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January 17, 2017 - 3:12pm

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce invites you to attend the opening of their new offices and tourism visitor center with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19. 

An open house of the new Chamber facilities will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. The new office, located at 8276 Park Road in Batavia, houses a new tourism visitor center and office spaces for both the Chamber of Commerce and Genesee County Tourism staff. 

The two-level, 3,400-square-foot space was a former physical therapist's office. Funds from the Chamber of Commerce and county bed tax surplus paid for the building and renovations.

The upstairs level houses the chamber’s offices and board room. The new board room offers flexible seating arrangements which will help in hosting meetings and seminars. 

In addition to larger office, meeting, administrative and parking space, the Chamber sought out the Park Road location due to its proximity to Batavia’s hotel district and New York State Thruway.

The new visitor center will have 24- hour accessibility for travelers. During normal business hours, a staffed visitor center will be open to greet and assist guests. During off-hours, the front vestibule with visitor information will be available. Large maps, brochure displays and staff at the service desk will assist guests during their stay in Genesee County. 

Volunteer forms are now available for community members who are interested in greeting visitors and assisting them at the new center. Forms can be picked up at the Park Road location or can be requested by email at [email protected]

January 17, 2017 - 10:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in chamber of commerce, business, news.

The Business of the Year for Genesee County is Liberty Pumps, the Chamber of Commerce has announced.

Other award winners in the 45th annual slate of top local businesses and community members are:

  • Foxprowl Collectables, Entrepreneurial Business of the Year
  • Stein Farms, Agricultural Business of the Year
  • Red Osier Restaurant, Special Service Recognition
  • Steve and Lisa Grice, Geneseeans of the Year

The awards will be presented March 4 at a dinner and ceremony at Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road, Batavia. The evening begins at 4:30 with hors d'oeuvres, entree tables and a cash bar. The awards program starts at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $50 per person or $450 for a table of 10.

January 15, 2017 - 5:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Rogers Beer, Smokin' Eagle BBQ and Brew, Le Roy, news, business.

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Marc Marcello, Jay Beaumont and Jon Marcello, owners of the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew in Le Roy were at the bridal show at Terry Hills today with their microbrew, Rogers Beer.

The story of Rogers Beer begins about seven years ago with Al Rogers, a brewer in Rochester who started his own brewery, eventually selling his beer in 12 Wegmans and 30 bars and restaurants in the region.

After the birth of a second child, he needed to give up his sideline business and he walked into 58 Main in Brockport and told Marc Marcello he was giving up the business.

"He delivered the news he was walking away from it and my brother wouldn’t take that for an answer," Jon Marcello said. "We got together and over a few lunch sessions with Jay and Marc, we put an offer in and he accepted. A few days later he called and asked if he could stay on a brewmaster and we told him, 'we don’t know how to make the beer, so that’s perfect.' "

Rogers Beer is now based in Le Roy, though the beer is currently brewed at a facility in Honeoye Falls, but Jon said the goal is to build up the business enough to open a brewery in Le Roy.

The beer is made with 20-percent New York ingredients with the goal of achieving 100-percent New York-grown ingredients within five years.

The five flavors of beer are all on tap on the Smokin' Eagle and at 58 Main and 22-ounce bottles can be purchased for carryout. 

The dog icons on the menu below were all drawn by a local artist featuring dogs from Le Roy.

There will be a kickoff party sometime in February at the Smokin' Eagle for the newly based in Le Roy Rogers Beer. Watch The Batavian for details.

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January 11, 2017 - 3:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, news, chris collins, NY-27.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) and Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) have introduced the Family Farm Relief Act of 2017, legislation to move the H-2A Agricultural Visa program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Agriculture to better meet the unique labor needs of farmers and agricultural businesses.

“The last thing our farmers need is for the federal government to make it harder for them to make ends meet,” Congressman Collins said. “Access to a willing and available labor force is absolutely critical for Western New York’s agriculture community, particularly our dairy farmers. I am proud to join my colleague Congresswoman Stefanik in introducing this common-sense legislation to streamline and improve the H-2A visa program.”

“Agriculture is the backbone of our North Country economy and I am pleased to introduce this important bill to address the labor shortages facing our farmers,” Congresswoman Stefanik said. “When I travel the district speaking with our farmers, I often hear about how unnecessary delays in worker visas lead to difficulty meeting production goals. This common-sense legislation simply puts the H-2A agricultural visa program in the hands of those who best understand the specific needs of our farms.”

