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September 15, 2015 - 1:32pm

Press release:

On Monday, Sept. 14, the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) approved its 2015 Progress Report, which includes the Council’s list of priority projects it is recommending for funding in Round V of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative.

The Progress Report, which provides an annual update for the nine-county region (Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties), will now be finalized and submitted to New York State by the Sept. 21st deadline.

Following the Progress Report vote, the FLREDC also held a special public forum on its draft Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) plan, at which it proposed approximately two dozen initiatives to be highlighted within the URI plan as example projects for possible funding – should the Finger Lakes be selected as a URI winner. These initiatives focus on four main URI goals identified by the FLREDC: job growth, increasing regional wealth, attracting private investment and reducing poverty.

In a written statement FLREDC Co-chairs, University of Rochester President Joel Seligman and Wegmans Food Markets CEO Danny Wegman, said: “This year, Governor Cuomo has presented Upstate communities with unprecedented opportunities to leverage public funding for projects that can help transform our regional economy. By providing these priority projects and initiatives for public review we seek to ensure they embody the strategic and diversified approach necessary to grow our region.”

Included below is a summary of the highlighted initiatives proposed for the URI plan and the full list of endorsed Priority Projects being recommended for capital grant funding from Empire State Development (ESD) this year in Round V of the REDC awards. Note that while the Priority Project list herein does not include projects seeking CFA awards from State agencies other than ESD, those projects still have the opportunity to receive funding.

URI Highlighted Initiatives

The FLREDC released the following proposed initiatives to be included in the URI plan. These initiatives are highlighted in the plan to serve as example opportunities for possible public and private investment in key strategic areas identified by the plan, but are not specific funding recommendations:

  • Agriculture & Food Production – Support of FLX Food, an initiative focused on organics and the future of the food ecosystem; an Eco-Brewing District created by North American Breweries around their facility downtown Rochester at High Falls; and a new initiative to cultivate sustainable food production, capitalizing on expertise already at Rochester Institute of Technology and Cornell University.
  • Next-Generation Manufacturing & Technology – Several projects highlighted in all three key hub locations, including: (1) Eastman Business Park (EBP) – Sweetwater’s biorefinery project; improvement of technology assets at EBP specifically addressing capacity to grow companies in energy storage, materials and nanotechnology; establishment of an AIM Photonics Manufacturing Center at EBP; (2) Downtown Innovation Zone – Rochester Regional Fund to invest in key downtown assets; redevelopment of the Inner Loop, which will include 17 acres of new developable parcels; (3) Science and Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (STAMP) – Project Eagle to bring a solar manufacturing facility as the park’s first tenant; confidential nanoscale manufacturing project considering STAMP as a site.
  • Pathways to Prosperity – Monroe Community College’s Finger Lakes Workforce Development Center (FWD Center) at EBP; support for the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative (RMAPI) based around the creation of a coordinated system for those in need; expansion of Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection; and programs to help ex-offenders and the working poor receive job training and placement.
  • Entrepreneurship & Development – Creation of a Finger Lakes Venture Fund to provide critically necessary capital to startups; buildout an urban development ecosystem for business efforts in the urban core; SUNY Geneseo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Development, which will provide a new central location for expanded business services.
  • Higher Education & Research – UR’s Goergen Institute for Data Science to meet the growing need for data scientists; RIT’s Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing for 3D printing commercialization and product development; UR’s Neurorestoration Institute to expand the areas preeminence in this growing field.

2015 FLREDC Priority Project Recommendations for CFA Round V -- Genesee County

  • Town of Alabama    Water Project to Support STAMP     $1,500,000
  • Genesee County IDA    Le Roy Food and Technology Park    $1,000,000
  • Genesee County IDA (Gateway LDC)    Ag Park Infrastructure    $500,000

This year, the 10 Regional Councils will once again compete for awards from up to $750 million in state economic development resources through Round V of the REDC competition. Additionally, through the new Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), seven regions – Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District, and Mid-Hudson – are eligible to compete for three $500 million awards, disbursed at a rate of $100 million per year for five years.

The three Upstate winners of the URI will receive approximately $130 million each this year ($100 million in URI funding, and an estimated $30 million from Round V of the REDC competition). Aside from those regions, three regions will earn “Top Performer” distinction in the REDC competition and will receive approximately $105 million each. Finally, the remaining four regions will receive approximately $90 million each through the REDC competition – which is more than the average amount awarded to the top place finisher in prior years. This approach ensures that no region is a “loser,” while also maintaining the competitive nature that has worked so well to bring local business, academic, and community leaders together to develop long term, impressive economic visions for their regions.

