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February 2, 2018 - 4:57pm
posted by Billie Owens in Farming, business, steve hawley, agriculture.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has announced $5.5 million is now available to farmers and agricultural producers as part of two new grant programs. The awards are aimed toward farmland conservation, assisting farmers in identifying available land and ensuring that arable land is permanently protected from development and non-farm uses.

“Farming is one of the cornerstones of our community and extremely important to our local economy, traditions and way of life,” Hawley said.

“Too often, farmers lose the ability to work the land due to environmental concerns or development, and these new grants will help protect our producers and ensure that family farms remain family businesses. I remain committed to giving our farmers a voice in Albany, and I look forward to advocating their concerns as we progress through this year’s session.”

More information can be found on the state’s Agriculture and Markets site and interested applicants can access grant information here. Applications will be processed until all funding for the program has been exhausted.

Hawley is the former owner/operator of Hawley Farms in Batavia and sits on the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee.

February 2, 2018 - 4:52pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, Farming.

Press release:

Looking to improve soybean and small grains production in 2018! Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team will be offering their annual congresses for soybean and small grain producers throughout the region. 

Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road, Batavia

Guest Speakers:

Dustin Lewis PhD, District Manager, BASF Crop Protection

Dicamba Tolerant Beans: Learning from the Past, Looking Forward to the Future.” * This session will cover the label requirements to fulfill the certification needed to use dicamba tolerant products on DT soybeans.

Adam Gaspar PhD, Field Agronomist, DuPont Pioneer

"The Intersection of Soybean Physiology and Management with Tight Margins and Greater Environmental Variability."

Other topics to be discussed by Cornell University researchers, Cornell Cooperative Extension and local industry:

·         Marestail and Waterhemp Herbicide Resistance

·         Disease Management Issues in Wheat and Soybeans

·         2017 Soybean Yield Contest Winners: How’d they do it!

·         Small Grains Management Updates: Wheat & Malting Barley

·         Industrial Hemp for Small Grain Production

Registration fee: $50 per person includes AM Refreshments & Hot Buffet Lunch DEC Recertification points and Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available PLEASE PRE-REGISTER to guarantee a lunch: Call Cathy Wallace @ 585.343.3040, ext. 138, or [email protected].

February 2, 2018 - 3:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, Farming, bergen, USDA NRCS, business.

Press release:

On Feb. 8th, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service will be hosting a producer meeting from 9 a.m. to noon at Gillam Grant Community Center in Bergen. It is located at 6966 W. Bergen Road.

This informational meeting will feature producer workshops and question/answer sessions. It is free and open to the public. Donuts and coffee will be provided.

Anyone interested in agricultural planning, construction project management, manure application technology and/or funding opportunities is encouraged to attend. RSVP by Feb. 6 to Heath Eisele at  [email protected] or by phoning (585) 201-5633.

If you fall into any of these categories, you will want to attend this meeting:

1.      You are interested in applying for state and/or federal financial assistance programs in 2019 and beyond;

2.      Your farm is looking to construct a large manure storage and you’re wondering how to manage the project;

3.      You would like to improve the overall nutrient management on your farm with the use of manure injection/drag hose;

4.      You’re curious about the financial assistance that is available, especially for the Genesee River Watershed and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Focus Area;

5.      You’re interested in learning about the lending opportunities from the USDA-Farm Service Agency;

6.      You have never heard of the Soil & Water’s AEM program.

Workshop/Presenters will be:

Planning -- Heath Eisele, USDA NRCS

Contruction Management -- Gina Lathan, Lathan Equipment Co. LLC

Manure Application Technology -- Dan Athoe, Cuff Farm Services

FSA Loans / Other Programs -- Christen Trewer, USDA Farm Service Agency

AEM Grant Funding Opportunities -- Jered Elliott / Molly Cassatt, Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District

February 2, 2018 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCEDC, news, batavia, business.

From the GCEDC:

The annual meeting and luncheon of the Genesee County Economic Development Center will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9, at Batavia Downs in the Paddock Room.

Co-keynote speakers are Thomas Kucharski, president and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara, and Matt Hurlbutt, president and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise.