“Immigration reform that allows for both seasonal and year-round farm labor has been a longtime priority for New York Farm Bureau. For too long, the federal H2A guest visa program has been cumbersome, prone to delays and too rigid to fit the needs of both farmers and their employees. We thank Congresswoman Stefanik for taking the lead on The Family Farm Relief Act that will provide real reform and address a critical issue in New York's diverse agricultural community,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president.

The Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 takes practical measures such as allowing visa applicants to fill out H-2A applications on paper or online, requiring a user-friendly online system, and ending burdensome requirements on advertising and prevailing practice surveys.

The current H-2A visa program is unworkable, especially for the dairy farms across our nation. The H-2A visa program does not currently provide a category for year-round livestock workers, including dairy. This has caused difficulties for dairy farms that need employees year-round. This legislation addresses this oversight, by creating an H-2A category for these workers.

Additionally, the legislation also allows farm cooperatives and other agricultural associations to apply for workers for their members, makes the program more workable for dairy and other livestock operations, and requires reporting to Congress if delays occur in the H-2A visa application process.

January 4, 2017 - 4:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Gerace Realty, batavia, business.

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The Gerace family is returning to their locally owned roots in real estate in Genesee County.

Two years ago, Joe and Lois Gerace sold Bob Harris Realty to Realty USA, a Buffalo-based company, but in July, the CEO of Realty USA sold his company to Pennsylvania-based Howard Hanna Company and when John and Robert Gerace got word that new owners wanted to consolidate offices, that just didn't make sense to them.

"It doesn't make sense to say you're local and then have a business card with Lancaster or Depew on it," John said. "Are you local or aren't you? I think it was confusing."

The new company will be Gerace Realty. The new website is geracerealty.com. Like Bob Harris, and RealtyUSA, the new logo is red, white and black.

Lois, who has 40 years experience in real estate, will be part of the new company along with John and Robert. Much of the staff will be the same as it was for years when the company was Bob Harris.

The new signs, on the same converted house on Ellicott Avenue that was home to Bob Harris Realty when Joe and Lois bought the company in 1986, went up yesterday while the transition is still underway.

John Gerace said managers at Realty USA were supportive of their decision to go back to being a locally owned office and the relationship with staff there remains good and Gerace Realty will be able to tap into the larger company's network of bankers and attorneys as needed.

Howard Hanna also acquired Nothnagle, and both John and Robert see an advantage being outside of Rochester and Buffalo as a smaller, locally focused company.

"You're dealing with experienced agents," Robert said. "This is something we do full time. You're not dealing with somebody who is part time. This is what we do." 

John thinks more and more people value that local connection. He compared it to smaller hardware store surviving in the face of competition from Home Depot and Lowe's.

"There's great service when you walk in," John said. "They know you by name. I think people want that back."

January 4, 2017 - 1:28pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL Training Program for Genesee County agriculture producers and their employees for Class A and Class B licenses. This training program is designed for producers and farm employees that have some experience with commercial truck operation.

An informational meeting will be held on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building at 420 E. Main St., Batavia. This meeting will explain how the program works and answer any questions you may have. The required training materials and medical forms will be passed out at this time.

Classroom training dates are Feb. 1 and 2, 7 to 9 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building located at 420 E. Main St. in Batavia. Full payment (check or cash) will be required at the Feb. 1st class. The cost for Class A is $625 and the cost for Class B is $475.

Class size is limited. Registration is required and will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Jan. 23rd or until the class is full.

For more information or to register, contact Jan Beglinger at 585-343-3040 x 132 or Brandie Schultz at ext. 101.

January 3, 2017 - 11:44am
posted by Howard B. Owens in bank of castile, business, Le Roy, news.

castiel2017mickeyhyde_4x5.jpgTompkins Bank of Castile has promoted Mickey Hyde to vice president, branch manager of the Le Roy branch.

Hyde has been with Tompkins for over 13 years. In his work managing the Le Roy branch, Hyde concentrates on developing relationships with small businesses throughout the community as well as tailoring a wide variety of personal banking solutions to our local customers.

“Mickey has done a phenomenal job as our Le Roy branch manager,” said Diane Torcello, senior vice president, community banking. “He has a strong commitment to helping members of the Le Roy community with their personal and business related finances, and Tompkins Bank of Castile is lucky to have him on our team.”