Show Your Support for the FLREDC URI Plan
The FLREDC today also launched a new website where anyone can sign up in support of the draft URI plan:
Detailed comments for the URI plan will continue to be accepted until September 18th on the website:

About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative (REDC) is a key component of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources. After four rounds of the REDC process, nearly $3 billion has been awarded to more than 3,100 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plans, supporting the creation or retention of more than 150,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit

About the Upstate Revitalization Initiative
In January of this year, Governor Cuomo announced the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and the partnership between the Regional Economic Development Councils to invest $1.5 billion in Upstate New York. The URI is an opportunity for communities to address the economic challenges of their regions and work together in bringing jobs back Upstate. The URI is a separate competition and deadline from the REDC process. The URI includes up to $500 million for three regions to implement over a five-year period. The following regions may submit one revitalization plan by Oct. 5, 2015: Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Capital District and Mid-Hudson.

September 15, 2015 - 11:28am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Stafford, agriculture, business.

A decades-long practice of spreading septic waste on farm fields in Stafford, which drew criticism from a local environmentalist earlier this year, will continue for at least another year with the approval Monday of a permit by the town board.

A.D. Call applied for a renewal of the permit for spreading of septic waste -- human waste -- on two fields north and south of Route 5.

In April, Attica resident John Volpe raised the issue with the Town of Stafford Board, claiming that the Calls were bringing in waste from surrounding communities and dumping amounts in excess of the permit's permitted limits.

Gerald Call said his farm has stayed within limits set by the town – 25,000 gallons per acre per year.

Only one resident raised any objections at Monday's meetings.

She raised concerns that the state Department of Environmental Conservation doesn't have the manpower to monitor the spreading of human waste and that if the Town of Stafford permits it, it becomes the responsibility of the town to inspect the practice. Supervisor Robert Clement said he's spoke with the DEC and the agency has been clear with him that it's not the town's responsibility. 

"Like I said, I have timely, up-to-date e-mails from the DEC and I would be happy to share them with you," Clement said.

September 4, 2015 - 12:12pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Farm to Fork, Le Roy, Stein Farms, agriculture.


Amidst verdant rows of corn in nearby fields, with rays of golden, late afternoon sunshine lighting the sky, and a bounty of locally grown meat and vegetables ready for the guests, Shelly Stein beamed.

"We love this land," Stein said. "We really love this land. What we hope to do tonight is really invite others to have this same experience that we do every day out here, on the land, appreciating all of the food and the good fiber it provides for us, every day."

The Stein family opened their land to the community for a feast called Field to Fork Feast. It was a fundraiser to help support the America's Greatest Communities effort, but it was also a chance to highlight Genesee County's beauty, abundance and goodwill.

"There's a great deal of hard work that goes into what we do, but there's also a deep appreciation and the fact that we don't farm alone," Stein said. "We always farm with God and Mother Nature at our right and left hands, along with our family, and we're just blessed to be able to to support the contest that is America's Best Communities for Le Roy and Bergen and to share our passion. We feel honored."

The locally grown food was prepared by D&R Depot and served by their catering staff.

About 150 people attended and the goal was to raise $5,000 of the $15,000 needed in support of the America's Best Communities contest.

"We call Genesee County the 'Breadbasket of Western New York,' " Stein said. "All across the country, we are known as a county that is highly educated in our agricultural fields and that we adapt technology quick and fast and we are great producers here, so to be able to share that tonight is incredibly important."








September 2, 2015 - 2:30pm

Submitted photo. From left: Kim Cox (superintendent). Michael Chiulli (science teacher), Jeff Cunningham (Monsanto rep), Jackie Whiting (school board member), Tim McArdle (principal).

Press release:

Le Roy Central School District has received a $10,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The district will use the money to purchase new lab equipment and instructional materials, allowing teachers to incorporate advanced, hands-on experiments in upper-level science classes for high school students.

Through this enhanced science curriculum, the district will introduce students to higher-level lab activities and spur their interest in biotechnology and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers.

“The projects will expose students to technology they wouldn’t otherwise have access to,” said biology teacher Michael Chiulli. “This experience makes them more competitive for colleges and careers, and will hopefully encourage them to stay in the region as the biotechnology sector continues to expand in western New York.”

Farmers who nominated the school district and representatives from the school and the Monsanto Fund attended a check presentation to celebrate the grant during the back-to-school assembly on Sept. 1.

This year the school district also received an educational starter kit from Monsanto Company to help establish a pollinator garden, which will give students firsthand knowledge of the critical role habitat plays in providing bees and butterflies with food, shelter and places to lay eggs.