According to the GCEDC, 2017 was a landmark year for Genesee County, and you are invited to learn more about how the center is connecting the "Buffalo-Rochester Metro Corridor" and advancing economic development regionally.

At the annual meeting, the GCEDC and its partners will be celebrated and highlights from 2017 will be reviewed; also, the economic landscape in New York State for 2018 will be discussed.

This is an excellent opportunity to network with economic and elected leaders from around the region. The GCEDC will unveil the "2018 Economic Development Partner of the Year Award."

Feel free to arrive an hour early, at 11 a.m., for an informal networking opportunity.

Batavia Downs is located at 8315 Park Road, Batavia.

To register for the event, click here.

For more information, contact Rachel Tabelski, Marketing & Communications director for the GCEDC, at [email protected] or phone 585-343-4866, ext. 12.

February 1, 2018 - 5:43pm
Press release:

Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation is pleased to announce that Kristina Ferrando, RN, has been promoted to the role of Director of Nursing for the facility.

Ferrando received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from SUNY Brockport and has been a registered professional nurse since 2003. She was previously employed by the Genesee County Department of Mental Health before coming to Premier Genesee in 2015. She brings a wealth of experience to her role.\

Assisting Ferrando in the role of Assistant Director of Nursing will be Jacquelyn Siverling, RN. She recently joined Premier Genesee as a Nursing Unit Manager. Siverling received her nursing education at Genesee Community College and also worked for the Genesee County Department of Mental Health before coming to Premier Genesee.

January 29, 2018 - 11:39am
posted by Howard B. Owens in Tompkins Bank of Castile, business.

Press release:

As reported by many financial institutions, Tompkins Financial Corporation’s earnings for the quarter and year- to-date periods ended December 31, 2017, were impacted by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, which reduced the Federal statutory tax rate from 35% in 2017, to 21% in 2018. The change in the tax law created a one-time, fourth quarter, non-cash write-down of net deferred tax assets in the amount of $14.9 million due to the required remeasurement of the net deferred tax assets using the new lower tax rate.

President and CEO Stephen Romaine commented, “I am extremely proud of our Company’s results in 2017. Though our reported earnings are down for the year, had it not been for the non-cash write-down related to the tax law change, our earnings would have been at a record level. Coupled with the general positive trends we have seen in business growth, the lower marginal tax rate will have a meaningful positive impact on future earnings.”

A summary of the impact of the tax law changes on 2017 full year earnings per share is as follows:

§ Diluted earnings per share for year ended December 31, 2017, (including the one-time charge related to tax reform) were $3.43, down 12.3% over full year 2016

§ Adjusted diluted earnings per share for year ended December 31, 2017 (excluding the one-time charge related to tax reform) were $4.42, up 13.0% over full year 2016 (refer to table of “Non GAAP Measures” included in this press release)

GAAP net income for the year ended December 31, 2017, was $52.5 million, down from $59.3 million reported in 2016. Diluted earnings per share were $3.43 for the year ended December 31, 2017, down from the $3.91 per share reported in 2016. Excluding the impact of the one-time charge related to changes in the tax law,

For more information contact:

Stephen S. Romaine, President & CEO Francis M. Fetsko, Executive VP, CFO & COO Tompkins Financial Corporation (888)503-5753

diluted earnings per share for 2017 would have been $4.42, reflecting an increase of 13.0% over diluted earnings per share for 2016. Refer to the table of “Non-GAAP Measures” included in this press release for additional details.

GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $2.5 million, down from the $15.1 million reported for the same period in 2016. Diluted earnings per share of $0.16 for the fourth quarter of 2017 were down 83.8% from the $0.99 reported in the fourth quarter of 2016. Removing the impact of the one-time charge related to tax reform from fourth quarter earnings would have resulted in diluted earnings per share of $1.15 for the fourth quarter of 2017, representing a 16.2% increase over the same period in 2016. Refer to the table of “Non- GAAP Measures” included in this press release for additional details.