Hyde is very involved in the community, serving as the chair for the steering committee for Leadership Genesee, on the Junior Achievement Advisory Board, and as a member of the Rochester Press-Radio Club. He is also a member of the Le Roy Moose Club, the LPS Kiwanis and the Sons of the American Legion. He volunteers in many capacities with Le Roy Central School, such as in Junior Achievement, Lunch with Leaders, Mock Interviews, Career Day and the Le Roy Job Fair. Hyde has been inducted into both the Genesee Community College and the Pavilion Central School’s Hall of Fame. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Eckerd College.

He and his wife, Toni, live in Le Roy with their two daughters, Naomi and Samantha.

December 30, 2016 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in p.w. minor, batavia, business, news.

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The p.w. minor factory was open last night for a "friends and family night" with tours, refreshments and a chance to buy a new pair of p.w. minor shoes.

The event was part of p.w. minor's rollout of new product lines, the Abram Boots and Batavia Boots and Shoes.

Above, CEO Pete Zeliff shows off a pair of Patriot boots to Brian Kemp. And below, Ron DiSalvo, the former owner of DiSalvo's Shoes, a retail outlet he operated in Downtown Batavia from 1967 to 2007.

Retail shoe sales are returning to Downtown Batavia through a partnership between p.w. minor and Charles Men's Shop.

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December 26, 2016 - 12:54pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 1366 Technologies, STAMP, business, GCEDC.

The timeline has been pushed back, but expectations are still high for the eventual success of 1366 Technologies, the Bedford, Mass.-based solar wafer maker that anticipates eventually creating 1,000 new jobs in Genesee County.

Even as the process moves along slowly, 1366 continues to go forward.

Last week, the company announced a new record in solar power efficiency for a wafer in their product category; in August it unveiled a new beveled edge on its wafer, which helps retain wafer strength while keeping the wafer very thin.

These breakthroughs will help further reduce the cost of the energy produced by solar panels that use 1366's wafers.

The stated goal of 1366 is to help make the production of electricity from solar cheaper than electricity produced by coal.

That might have seemed like a moonshot-ambition when plans to locate 1366's manufacturing plant in the Town of Alabama were first announced two years ago, but the cost of solar energy has dropped by two-thirds in recent years and there are parts of the world now where solar arrays are producing electricity at a cost below that of coal.

In the rapidly evolving technology field, it might seem like delays in getting a new plant open would cause the business owners to worry about losing precious time, but that isn't the case, according to a spokeswoman for 1366.

"I’m sure you’ve noted this, but our path to commercial success has been methodical from day one," Laureen Sanderson said. "It’s one of the reasons why we’re now in a position to scale in a big way. It’s incredibly important to us that we’re careful stewards of all resources sent our way – private and public – and we think we’ve done a good job of balancing the demands to get to market quickly while taking what we see as essential steps to remove all risk – like getting a customer contract in place before a factory is even built."

The cost reductions achieved by the solar industry so far are largely incremental and the result of increasing scale, not big improvements in the technology. The silicon wafers used in solar panels today are made the same way solar wafers have been made for 40 years. The 1366 process is radically different.

Because the company is built around patented, proprietary technology and processes, officials believe they will come to market with a disruptive and competitive advantage whenever they ramp up to full-scale production.

"Direct Wafer technology is a singular achievement," Sanderson said. "We’re the first and only company to solve this manufacturing challenge. There are many great solar innovations out there but they’re in labs. Science projects. It takes years to move from the lab to the factory floor; most ideas never do. What we’ve achieved isn’t easy and the industry knows that."

What exactly is delaying groundbreaking at the new technology park in Alabama, WNY STAMP, isn't clear.

When we've asked Steve Hyde -- CEO of Genesee County Economic Development Center and the first advocate for a technology park in Genesee County more than a decade ago -- about the delays, he says everybody is continuing to diligently work on the process; there is ongoing progress, and he quotes one of his favorite phrases, "Economic development is a marathon. It isn't a sprint."

A year ago, officials expected to break ground in the spring. In September, Hyde said there would be a groundbreaking in the fall. Now, the earliest estimate is this coming spring.

Reached this morning, Hyde said infrastructure and construction bidding will start after the first of the year. Water service and the main entrance road will be bid out first. 