Since 2011, Grow Rural Education has awarded more than $9 million to help keep rural public school districts growing. The program works with farmers to nominate public school districts to compete for math and science grants of $10,000 or $25,000. Grant applications are reviewed and finalists selected by a panel of teachers. Winning applications are chosen by an advisory council comprised of farmers from across the United States.

Visit to see the full list of winners for this year. A sister program, America’s Farmers Grow Communities, is currently enrolling farmers for 2016. To sign up, visit before Nov. 30.

These programs are part of the America’s Farmers initiative. The America’s Farmers campaign and programs have advocated on behalf of farmers and their efforts to meet society’s needs through agriculture. Today, consumers are more interested than ever in agriculture and how food is grown. Farmers and others in the industry are joining in on the conversation to help raise awareness about agriculture and share their stories with their communities.

Learn more at

August 25, 2015 - 1:28pm
posted by Billie Owens in 4-H, agriculture.

Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Office would like to thank all of the Genesee County 4-H members who participated in the 2015 Genesee County Fair. We would also like to thank all of our volunteers, judges, family and friends who came to support our youth; we could not do it without you!

Congratulations to the following Genesee County 4-H members who were selected to show at the New York State Fair, which will take place in Syracuse from Aug. 27 to Sept. 7. Genesee County 4-H non-animal exhibits selected for state fair will be on display in the Youth Building Aug. 31st through Sept. 7th. Animal exhibitors will show at their species scheduled show times, for more information visit:

Non-Animal Exhibits

  • Communications & Expressive Art: Melissa Keller
  • Food & Nutrition: Ashley Ehrmentraut, Melissa Keller
  • Fine Arts & Crafts: Rebekah Allen, Brianna Chesley
  • Home Environment: Brianna Chesley
  • Wearable Art: Maisy Ross
  • Textiles & Clothing: Melissa Keller, Caroline Pelton, Eva Rhoads, Alexandria Tarbell, Colton Tarbell
  • Visual Arts/Photography: Caris Carlson, Melissa Keller, Georgia Luft, Jenna Salim
  • Horticulture: Amelia Brewer, Melissa Keller, Georgia Luft, Clare Mathes, Eva Rhoads, Alexandria Tarbell, Colton Tarbell, Margaret Winspear
  • Cloverbud Exhibits for Display Only: Caroline Luft, Hudson Luft, Aubrianna Martinez, Anastasia Rindell, Evan Winspear

Animal Exhibitors

  • Beef: Cole Carlson
  • Horse: Emily Boldt, Lauren Hull, Madeline Roth
  • Sheep: Melissa Keller, Becky Kron, Benjamin Kron, Brendan Pimm, Madelynn Pimm
  • Dairy: Emily Mikel, Mary Sweeney, Kayla Wormuth
  • Swine: Melissa Keller
  • Horse Communications: Alexandria Tarbell
  • Hippology: Alexandria Tarbell, Elizabeth Rindell, Gabriella Rindell, Emily Boldt
  • Horse Bowl: Gabriella Rindell
August 21, 2015 - 3:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, Potatoes.

Press release:

Potato growers have an opportunity to view standard and new fresh market potato varieties and lines, hear how to reduce risk in this year’s late blight epidemic, and discuss Colorado potato beetle and other insect management. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Sept. 2, from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m., at Williams Home Farm, down the lane off Russell Road, across from the packing house at 5077 Russell Road, Marion.

Walter DeJong, Cornell potato breeder, and Don Halseth, retired Cornell potato specialist, established a variety trial and will be evaluating the maturity, yield and marketability of white, red and some specialty varieties and breeding lines. Growers will get to hear what’s been learned so far.  They’ll also have an opportunity to describe how the varieties they’re growing are performing.

Bill Fry, Cornell Plant Pathologist, will give an update on this year’s late blight epidemic, and provide recommendations on how best to protect the crop. Late blight has been confirmed on potatoes or tomatoes in many counties in Western and Central New York already, due to the never-ending rains from mid-May into July.

Finally, there will be a discussion regarding Colorado potato beetle control, lead by Carol MacNeil, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, on what’s working, and what’s failing. A plan for rotating insecticides by Chemical Class to slow the development of resistance will be presented.

NYS DEC pesticide recertification credits and CCA credits will be available.

Cost: Receiving Veg Edge/CVP enrolled?1st person from a farm -- $5; additional people -- $10.
Not receiving Veg Edge/not CVP enrolled? $15.
Pre-register for dinner: Contact Carol MacNeil at: [email protected] or 585-313-8796 by Thursday, Aug. 27.  If you have special needs: Call a week ahead so we can accommodate you.