Mr. Romaine further commented, “Tompkins has a history of being a high performing Company with a long- term focus. In keeping with this approach, we plan to leverage the benefits of reduced taxes from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 in a way that is consistent with our strategy of creating long-term value for our clients, shareholders, communities and employees. This includes planned investments to modernize our facilities, improve customer-facing technology and expand staff in support of these initiatives. We have always given generously to the communities we serve and expect to continue to increase that level going forward. We have a long history of paying profit sharing to our employees and we have raised the profit sharing payout that will be paid in 2018 to 9.0% of employee annual pay. We also plan to raise the minimum wage paid by our Company to $14.00 - $15.00 per hour based on geography and we are committed to increasing compensation for all employees earning less than $18.00 per hour. We are investing just in excess of $1.0 million to increase our wages to these levels.”

SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS FOR YEAR AND FOURTH QUARTER:

  • §  Net interest income for the full year of $201.3 million, is up 11.4% over 2016; while net interest income for the fourth quarter of $52.0 million is up 12.1% over the same quarter last year.

  • §  Total loans of $4.7 billion at year end 2017 were up 9.7% over year end 2016

  • §  Noninterest bearing deposit balances of $1.4 billion at year end 2017 are up 16.3% over year end 2016

  • §  Nonperforming assets remain at historically low levels and compare favorably to our industry peers, with nonperforming assets representing 0.38% of total assets at year end 2017, compared to 0.36% at year end 2016.

NET INTEREST INCOME

For the full year ended December 31, 2017, net interest income was $201.3 million, up $20.7 million, or 11.4% from the same period in 2016. Net interest income of $52.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased by $5.6 million, or 12.1% compared to the same period in 2016.

Growth in net interest income was largely driven by an 11.2% increase in average total loans during 2017, up $444.0 million over average loans in 2016. The loan growth was supported, in part, by a $249.4 million increase in average total deposits over the same period. The net interest margin was 3.42% in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from 3.40% for the most recent prior quarter, and 3.30% for the same quarter last year.

NONINTEREST INCOME

For the full year, noninterest income of $69.2 million is up slightly from $68.8 million reported for 2016. Noninterest income was $17.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, and was up $996,000 compared to the same period in 2016. Fee income business related to cards services and investment and management services contributed to the improvement. Insurance revenue and services charges on deposit accounts were down, partially offsetting those improvements. Results for 2017 included realized losses on available-for-sale securities in the amount of $407,000, compared to realized gains of $926,000 in 2016.

NONINTEREST EXPENSE

For the full year, noninterest expenses were $171.1 million in 2017, up 7.9% over 2016. Noninterest expense was $46.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, up 17.5% when compared to that same quarter in 2016. During 2017, the Company invested $2.7 million in a historic preservation tax credit which yielded Federal and NYS tax credits. The project was placed in service in the fourth quarter, and accordingly, the fourth quarter results include the required write-off of this investment as operating expense and recognition of the related $3.3 million of tax credits generated from the investment as a reduction of income tax expense. 2017 expenses also included $731,000 of deconversion expenses related to system conversions (including a core system conversion completed in the second quarter of 2017); compared to deconversion expenses of $546,000 recognized in 2016.

INCOME TAX EXPENSE

During 2017, the Company’s effective tax rate was 44.8%, compared to 31.3% in 2016. The increase is mainly due to the $14.9 million one-time write-down of net deferred tax assets discussed above. Tax expense for 2017 benefited from the $3.3 million historic tax credit described above, which was recognized in the fourth quarter of 2017. As previously mentioned, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 will reduce the federal statutory tax rate from 35% in 2017, to 21% in 2018.

ASSET QUALITY

Asset quality trends remained strong in the fourth quarter of 2017. Nonperforming assets represented 0.38% of total assets at December 31, 2017, up slightly from 0.36% at December 31, 2016. Nonperforming asset levels continue to be below the most recent Federal Reserve Board Peer Group Average1 of 0.64%.