"2017 will be a busy year for construction," Hyde said. 

Frank van Mierlo, CEO of 1366, told E&E News earlier this year that he expects to be up and running at STAMP by the end of 2017. Van Mierlo reportedly told E&E that "permitting and red tape" have slowed progress.

"We're moving," he said. "It's certainly not moving as rapidly as one might hope." 

"It's going to be a stretch," he added. "The end of the year rather than the beginning. We definitely want to be in construction next year."

The reason everyone remains so upbeat about the prospects of 1366 is it seems like the company has charted a solid business model built on breakthrough technology.

This isn't PepsiCo trying to enter an already crowded Greek yogurt sector with a barely differentiated product and hoping marketing and supply chain alone could win. This is a company entering an emerging industry with growing demand and a process that will substantially reduce the cost of production.

"Nobody is close. We can produce the wafer at 30 cents a wafer," van Mierlo told E&E News. "Even at today's prices, you are still very profitable. At today's prices, nobody else is profitable. That is the point.

"There's no false modesty here," he added. "Our technology is truly revolutionary when it comes to reducing costs."

In his best-selling business book, "Zero to One," venture capitalist Peter Thiel says new businesses should be built around innovations that are a 10-times improvement over anything currently in the market. 1366 seems to be hitting that mark.

"The Direct Wafer process is a dramatic improvement over the way wafers are manufactured today and it’s specific to us," Sanderson said. "(We achieve a) 50-percent reduction in cost and two-thirds energy reduction over conventional (production) methods. Better yet is the product – which costs less and uses less (energy) to make, doesn’t require any tradeoffs in performance."

That's why the recent efficiency tests were so important. 

Efficiency is the measure of how much sunlight that hits a solar wafer is converted into electricity. The 1366 wafer was tested in conjunction with new technology from a partner company, Hanwha Q CELLS Co. Ltd., of Seoul, South Korea.

While there is other solar technology that has achieved higher efficiency, that isn't the norm in the industry.

"In a head-to-head comparison with standard high-performance multicrystalline (HPM) wafers, we exceeded the average performance of that HPM reference group," Sanderson said. "And there are more gains to be had through new wafer features that are possible because we’re able to work at the melt level. There’s no other company in the world able to do that."

In the startup world, the common advice, and the practice often most attractive to potential investors is a company that aims at a specific market segment, an achievable target that promises growth.

For 1366, their approach is to make only wafers (compared to Solar City, opening in Buffalo, that makes not just the wafer, but the entire solar panel and even handles installation) and sell them to companies on an international market that will make panels for industrial solar installations.

That's a very specific market, and 1366 already has customers lined up, most notably, Hanwha, their partner in the recent efficiency tests. The company has also secured an investment from silicon supplier Wacker Chemie.

Silicon, of course, is the key ingredient in making solar wafers. It's a derivative of sand, but unlike the process used to make silicon wafers for four decades, which involves shaving down silicon ingots into the appropriate shape and thickness, 1366 wafers are poured from molten silicon, like glass is made, using techniques developed at MIT.

This is why the wafers that will be made in Genesee County will cost less and produce less waste.

A key reason 1366 picked STAMP as its eventual manufacturing home is the availability of low-cost hydropower, itself an environmentally friendly, renewable energy source. That will also make it easier for 1366 to keep production costs down.

The proximity to Buffalo, however, has invited comparisons between 1366 and Solar City, which is opening at Riverbend and has been an ongoing source of speculation and controversy, but 1366 and Solar City are really very different companies. 

Solar City, as noted, is a vertically integrated manufacturer and distributor -- so much so that company Chairman Elon Musk has merged Solar City with Tesla, his company that makes electric cars. Musk wants to control the entire energy supply chain for his vehicles, from converting to solar energy to powering the batteries that Telsa makes, too.

A big part of Solar City's business model has long been residential solar installations, a market that has been seemingly dependent on state and federal tax subsidies, subsidies that have come under criticism and may not last under the Trump Administration.

While Trump campaigned on a promise to save coal jobs, every cabinet appointment he's made so far, notably Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon for secretary of state, and Rick Perry, for the Department of Energy, are hardly friendly to coal. They're interest lies closer to natural gas, currently coal's primary competitor for electricity generation, but that also wouldn't seem to bode well for backers of solar power.