Interested in sponsor opportunities? Contact Angela Parr at: [email protected]

August 20, 2015 - 5:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, BOCES, Le Roy, Pavilion, education.


Press release: 

Sarah Noble-Moag’s roots are deeply immersed in the business of agriculture. Her family tree spans across generations of farmers and thousands of acres of land. Although she is deeply immersed in her family business called Noblehurst Farms, she truly knows the value of giving back to the community.

Noble-Moag was recently honored with the Genesee Valley School Board Association’s Albert Hawk Award. This award is presented annually to a current or former school board member for outstanding contributions to public education and children in his or her own community.

Noble-Moag is modest about her accomplishments but the list of her contributions is long and noteworthy.

“I come from a family of educators. Becoming a board member was a natural extension of the stewardship that my family has supported for generations,” she said.

Noble-Moag serves on a number of local, regional and state boards including the Agricultural Affiliates Board of Directors, and the New York State Agricultural Society. In 2014, she was appointed to the Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation Board of Directors.

She served for 11 years on the Pavilion School Board and held positions as trustee, vice president and president of the board of education. Her efforts for continued improvement resulted in the district being honored as a “Reward School” by New York state in 2007 and again in 2014. Noble-Moag was instrumental in the development of a new career and technical education program offered by the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership and Genesee Community College.

The Agri-Business Academy gives high school seniors the opportunity to explore careers in the agricultural field as they earn college credit. During her time as trustee, the Pavilion School Board was faced with difficult decisions especially when the district faced drastic budget cuts due to the Gap Elimination Adjustment. But some of her best moments were when she was able to witness students’ successes.

“After a capital improvement project was completed, I was at school for an event," Noble-Moag said. "I looked up and saw students on stage in the new auditorium. As I glanced around, I saw the."

Making those complicated decisions during challenging times can be difficult, said Ken Ellison, superintendent of Pavilion Central Schools. According to Ellison, Noble-Moag always kept the students’ best interests as the top priority.

He said: “During her board tenure, Sarah’s leadership contributed in so many powerful ways. Sarah was a valued partner during the merger/annexation study with Wyoming CS. A merger process can be an emotionally charged event and very divisive in the school communities involved.

"Sarah brought wisdom and perspective to a very challenging process. Sarah also served on the PCS Board during one of the most challenging fiscal periods ever faced by our school. At one point our Gap Elimination Adjustment was $1.6 million dollars. Sarah was a vital partner in developing strategies, and in some cases sacrifices, to keep the district on firm financial footing."

Education has always been a valued priority in her family hence the reason for her dedication to the Pavilion Central School District. Many generations of both the Noble and Moag families have graced the halls and walked the graduation stage at Pavilion Central. Noble-Moag’s mother was a home economics teacher and her mother-in-law worked in the library.

But what resounds deeply with Noble-Moag are words from her grandmother’s senior thesis from Cortland written in 1926.

“Just now there is fraud in business, humbug in politics, back biting, slander and deceit in social intercourse. Do you want your children to repair to such practices as a standard of conduct? We must give them an education, which will lift them infinitely above the moral and intellectual level of life outside the school, today. We must teach them to aspire to be all they can.” -- Written by Rella Smith in 1926.

“These words resonate with me; my grandmother was a wise woman. It’s vital that we provide our children with the best education possible," Noble-Moag said. “By becoming involved with their school districts, parents can make a difference and have a voice in making decisions for their children and students."

Noble-Moag is a graduate of Cornell University. She resides in Pavilion with her husband, Timothy Moag. They are the parents of three grown children, Griffin, Rella (named for Noble-Moag’s grandmother) and Austin.

August 20, 2015 - 4:48pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, food processing, business, batavia, GCEDC.

Press release:

Genesee County has once again been recognized as one of the fastest growing “food processing employment leaders” by "Business Facilities," a national site selection publication.

Business Facilities provides annual rankings of metro and global areas in various categories, including food processing and job growth, among others. Genesee County ranked at number seven in a list of top 10 mid-sized metro areas for food-processing growth, making this year the fifth time in 10 years that Genesee County has earned national ranking in this category.

The agricultural, food and beverage sectors in Genesee County employ approximately 1,500 people. The region’s employment numbers continue to increase as economic development focused on agri-business remains a top priority of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors.

“The growth of the food processing sector in our region reflects the positive economic climate here which has been significantly enhanced through the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, the first agri-business site of its kind in New York State,” said Steve Hyde, president and CEO of the GCEDC. “We are very pleased to be once again recognized by 'Business Facilities' as a leader in food processing employment and plan to continue expanding our efforts in this critically important economic sector.” 

