics to expand and optimize their farmers market;

·         Be equipped to build successful relationships with farmers and shoppers;

·         Be able to use their certification to leverage funding and support for their market.

The cost of the SUNY Farmers Market Managers Professional Certification will be an affordable $200 for 12 months of access to the online curriculum.  Participants will need to complete all 22 sessions within this time frame, including submitting a quiz and assignment from each section for review in order to receive certification. In addition, they will need to earn two continuing-education credits bi-annually by attending special sessions at the Federation’s annual Farmers Market Managers Conference and/or specified manager training webinars in order to keep their Certification active.

Nov. 10th to 12th a conference to be held at SUNY Cobleskill, will be used to launch the development of the course. This will replace the Farmers Market Federation’s Annual Conference that normally takes place in late winter, with the regular conference schedule resuming in early 2017. The schedule will include an intense three days of workshops, tours of the SUNY Cobleskill Ag Facilities, and an opportunity to network with market managers from around the state.

The workshops will be recorded and used to form the full online curriculum for the FMM PRO Certification Program and will be placed on Moodle.com, an online learning platform, under the sponsorship of Cornell University. SUNY Cobleskill students will have the unique opportunity to become New York State’s next generation of farmers market managers. As space is available, the three-day conference will be free to enrolled students who use their student meal.

Attendees of the Nov. 10th to 12th conference will have a jump start on their official Farmers Market Manager Certification as they will not need to view the sessions they participated in at the conference on Moodle. In addition, for each day they participated fully in the conference, each participant will receive a $25 voucher toward the cost of the online FMM Pro Certification Course.

Interested parties can register for the conference here: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmmpropay/ by paying online or mailing in the registration form with a check made out to the Farmers Market Federation of NY. FMM Pro Certification registration will be made available at a later date.

All mail-in conference registrations must be received by Nov. 4th after which registrations can only be made on the website above and will be subject to a $10 per day walk-in fee.

For more information on the content of the sessions, agenda, hotel information and directions, visit: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/fmmpro or contact [email protected].

FMM PRO is funded by a grant from Governor Cuomo’s Fresh Connect Program, as part of the Governor’s initiative to build bridges between Upstate NY and Downstate NY, as well as build connections between consumers and NYS agriculture.

Brandie L. Schultz
Administrative Assistant
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County
420 E. Main St.
Batavia NY 14020
Phone: (585) 343-3040, ext. 101
Fax: (585) 343-1275
http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/

July 22, 2015 - 6:02am
posted by Traci Turner in Genesee County Fair, agriculture.

From barrel racing to the expansion of the midway and demolition derby, the Genesee County Fair is booming with new and improved attractions this year.

Members of the Genesee County Agricultural Society have been working diligently to grow the fair.

Nick O'Geen, Agricultural Society board member, hopes the community will come and check out all the new events the fair is offering.

"We have added many new attractions this year and made improvements to the fairgrounds," O'Geen said. "This is our largest midway and number of vendors in two decades."

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The fair has a total of 18 rides this year. The Vortex is the main ride attraction, O'Geen said. The midway will be open every night.

The Agricultural Society has also expanded the fair's live entertainment lineup to include music from several bands in Batavia, Elba and Pavilion. Bands will play every night in the beer tent.

A modified class has been added to Friday night's demolition derby. The new class will feature decked-out cars with powerful engines.

On Saturday night, Empire State Pullers will run the tractor pulls. After the tractor pulls, Outlaw Pulling Series will hold a new semi-truck and stock pickup truck pulling competition. 

In addition to all the new attractions, return events include a classic car cruise and mechanical bull rides.

A variety of agricultural shows will run throughout the week. The 4-H animal auction will take place Thursday night. The fair runs through Saturday. General admission is $5 per car.

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Peyton Yasses with his two pigs.

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Steffan Roalsvig washing his sheep.

July 21, 2015 - 2:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, agriculture.

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Throughout the morning and early afternoon, the Genesee County Fair has been slowing coming into shape.

A little later this afternoon, the fairgrounds should really be humming.

Here's today's schedule:

2:30pm - 4-H Market Sheep Show & Showmanship - Show Ring
2:30pm - 4-H Meat Goat Show & Showmanship - Open Dairy Building
2-8pm - Mr. Scribbles - Exhibition Building
5-10pm - MIDWAY OPENS - Amusement Area
5:30pm - PARADE LINE-UP, Raceway 5 Pits - Fairgrounds
6pm - 4-H Beef Show & Showmanship - Show Ring
6:30pm - GENESEE CO. FAIR GRAND PARADE through the Fairgrounds
7:30pm - Barrel Racing - Horse Arena
8pm - Fair Queen Part 1 - Entertainment Tent Stage
10pm - EXHIBIT HALLS & BUILDINGS CLOSE 

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July 3, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in New York Craft Malt, batavia, business, Beer, agriculture.