Sanderson said 1366 isn't worried.

"Solar is a global industry and it’s growing rapidly," Sanderson said. "That’s not changing. Our technology will further support this growth as we continue the trend of costs coming down. We help to make solar even more accessible and we want to support this global growth with U.S. manufacturing and U.S. jobs."

There's still plenty of R&D work to do on solar, Sanderson noted, and 1366 received early-stage R&D funding from the Department of Energy.

"It’s important to keep in mind that while we’re a solar company, we’re also a manufacturer," Sanderson said. "We’re looking forward to working with the next administration to create U.S. manufacturing jobs."

In this case, of course, U.S. manufacturing jobs should translate into Genesee County manufacturing jobs. Time will tell.

December 23, 2016 - 11:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in red osier, Stafford, news, business.

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Steve Foster and Tim Adams, owners of the Red Osier restaurant, dedicated the month of November to charity for the local community.

The restaurant has always been closed on Thanksgiving, but this year, they opened for business, with many staff members donating their time to work; all the proceeds from meals served that day were donated to local charities.

During the month, the restaurant also raised $7,965 for Genesee Cancer Assistance. Foster and Adams added their own money to the pot and today turned over a $10,000 check.

Red Osier also donated two truckloads of food to the Le Roy Food Pantry.

Above, Red Osier staff members with some of the clothing items, including socks and underwear, collected for local donation.

Submitted photo.

December 23, 2016 - 12:10pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

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   Annette Granger    Theresa Nicastro

Press release:

At Tompkins Bank of Castile, we recognize that decades of service characterize our stability and loyalty as an organization. We are pleased to honor our longtime employees who have contributed so much to the Tompkins Bank of Castile. Our customers have benefited from their knowledge and experience, and our company values these great employees.

Diana Williams, assistant vice president of the Avon branch, is celebrating 35 years with the bank. She began her banking career in 1977 as a part-time teller at the American Express branch in Augsburg, Germany. When she moved to the United States, she stayed with the financial services industry and began working for Chase at the East Avon branch, which was purchased by The Bank of Castile in 1994. Diana and her husband, Richard, live in Livonia. They have three children and four grandchildren. She is active in the Avon Rotary and Junior Achievement.

The following employees are celebrating 25 years of service:

Theresa Nicastro is the assistant manager of Commercial Loan Operations. She is active in planning, organizing and coordinating efficient service of commercial loans for Tompkins Bank of Castile as well as the three other banks of Tompkins Financial Corp. She began her career as a teller in the Perry branch and has held numerous positions ranging from administrative assistant to branch manager. She says being a part of the Tompkins family is a special blessing and loves being a part of such a wonderful organization. She and her partner, Steve, reside in Silver Springs along with their two rescue dogs.

Annette Granger started in the Proof Department and was working as a commercial credit Services Associate at our Operations Center in Perry until she retired this past year. We appreciate her years of dedicated service, and wish her well in retirement!

Debbie James, vice president – Consumer Product Manager, works to ensure a superior customer experience and that our products are competitive and customer-friendly. Her first job was as a teller in the Perry branch. She has continued to grow within our company, serving several years as the Castile Branch Manager. Based at our Operations Center in Perry, her current responsibilities encompass all of Tompkins Financial Corporation. Debbie and her husband, Brad, have two children, Erika and Michael. They live in Silver Springs.

Carolyn Francis, assistant vice president, Small Business Credit officer, joined the bank in 1986 and has held various positions. She started in the Proofing Department, went to the mortgage department and finally landed in the commercial department working specifically with small businesses in the community. Carolyn left the bank for a brief time, but said she came back because she loves all the great people that she works with and they are like family to her. Carolyn resides in Fillmore with her husband, Greg. They have two children and two grandchildren.

"Our employees are truly what differentiate our company, delivering superior customer service every day,” said John McKenna, president & CEO of Tompkins Bank of Castile.“We work hard to provide a rewarding and engaging workplace which helps us attract the best talent and results in extraordinary consistency of our employee base."

Tompkins Bank of Castile values the commitment and service these employees have given our company. We would like to thank them for their years of service and congratulations!

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   Diana Williams     Carolyn Francis    Debbie James
December 23, 2016 - 11:40am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, Le Roy, business.

