Online News. Community Views.

>> Download <<
The Batavian Mobile
Droid | iPhone

Recent comments

Site Sponsors


November 20, 2015 - 1:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, celebrate agriculture dinner.

Press release:

Plans are under way for the 14th Annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner, which will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at the Alexander Fire Hall. This event is a celebration of Genesee County’s number one industry – Agriculture. The highlight is a delicious meal using locally produced foods prepared by Penna’s Catering. The dinner is open to the public.

Tickets go on sale Dec. 1 at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (210 E. Main St., Batavia). Tickets are $30 each or a table of 10 can be purchased for $275. Only 400 tickets will be sold. Order your tickets now as the event always sells out. Tickets will not be available at the door. Sponsorships are also available, which help support agriculture educational events in Genesee County.

The Celebrate Ag Dinner is coordinated by the following partners:  Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District and Genesee County Farm Bureau. Many local farms and businesses sponsor this event.

For more information contact the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce at 585-343-7440, ext. 27, or [email protected]

November 11, 2015 - 1:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County:

All those interested in organic dry bean production and marketing are invited to join us Tuesday, December 1, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Cornell Cooperative Extension – Ontario County, 480 N. Main St., Canandaigua NY 14424.

Bring a bag lunch; organic beverages will be provided. There is no charge but please pre-register by Tuesday, Nov. 24. Contact Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796.

We will continue our discussion and networking on the potential opportunities and challenges of increased organic dry bean production in New York State. The demand for organic dry beans continues to increase. While there are a number of growers producing organic dry beans in NY, it is a very small percentage of the total dry bean production in the state.

The interest in this topic is broad based, and includes growers, shippers, processors, brokers, NY Certified Organic, and NOFA-NY.

November 11, 2015 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture.

Press release from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County:

2015 Upstate New York Potato Advisory Meeting

Thursday, Dec. 17

9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
CCE Ontario County, 480 N. Main St./Route 332

Canandaigua NY 14424 (south of I-90 exit 44)

The 33rd meeting of the Upstate New York potato advisory meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17. This is a time for growers, consultants, processors, packers, extension, college and agency personnel to discuss the concerns, needs and opportunities of the Upstate NY potato industry. Preregister by Thursday, Dec. 10, to ensure your lunch ($12):

We will begin with a round table for everyone to share their concerns and interests. Growers are asked to bring ideas for needed research, extension programming, and industry projects. DEC and CCA credits will be available.
If you have questions please contact:

David Votypka (585-315-1094 or [email protected] ) or

Carol MacNeil (585-313-8796 or [email protected] ).

If you have questions regarding weather the day of the meeting call Carol MacNeil.

Contact Carol MacNeil at [email protected] or 585-313-8796.

November 6, 2015 - 1:22am
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, agriculture, Milestones.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) was recently named to the Farm Bureau’s 2015 “Circle of Friends.”

The honor was given to state legislators who display a great deal of support for agricultural initiatives including voting for legislation the Farm Bureau supports and sponsoring bills favorable to the agriculture industry during the 2015 Legislative Session. Hawley has been named to the “Circle of Friends” every year since 2006.

“As the owner of our family-owned farm for many years, I know the importance of the agriculture industry to New York State’s economy,” Hawley said. “I am honored to once again be named to the Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” and take pride in championing its causes in the legislature.

Oftentimes, local farms are family-owned and their hard work ensures that fresh produce, poultry and beef are available to local vendors as well as across the state. In an industry where profits are not guaranteed year to year and flooding and drought are common, our farmers deserve our utmost support and consideration."

Hawley served as president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau while operating his own farm and has served on the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee since 2006.

November 5, 2015 - 6:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, batavia, My-T Acres.


On the road back to Batavia after a trip to Lockport for a story, I spotted this cabbage harvester working on MY-T Acres Farm off Lewiston Road, Batavia.

November 5, 2015 - 1:39pm
posted by Billie Owens in GC 4-H, agriculture.

Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Youth Development Program will be offering the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program to youth 14 to 15 years of age. This course will qualify youth to be certified to operate farm equipment for hire.

The course is scheduled to run Saturdays, 8 a.m. to noon, beginning in January and running through March.

The training program encompasses 32 hours of intensive instruction. Upon the completion of the training, each student will be required to take a 50-question knowledge test with a minimum passing score of 70 percent. Students who successfully pass the knowledge test will be permitted to take the Skills and Driving tests. After passing both the written test and driving tests, the students will receive their formal certification from U.S. Department of Labor.

The fee for the course is $25. Note: youth are also required to be current enrolled 4-H members. (Genesee County 4-H enrollment fees are: $25 per youth or $50 per family for Genesee County residents; $35 for out of county residents.)

To request a registration packet or more information please call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County at 343-3040, ext. 101, or e-mail: [email protected]

October 26, 2015 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, business, agriculture.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced that $1 million is now available to aid aspiring farmers to enter the agriculture industry.

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund will provide up to 50 percent of the cost for new farmers to start projects, purchase farm machinery and equipment and construct and improve farm buildings. The submission deadline for applications for the grant program is Jan. 22.

“As the owner of our family-owned farm for many years, I know firsthand how difficult life in the agriculture industry can be,” Hawley said. “Profits from produce and livestock sales fluctuate and the possibility of drought and flooding is always real. I can imagine the trepidation many young men and women feel as they begin their career in farming and agriculture, and this funding is a tremendous opportunity for aspiring farmers to get on their feet.

"Up to $50,000 in matching grant funds are available for everything from tractor and plow purchases to construction of barns and silos. I am proud of the work we have done to bolster the agriculture industry in New York State and I pledge my continued support going forward.”

October 15, 2015 - 5:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCC, agriculture, schools, education.


Hundreds of high school students from throughout the GLOW region particpated today in Genesee Community College's Fourth Annual Harvest Festival and Farmer's Market, which culiminated in a "Campus Crunch," with participants all simultaniously taking a big bite out of a locally grown apple.

The day's events included samplings of local products and presentations by local farmers and others who are part of the GLOW region agri-business community.

(Photo by Alex Feig, of our news partner WBTA.)

October 15, 2015 - 10:31am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced the availability of $1.4 million in grant funding through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund to support a pilot program aimed at helping farms implement projects that mitigate adverse environmental impact and protect against dramatic weather conditions.

Funding will be available to farmers who best develop projects which reduce greenhouse gas and carbon emissions as well as aid farms in their constant struggles with drought and flooding.

“As the owner of a family farm for many years, I understand the daily struggles of Western New York farmers as they try to protect their crops from harmful New York weather conditions,” Hawley said. “As large agricultural producers, we must also be mindful of our environmental footprint, and this funding will help our state’s farms develop procedures which reduce detrimental environmental impact without damaging the farms’ ability to grow produce and livestock. This is a victory for our environment, as well as farmers who could use increased funding to protect their livelihoods from flooding and drought.”

County Soil and Water Conservation districts will apply for competitive grants on behalf of farmers and must be submitted for one of the following categories: soil health systems, on-farm riparian, floodplain and upland water management systems, or agricultural waste storage cover and flare systems.

Applications must be received by Dec. 14 and can be submitted at

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]




Copyright © 2008-2014 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button