The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park encompasses 211 shovel ready, pre-permitted acres strategically located between Western New York and the Finger Lakes Region in Batavia, NY. 

The site provides access to a short and main line rail access to move products, and large capacity municipal sewer and water. Through the support of National Grid and National Fuel the site has an enhanced utility infrastructure.

Alpina Foods, LLC, a leading dairy producing company in Colombia and South America, opened its first specialty yogurt manufacturing plant at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in 2013. In 2013, PepsiCo, in a joint venture with German dairy company Theo Müller, opened a $206-million yogurt manufacturing facility, Muller Quaker Dairy.

Other key food processing and related companies in Genesee County include O-AT-KA Milk Products and Bonduelle USA, Inc.

For more information about the ranking in Business Facilities, please visit

August 19, 2015 - 7:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in SunEdison, SolarCity, solar engery, NY-Sun, batavia, land use, agriculture.

Members of the Town of Batavia Planning Board responded coolly to a proposed solar farm off of Bank Street Road at its monthly meeting Tuesday night.

Buffalo-based attorney Gregory P. Scholand, representing SunEdison, outlined the company's plan for 15 acres that are currently cultivated for peas.

The farm would produce two megawatts of electricity, which is enough energy for about 20 300 homes. (CORRECTION)

Scholand told board members he had to be honest -- the solar farm won't create jobs and any increase in assessed value, which means more tax revenue, will be delayed by state-backed incentives for solar installations.

"In other words," said Board Member Lou Paganello, "the only people who will benefit are the landowner, National Grid and SunEdison."

Paganello was one of the most vocal members of the board expressing concerns about the proposal, but he also said he was intrigued by it and doesn't want to just kill the idea without learning more.

He also suggested the town needs to develop a plan for dealing with solar farms since this is unlikely to be the last proposal the town is asked to consider.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to push New York toward a stronger solar future. He's committed $1 billion to NY-Sun with the goal of eventually generating three gigawatts of electricity from sunlight across the state. That would be the equivalent of taking 23,000 cars off the road. According to the project's Web site, that much installed capacity will make the solar industry self-sufficient in New York and subsidies will no longer be needed.

The initiative is the reason SolarCity, a company owned primarily by technology multi-billionaire Elon Musk, is building a manufacturing plant in Buffalo that is expected to create 1,460 jobs. 

Solar is coming on strong nationally, both because of the investments of Musk -- a hard-charging entrepreneur who made his initial fortune with two Internet startups, including PayPal, and who is also responsible for the all-electric Tesla luxury sports car and the Space X program -- and because China flooded the market a couple of years ago with inexpensive solar panels.

That, and greater efficiencies in installation and substantial tax breaks and government subsidies have helped reduce costs for power companies, businesses and homeowners.

It doesn't matter, though, to local planning boards that are being asked to back projects that potentially divert productive land to massive complexes of metal and glass.

In Genesee County, of course, that other productive use is farming, the kind of farming that produces grains, vegetables and milk. How much soil does the local area want to convert to solar panels?

"You open the door for one farm to do this then everyone is going to want to do it," said Board Member Jonathan Long.

Board members seemed unanimous in sharing this concern.

The proposition, put forward by Scholand, that solar farms help reduce an area's carbon footprint, was countered by Long.

"Peas are already taking a lot of carbon out of the air," he said.

The town needs a plan for dealing with solar and Scholand agreed. He said SunEdison fully supports local jurisdictions developing local ordinances to govern solar installations. 

SunEdison hasn't made a formal application yet, but when it does, the Planning Board will be asked to become the lead agency for the environmental review process.

Chairwoman Kathy Jasinski expressed some doubt about the board's willingness to take on that role when its members still know too little about solar energy, the impacts of such farms, how they might affect neighboring property owners and what the benefits might be for local residents. The board needs a quick education in these subjects, Jasinski suggested.

If the Town of Batavia was to reject the proposal, it would be the second time this year that a local government body turned down a solar farm in the county.

In January, SolarCity approached the County about building a solar farm next to County Building #2, but concerns about the viability of SolarCity, whether the subsidies that would help the county save $500,000 and what might eventually become of the infrastructure, led the Ways and Means Committee to reject the proposal.

Meanwhile, solar companies have started pitching subsidized solar installations to local residents. One company had a booth at Summer in the City.

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, 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: 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: 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

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."


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.


Peyton Yasses with his two pigs.


Steffan Roalsvig washing his sheep.

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


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









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


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.


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


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


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









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


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. 




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


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

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


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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