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Press release:

Tompkins Bank of Castile prides itself on being a community bank, and one of our core values is our commitment to the communities we serve. During the holiday season, our staff in each branch selects local organizations to receive special contributions to make the holidays brighter. Our Le Roy branch selected the Le Roy Food Pantry to receive a $500 donation. The Le Roy Food Pantry has provided for people in need, free of charge, without question for several years. It is maintained by volunteers and is an effort among the local churches in the Le Roy community.

Mickey Hyde, Le Roy branch manager; Christine Orto, teller in the Le Roy branch; and Danielle Clark, Tompkins Insurance account manager, present checks to Judy Riley (second from left) of the Le Roy Food Pantry.

December 16, 2016 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in CY Farms, agriculture, elba, business, news.

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Emmaline Long didn't grow up on a farm, but she grew up loving everything about farming. She always wanted to work in agriculture and after graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Agricultural Sciences, Long landed what she describes as her dream job, crop production manager for CY Farms in Elba.

The 2008 graduate of Byron-Bergen High School has a passion for farming that goes beyond just her job. She is chair of the New York 4-H Foundation, co-chair of the Genesee County Young Farmers and Ranchers and serves on the precision agriculture advisory committee at Genesee Community College.

All this passion, all this dedication to farming is why she received the Excellence of Agriculture Award from the New York Farm Bureau at its statewide convention last week.

The award is given annually to a person between the ages of 18-36 who derives most of his or her income from agriculture but doesn't own a farm.

She describes the award as humbling.

"Because I’m passionate about a lot of things, it’s nice to be recognized for the things I have been doing, and that putting myself out there and being a leader doesn’t go unnoticed," Long said.

Although Long didn't grow up on a farm, farming was always part of her life. Her dad had owned a dairy farm before she was born and she and her parents always worked their garden and her dad would ride her around in his lap on their tractor. In high school, she started raising a rare, heritage breed of sheep, Lincoln longwools. She was a member of 4-H and competed annually at the Genesee County Fair.

"(Agriculture) is in my blood," she said. "I've always loved it. It's always been something I've been interested in."

She still has her flock and hopes someday she can make enough from selling wool to pay for her hobby.

Her job at CY Farms, which she started two and a half years ago, affords her the opportunity to be involved in a wide variety of ag-related jobs, from managing and planning what crops get planted where, and managing the nutrients they will need, to handling disease and pest control in an environmentally friendly way, plus handling all the ag precision data. She also puts out the farm's newsletter. 

“I found it difficult to find one aspect of the industry I liked more than the others," she said. "I like forage crops and I like vegetable crops and I like grain crops and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to focus on, so I was specifically looking for a farm to work on that I could get involved in all the different aspects of the industry."

She's currently working on her master's thesis for a degree in Animal Science.

When she first graduated, she kind of thought her career path might have her working on a farm for a couple of years and them moving to a job with another, bigger agriculture company, but she's found she loves being involved in the local ag community, where everybody knows everybody and supports everybody, and she loves working at CY Farms, so it's now hard to imagine moving on.

"I love the operation and the opportunity they've been able to give me, so it’s hard to look forward because I’m content to work where I am now,"

Next month, Long will find out if her experience and passion for agriculture helps her win the same title at the national level of the Farm Bureau. She will be among 40 candidates for the award when the national organization holds its convention in Phoenix.

Previously: CY Farms grew from the good land

December 15, 2016 - 9:55am
posted by Howard B. Owens in liberty pumps, bergen, business, news.

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It was supposed to be a just a little Christmas decoration contest with the loser buying the winner pizza, but both the order processing department and the technical customer service department at Liberty Pumps in Bergen have gone full Clark Griswold this year.

"I'm sure the money spent individually by these Liberty members is way more than free pizza," said Laurie Pfaff, who sent in the pictures.

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December 14, 2016 - 5:06pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, ferrellgas, Announcements, business.

Press release:

For nearly 80 years, Ferrellgas has provided propane service to homes, farms, and businesses in our community and across the nation. With the help of local residents, Ferrellgas plans to deliver more than just propane this holiday season.

Ferrellgas is collecting new and gently used coats, hats, scarves, and gloves this year and putting them into the hands of less fortunate members of our community.

Donations can be given to Ferrellgas deliverymen or brought to the Ferrellgas office at 655 Ellicott St. Batavia, NY 14020 through Dec. 30. At the end of the coat drive, Ferrellgas will donate items collected to one or more local charities.