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The effort to bring back malting to Upstate New York is a multi-year process.

Working with Cornell University, Ted and Patty Hawley, owners of New York Craft Malt on Bank Street Road, Batavia, are in their third year of running trials of malting grain in Genesee County Farm fields.

There's a plot on Hawley-owned farmland off Bank Street Road and another on Porter Farms, plus the Hawleys have some grain growing on other local farms.

The trial involves 34 varieties of barley, plus wheat and oats.

"We've got to look at all aspects of it, and it's a hard go," Hawley said. "Cornell won't really give their recommendation for four or five years."

The challenges in Western New York have to do primarily with weather -- the year-to-year variances, but more importantly the overall amount of moisture in ground and air.

Malting grains are highly susceptible to fungal diseases, so what researchers want to find are those varieties that grow well in this climate and stay health without sprouting two quickly (once the grain head sprouts, it can no longer be malted).

"Our region is very finicky," Hawley said.

The process involves two key sets of analyses.

First, researchers want to determine how well a variety grows locally, or its agronomics for a farmer. It's important to determine the quality and quantity of the protein, how it germinates and its yield (more yield, more profit per acre).

Second, the grain needs to be malted. The test isn't about taste or any subjective measurement. Researchers are looking at protein, enzymes and how well it malts.

Brewers are looking for good, locally grown grains because the farm brewery law requires locally produced, craft beers to contain a certain percentage of local agriculture product.

But Hawley said local brewers and growers are also looking to produce an interest among consumers to seek out totally local beers. They are working together on a marketing plan that would provide bars with a "Local" tap that would only be attached to kegs of locally brewed beer that uses only locally grown ingredients.

"I think once the consumer wants it, brewers are going to have to give it to them and then I think it's going to grow," Hawley said.

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A two-row variety and a six-row variety.

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June 28, 2015 - 5:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Silver Shoe Farm, batavia, agriculture, horses, carriage driving, sports.

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Silver Shoe Farm, on Pratt Road, Batavia, hosted today its 8th annual carriage driving competition, drawing drivers from throughout the region.

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June 26, 2015 - 4:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Cornell Cooperative Extension, dairy, agriculture, Stafford.

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Area dairy farmers were invited to a pasture walk today at the farm of John and Sue Mikel, on East Bethany Le Roy Road, Stafford, by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. John and Sue own and operate Mikelholm Holsteins, a small grazing dairy they started on a 30-acre field they purchased seven years ago. They built a house and barn with a milking parlor.

They graze their 35 cows plus youngstock on the remaining land and supplement their diet with purchased feed. They also knew grazing would provide health benefits to the cows and reduce demands on labor. An added benefit was the reduced bedding costs while the cows are out to pasture.

The discussion included how John and Sue got started, fence and laneway layout, nutrition balance and summer rations as well has how to control parasites. 

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June 15, 2015 - 5:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, mucklands, business.

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The weather is once again playing havoc with the potential onion crop in the mucklands.

Early in the season, it was too dry and too hot. Now, saturated ground is stressing some tender plants.

Perhaps as much as 20 percent of the crop won't make it to harvest.

Paul Mortellaro said the situation is hardly a disaster at this point.

"It would be nice to get some normal weather," Mortellaro said, "rather than ' it's too hot, it's too cold, it's too dry, it's too wet.' "

June 5, 2015 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, elba, Le Roy, agriculture, dairy.

Press release:

Thatcher Mowry, of Le Roy, and Kayla Wormuth, of Elba, are among the 29 New York Junior DAIRY LEADERs, representing 17 counties, that will graduate at Empire Farm Days on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in the Dairy Profit Seminar Center at Empire Farm Days, the Northeast’s largest outdoor farm show at Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls.

Junior DAIRY LEADER Program coordinator Deborah Grusenmeyer and assistant coordinator Betsey Howland, both with the Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program, will welcome families and visitors to the graduation that includes a presentation of the program year by the 29 graduating members, and recognition of the 2015 Junior DAIRY LEADER class sponsors.

The Cornell PRO-DAIRY Junior DAIRY LEADER is a statewide program for youth between the ages of 16 and 19 with an interest in learning more about career opportunities in the dairy industry and gaining hands-on experience in the field.