Full year provision for loan and lease losses was $4.2 million in 2017, down from $4.3 million in 2016. Net loan and lease charge-offs for 2017 were $145,000 compared to net charge-offs of $570,000 reported in 2016. The provision for loan and lease losses was $2.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, up from $1.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The Company’s allowance for originated loan and lease losses totaled $39.7 million at December 31, 2017, and represented 0.91% of total originated loans and leases at December 31, 2017, compared to 0.92% at December 31, 2016. The total allowance represented 172.84% of total nonperforming loans and leases at December 31, 2017, up from 164.98% at December 31, 2016.

CAPITAL POSITION

Capital ratios remain well above the regulatory well capitalized minimums. The ratio of tangible common equity to tangible assets was 7.24% at December 31, 2017, a decline from the 7.58% reported for the most recent prior quarter, and 7.25% at December 31, 2016. Contributing to the decline in capital levels in the fourth quarter of 2017 was the impact of Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. The change in the tax law created a one-time non-cash write-down of net deferred tax assets in the amount of $14.9 million due to the remeasurement of the assets using the new lower tax rate. 

January 26, 2018 - 11:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in onion growers, Farming, crop insurance, agriculture, business, RMA.

Press release:

The USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds onion growers that the final date to apply for crop insurance coverage for the 2018 crop year is Feb. 1. Current policy holders who wish to make changes to their existing policies have until Feb. 1 to do so.

Federal crop insurance is critical to the farm safety net. It helps porducers and owners manage revenue risks and strengthens the rural economy.

Coverage for onions is available in select counties.

The 2018 price election, per hundredweight, for red onions is $24.90; white onions is $18.50; yellow onions is $11.80. Additional information can be found on the Actuarial Information Browser page on the RMA website.

Growers are encourage to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2018 crop year, including insurance for onions, which may be eligible for coverage under a written agreement.

Crop insurance decisions must be made on or before the sales closing date.

Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of agents is available at all USDA service centers and online at the RMA Agent Locator.

Producers can use the RMS Cost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.

For more information about crop insurance and the modern farm safety net visit www.rma.usda.gov

January 24, 2018 - 12:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ellicott Station, Della Penna Building, batavia, news, business.

savarinobrickelevation_ellicottstation.jpg

Financing for developer Savarino Companies on the Ellicott Station project should close by mid-to-late March, according to Economic Development Coordinator Julie Pacatte.

Pacatte reported progress on the project to the Batavia Development Corporation board of directors this morning. 

The complicated financing deal to pay for the $18 million development, which includes a restaurant/brewery, apartments, and office space, includes some of Savarino's own money (about $3.5 million), grants, tax credits, and private investment (about $10 million) through a program called a New Market Tax Credit.

Empire State Development has promised $1.9 million for the project and has agreed to release the funding in stages to help pay for the project as it proceeds. ESD will get back 1 percent of the grant money as a "commitment fee."

That grant is administered by the BDC.

There is also a $500,000 grant from the state administered by the City as part of the Restore NY program.

The project will also receive tax abatement through Genesee County Economic Development Center.

There is also one brownfield tax credit already granted through the state because of the environmental cleanup needed at the former Della Penna property.

There is an application pending for the former Santy Tires property.  

Pacatte said the DEC requested more information on the possible environmental contamination on the property, indicating not enough evidence has been presented yet that the property has enough contamination to warrant the tax credit.

None of the environmental tests on the property done so far were taken inside the old repair bays.

"It was a repair shop for 50 years, so there really is no worry that it's dirty," Pacatte said. "The DEC just asked for more documentation."

Last month, Savarino acquired Ellicott Station LLC, the corporation set up by the BDC to take title to the two parcels on Ellicott Street, and when the financing closes, will pay the remaining $55,000 of the $60,000 purchase price to the BDC.

January 23, 2018 - 5:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, steve hawley, news, business.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today announced $5.5 million is now available to farmers and agricultural producers as part of two new grant programs. The awards are aimed toward farmland conservation, assisting farmers in identifying available land and ensuring that arable land is permanently protected from development and nonfarm uses.

“Farming is one of the cornerstones of our community and extremely important to our local economy, traditions and way of life,” Hawley said. “Too often, farmers lose the ability to work the land due to environmental concerns or development, and these new grants will help protect our producers and ensure that family farms remain family businesses. I remain committed to giving our farmers a voice in Albany, and I look forward to advocating their concerns as we progress through this year’s session.”