“Ferrellgas is proud to provide a product that helps keep people in our community warm and provides some comfort in their lives,” says Doug Muha, Ferrellgas’ local director of Operations. “But we realize that too many local residents will struggle to stay warm this winter because they don’t have an adequate coat. Our goal is to help provide one to as many people here as possible. Thanks to the generous members of our community, we look forward to doing just that.”

Muha said local residents do not have to be customers of Ferrellgas to participate in the coat drive.

More information about Ferrellgas can be found at www.Ferrellgas.com.

December 13, 2016 - 11:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, business.

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has started a new petition for residents to urge Governor Cuomo and members of the State Legislature to expand ridesharing services, such as Uber and Lyft, to Upstate New York.  The petition is available online at ranzenhofer.nysenate.gov.

“While New York City residents are able to enjoy ridesharing services, Upstate New Yorkers have been left behind. Expanding access to these transportation companies is long overdue,” Ranzenhofer said. “Working together, we can send a strong message: give the green light to ridesharing in Western New York. I encourage residents to express their support for this legislation by signing my petition.”

Currently, transportation network companies operate only in New York City.  Senator Ranzenhofer has co-sponsored (S.4580A) and voted for legislation (S.4108D) to make these transportation services available across the entire state.

“New York has repeatedly stood in the way, whether by over-regulation or outright banning, of professional services that are legal and available in most states and cities across the nation. There is no reason why residents, from Rochester to Buffalo, should be prevented from requesting an Uber when they could easily do so in Boston, Cleveland and Milwaukee,” Ranzenhofer said.
 

December 12, 2016 - 8:16am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Shop Local, business, news, thebatavian.

When we launched our Deal of the Day program, I shared that this was the first step toward my intention to write code, to create a series of programs that I hope will better serve local residents and local businesses.

Today, we announce the next big step along this path -- launching a new site to help promote local businesses, ShopLocal.TheBatavian.com.

I built this, no vendor, no open source software, because none of the options really did what I think a site like this should do for local businesses and local residents. What ShopLocal.TheBatavian.com is today is not what it will be a year or even two years from now. This is just the foundation, a framework. I will add more and more services and functions as time permits.

And stay tuned, in the next day or two we will announce the first in a series of contests tied into this new site.

Meanwhile, visit ShopLocal.TheBatavian.com and email me with any feedback, suggestions or errors you find: [email protected].

Also, if you own a local business and it's not listed, call our office at (585) 250-4118 and ask for Dawn Puleo. She can assist you.

December 10, 2016 - 6:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in walmart, batavia, business, news.

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At least 55 local children were able to shop at Walmart for free today, with the help of police officers from three local agencies, so they could find Christmas presents to give to family members.

This is the second straight year Walmart has hosted the event, which is designed to help children from families who might not otherwise be able to afford Christmas presents for parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters.

In all, about nine police officers from Batavia PD, along with 19 deputies from the Sheriff's Office and more than a dozen troopers participated in the event.

Photos courtesy Investigator John Dehm, Genesee County Sheriff's Office.

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December 10, 2016 - 2:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle, batavia, business, news.

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Emerson, 2, and Avalon, 6, were among the dozens of kids who stopped in at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycles today to share their Christmas wishes with Santa.

December 6, 2016 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, batavia, business.

kimissactompkinsdec2016.jpgPress release: 

Kimberly Isaac has been promoted to assistant vice president, branch manager of Tompkins Bank of Castile Caledonia office.

“Kim is a great asset to Tompkins Bank of Castile, and she had done a fantastic job leading our Caledonia office,” said Diane Torcello, community banking manager. "This promotion is well earned."

Isaac is a member of the Batavia Rotary Club, the Genesee Country Village & Museum Fall Fundraising Committee, Livingston County Habitat for Humanity Family Services Board, Big Springs Historical Museum Board, United Way, the Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign, a Leadership of Livingston County graduate and a Junior Achievement volunteer at Caledonia-Mumford School. She is very active in St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, where she serves as a lay Eucharistic visitor, Jr. Warden and Vestry member. She has also received the Rotary Paul Harris award.

She resides in Batavia with her husband, Jim. They have two grown sons, Brian and Christian.

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county western New York region. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing.  In addition, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance

Agencies, Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors.  Further information about the bank is available on its website, www.bankofcastile.com

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Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

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