The Junior DAIRY LEADER graduation ceremony at Empire Farm Days gives young people the opportunity to highlight their year-long experiences and demonstrate to visitors, family, friends, agribusiness professionals, and educators the dynamic aspect of dairy education and career options.

The Junior DAIRY LEADER Program begins in September with a seven day trip to Madison, Wis., to tour dairies and agribusinesses, followed by attending the annual National 4-H Dairy Conference. Throughout the year, class members participate in eight workshops, focusing on team building, personality styles, resume development, change, and leadership skills development, as well as facets of dairy production, tours, and exposure to numerous career options in the dairy field.

Hands-on workshops offer learning opportunities on specific facets of the dairy industry, including veterinary science, dairy nutrition, production management, and on-farm production analysis, plus interaction with dairy producers, industry professionals, and other dairy-interested young people. Building communication and leadership skills enhanced by a team approach to problem solving adds to the Junior DAIRY LEADERS’ personal and professional development.

The 2015 sponsors of the Junior DAIRY LEADERS program are PRO-DAIRY, the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, Professional Dairy Producers Association, DEHM Associates, SHUR-GAIN USA, Genex-CRI, Select Sire Power, Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Northeast Ag and Feed Alliance, New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association, and the Cornell University Department of Animal Science, and New York’s dairy producers.

The 2015 Junior DAIRY LEADER class members are:
. Chautauqua County: Justin Dye, Trenton Meeder
. Columbia County: Benjamin Gardner, Courtney Dearnley, Emily Ooms
. Delaware County: Dylan Walley
. Erie County: Natalie Strub, Zane Hubbard
. Genesee County: Thatcher Mowry, Kayla Wormuth
. Jefferson County: Krystle Burger, Joshua Chisholm
. Lewis County: Harley Hancock
. Montgomery County: Justin Ryan
. Oneida County: Stephanie Finn, Andrew Smith
. Ontario County: Jacob Maslyn, Thomas Mueller, Alfredo Resendiz-Rojo,
  Robin Smithling
. Otsego County: Rachel Stone
. Rensselaer County: Lindsey McMahon
. Schoharie County: Eric Bates
. Tompkins County: Brian Lampman
. Washington County: Margaret Brownell, Kaylah Gulley
. Wayne County: Jessica Skellie
. Wyoming County: Emily Lampson, Katie Sondericker.
 
Empire Farm Days is the Northeast’s largest outdoor farm show, held on 300 acres at the Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls. Admission is free; parking is $10 car. Find a full schedule of activities and more information for the Aug. 11-13 show at www.empirefarmdays.com

June 3, 2015 - 4:06pm
posted by Traci Turner in agriculture, education, Pavilion.

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Kindergarteners from all over the county took a field trip to Grassland Dairy in Pavilion to learn about milk production and other aspects of farming for the annual Kinderfarmin' Day.

The purpose of the farm tour is to teach children where their food comes from.

"The tour helps to inform kids in the community about agriculture," said Jeff Post, president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau. "They need to understand food doesn't come from the supermarket."

Grassland Dairy is owned and operated by Brent and Polly Tillotson. The Tillotson family milks 190 organic Jersey cows. They provide natural feed for the cows by farming 300 acres of organic land.

More than 400 kindergarteners and 100 teachers, parents and chaperones visited the farm. Children from schools in Batavia, Oakfield, Elba, Pavilion, Alexander and Byron-Bergen participated in the tour. The four suggested learning stations that all of the groups were scheduled for included the milkhouse, milking parlor, comfy cows and cow cuisine. At other stations around the farm children could experience what it's like to milk a cow using a milk simulator, make s'mores using a hi-tech camp stove and pet various farm animals.

Barb Sturm, agriculture in the classroom educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension, visits schools in Genesee County to educate students in agriculture and set up the stations to go along with agricultural lessons she has taught them.

"The learning stations have keywords that align with the Common Core curriculum," Sturm said.

As a part of the Common Core farming unit, Amand Wachter's kindergarten class at Pavilion has been learning about cows, chickens and crops that farm animals eat.

"The tour connects to what we have talked about in class," Wachter said. "Kids can see how to milk a cow and what goes into their food."

Julie Tryon, a mother from Jackson Primary School, went through the barns and stations with her children. Their favorite part about the tour was getting to see the baby calves.

"It's a great opportunity for my kids to learn about agriculture and become familiar with it," Tryon said.  

Kinderfarmin' Day was sponsored by the Genesee County Farm Bureau and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County helped organize it. Some of the other contributors to the event included Upstate Niagara who donated cartons of milk and Cargill Animal Nutrition who donated ice cream for the kids to enjoy.

The dairy days have been going on for more than 30 years and different farms have taken turns hosting the event. For future years, the farm bureau welcomes any farm that would be interested in volunteering to host the event to contact them.

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Photos by Howard Owens.

To purchase prints, click here.

June 3, 2015 - 2:59pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dairy princess, agriculture, UMMC, business.

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Press release:

The Genesee County Dairy Princess honored the first baby born in Genesee County during the month of June 2015 as the Dairy Baby. Marleigh Grace Wright, a baby girl, was born to Tammy and Jeffery Wright, of Warsaw, on Monday, June 1st at 3:51 a.m. at United Memorial Medical Center. She weighed 5 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 19 inches long. She was delivered by Dr. Richard Edwards. Marleigh joins an older brother, Mason, 14, at home.

June is National Dairy Month which honors traditions and celebrates the contributions of the dairy industry by promoting nutrient-rich dairy foods.

The Genesee County Dairy Princess, Pavilion sophomore,Emily Mikel, and her mother, Sue Mikel, presented the Wright family with a basket of dairy products including yogurts, product coupons, cheeses, and a number of other infant items.

June 2, 2015 - 4:51pm

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge will offer for bid 139 acres of grassland hay in five different fields ranging in size from 58 to 81 acres. The refuge annually provides a total of 1,400 acres of grassland habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife. Active management of these grasslands is necessary to provide the highest quality nesting and migration habitat. The refuge haying program helps in this management process by reducing encroachment of broad leaf weeds and shrubs.

Hay will be allocated on a highest bid per field basis for each field. Sealed bids will be accepted until 12 p.m., July 2. An official Bid Sheet, available from the refuge headquarters, is required to make a bid. Completed Bid Sheets can be mailed to, or dropped off at the refuge headquarters at 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013 and must contain all the information requested.

If you have any questions about the haying program or would like to see the fields, please call Madeline Prush at 585-948-5445, ext. 7036.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is located midway between Rochester and Buffalo, and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

June 2, 2015 - 4:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, batavia.

Press release:

When it opens for the season June 9, Genesee Country Farmers' Market will be celebrating its 41st year of providing "Locally Grown" fresh fruits, vegetables, and specialty items to the Greater Batavia Area.

The Genesee Country Farmers' Market will take place in the Batavia Downs Parking lot located on Park Avenue. Market hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays with the season running from Tuesday, June 9th, through Friday, Oct. 30th.

Market Manager Mike Bakos says "This market is the original Farmers' Market in Genesee County and remains a Grow-Your-Own market featuring locally grown produce and specialty items. Many of last year's vendors will be returning along with some new additions."

Parties interested in joining the market to become a Seasonal Vendor or Day Vendor may contact Sharon Brent at (716)-560-0853 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Qualifying charities, service-groups, or 501c3 organizations that would like to participate in the market may obtain a "FREE" market stall by contacting the market at (716) 866-4958 or by e-mail at [email protected].

May 27, 2015 - 2:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in EPA, agriculture, farm bureau, chris collins, NY-27.

From Rep. Chris Collins:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today released the following statement after the Obama Administration finalized its Clean Water Act "Waters of the United States" Rule.

“The Obama Administration's ruling today is a continuation of their regulatory assault on our nation's farmers," Congressman Collins said. "The EPA’s overreach is causing real harm for local farmers and stalling business development. When I visit with local farmers, the heavy burdens under the Clean Water Act come up each and every time. When the bureaucrats at the EPA decide to call a divot in the ground that fills with rain a ‘navigable waterway’ under the CWA, we know our federal government has run amuck. I will continue to do all I can to fight this burdensome and business crushing ruling."

Last May, Congressman Collins led a bipartisan letter, signed by a majority of Congress, to the EPA Administrator asking for the Waters of the United States Rule to be withdrawn. Full text of the letter can be read here. This Congress, Congressman Collins co-sponsored H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015, which would require the Administration to withdraw its Waters of the United States Rule. H.R. 1732 passed the House of Representatives earlier this month.

From Dean Norton, Elba farmer and president of the NYS Farm Bureau:

“Today the Environmental Protection Agency released the final rule on the definition of “Waters of the United States” in the Clean Water Act. New York Farm Bureau members have been strongly opposed to the changes proposed by the EPA because of the potential regulatory overreach that will allow for federal control over land that is typically dry. Clean water has always been a priority and necessity for farmers, but we are concerned that the rule will strip property owners of long-held land rights.

New York Farm Bureau has serious concerns that the EPA has failed to take into consideration the thousands of comments from farmers, business owners, and property owners, who feel this rule would add unnecessary burdens on their land. EPA would have accomplished much more working with farmers than just brushing their legitimate concerns aside. We will be carefully reviewing the final rule, but based on comments from EPA, we remain concerned that the agency did not listen to our nation’s farmers or made significant changes to the rule,” NYSFB President Norton said.

May 26, 2015 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, Announcements, dairy.

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Team is planning a pasture walk at the farm of John and Sue Mikel Friday, June 26 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 6321 East Bethany-Le Roy Road, Stafford. John and Sue own and operate Mikelholm Holsteins, a small grazing dairy they started on a 30-acre field they purchased seven years ago. They built a house and barn with a parlor. They graze their 35 cows plus youngstock on the remaining land and supplement with purchased feed. They also knew grazing would provide health benefits to the cows and reduce demands on labor. An added benefit was the reduced bedding costs while the cows are out on pasture.

Discussion will include how John and Sue got started, and fence and laneway layout. Come and hear how their nutritionist balances the summer ration, and how to control parasites on pasture, plus more. There will be ample time for open discussion during the walk.

Lunch will be provided and is sponsored by Select Sires and milk will be donated by Upstate Farms.

Registration is required by June 19 to get an accurate count for lunch. The cost of the pasture walk is $10 per person or $20 per farm/family.
 
To register contact Cathy Wallace at 585.343.3040, ext. 138 or [email protected].
For questions contact Nancy Glazier at 585.315.7746 or [email protected].
 
A check made out to CCE may be mailed to CCE, Attn: Cathy Wallace, 420 E. Main St., Batavia, NY  14020.

May 16, 2015 - 3:44pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in swine club, 4-H, agriculture, batavia.

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The 4-H Swine Club hosted its annual pulled pork BBQ at the Fairgrounds today.

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May 7, 2015 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture.

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Sometime around 5 p.m., a truck carrying crates of tomatoes dumped a few boxes in the curve where Walnut becomes South Main in Batavia. A witness told police, the driver stopped, gathered his empty crates and left the tomatoes in the roadway. Police responded to a report of a "dangerous condition" and requested city DPW to the scene for clean up. The tomatoes were hauled to the city's compost heap. The driver, who left the scene, could not be identified.

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May 5, 2015 - 2:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in dairy princess, agriculture.

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Emily Mikel, of Pavilion, was crowned 2015 Genesee County Dairy Queen in a ceremony at Genesee Community College on Monday evening.

Tristan Zuber presented Mikel with her crown and sash.

Pictured below in a photo taken by Laura Luft, are Mikel and her court, from left, Rebecca Slattery, Mary Sweeny, Carolyn Sybertz, Georgia Luft and Amelia Brewer.

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May 5, 2015 - 12:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, fair, business, agriculture.

The Genesee County Fair has gotten better each of the last two years and attendance figures bear that out, Norm Pimm told the County Legislature's Human Services Committee.

Last year, attendance was up 30 percent and fair organizers are taking aim at even more growth in 2015.

"Attendance is up double figures two years in a row," Pimm said. "That doesn't happen if you're not putting on a good product."

This year, there will be new local bands, bigger tractor pulls and a significantly expanded Midway.

The board is planning on nearly doubling the budget for rides, going up to $40,000 this year.

The midway isn't a big money maker for the fair, but a good midway is essential to overall fair attendance. Not everyone is interested in livestock and stock cars.

"When we looking for vendors, we said we had $25,000 to spend and we couldn't even get vendors to call us back," Pimm said. "The ones that did sort of laughed and said 'that's 20 years ago money.' So we realized we had to invest more money into the midway so we had something where people want to come and bring their kids."

The fair runs July 21 through 25.

The county will contribute $11,000 to the 4-H program.

Pimm said the fair's success can also be judged by the number of local businesses supporting the fair, either through donations, sponsorships or taking a booth as a vendor. In all three categories, the fair did better last year than previous years and will at least match that level of participation this year, based on indications so far, Pimm said.

"This is the most active board we've had in years, and it's making a difference," Pimm said.

Pimm is confident that people who haven't been to the fair in recent years, if they come this year, they will have a good time.

"It's just $5 a car load to attend," Pimm said. "Come on, spend your $5 and you won't be disappointed. If you are, come and find a member of the board of directors and we'll give you your $5 back."

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