More information can be found on the state’s Agriculture and Markets site and interested applicants can access grant information here. Applications will be processed until all funding for the program has been exhausted.

Hawley is the former owner/operator of Hawley Farms in Batavia and sits on the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee.

January 23, 2018 - 1:23pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, Darien, business.

Press release:

Darien Lake Theme Park’s 2018 season will feature two unique, thrilling performers, Magical Entertainer Aaron Radatz and Hypnotist Tammy Barton, as part of the amusement park’s free in-park entertainment lineup.

Dubbed “the magical entertainer to see” by Time Magazine, Radatz started performing at the young age of 6 and quickly turned his grandmother's gift of a magic set into a full-time hobby. Today, Radatz is the newest star to hit the magic entertainment scene. He has studied with many of the masters of magic including Harry Blackstone (Jr.) and recently completed his first 6-month run headlining a casino on the Las Vegas strip. He is also a featured magician on the CW Network’s global sensation TV series “Masters of Illusion.”

Radatz is also the only magician who has been commissioned by the U.S. Pentagon for a command performance for the U.S. military. His dedication to the troops has earned him awards, including such high honors as the Commander’s Coin of Excellence and the Scroll of Appreciation of Honor and Admiration.

Barton has been performing as a professional stage hypnotist since 1993. She began her career working with her parents, both of whom are certified hypno-therapists. She quickly realized that hypnosis performed correctly could be both entertaining and educational at the same time, and could allow her to obtain any goal she set for herself.

In every show, Barton selects willing volunteers from the audience and then puts them into a state of hypnosis. She then guides them though a journey of the mind in which the volunteers act on suggestions she provides. Only the imagination of her volunteers will limit their journey.

Radatz and Barton both performed during the 2012 season and the park is thrilled to welcome them back this year.

“These daily in-park shows are high-quality family-friendly entertainment for all of our guests,” said Chris Thorpe, Darien Lake general manager. “Both Tammy Barton and Aaron Radatz are thrilling, unique performers and we are excited to welcome them back to the Darien Lake for what promises to be a wonderful summer.”

Also returning in 2018 is Ignite the Night, Darien Lake’s nightly laser extravaganza. Music, water, fire, video and pyrotechnics all come together for this laser light spectacular in the air, on the stage and all around, which runs beginning in late May through Labor Day Weekend.

For more information about the park or to purchase a season pass, visit DarienLake.com.

January 21, 2018 - 2:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, Announcements, agriculture.

Press release:

Tickets are still available for the 16th Annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner! The dinner will take place Saturday, March 17 at the Alexander Fire Hall. Doors open at 6 p.m. This event is a celebration of Genesee County’s number-one industry – Agriculture.

The highlight is a delicious meal prepared by Penna’s Catering using locally produced foods.

The dinner is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (8276 Park Road, Batavia) for $30 each. A table of 10 can be purchased for $275.  Sponsorships are available for $350 which help to support agriculture educational events in Genesee County. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

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

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

January 18, 2018 - 5:02pm

Press release:

Today recipients of the 46th annual Genesee County Chamber of Commerce awards for 2017 were announced.

The event to honor them will be held Saturday, March 3, at the Quality Inn & Suites on Park Road in Batavia.

This is the county's premier event honoring businesses and individuals for their achievement in business, community service and volunteerism.

Tickets are $50 per person or a table of 10 for $450. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with hors d'oeuvres, entree tables and a cash bar. (No formal sit-down dinner is served.)

The Award Program starts at 7 o'clock, at which time coffee and dessert will be served.

The 2017 honorees are:

  • Business of the Year -- Baltz Concrete Construction, Pavilion
  • Innovative Enterprise of the Year -- Firing Pin, Bergen
  • Agricultural Organization of the Year -- Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, Batavia
  • Special Service Recognition of the Year -- Batavia Cross Training, Batavia
  • Geneseeans of the Year -- The Family of William Kent Inc., Stafford

Call Kelly J. Bermingham at 343-7440, ext. 1026, to make your reservations.

January 17, 2018 - 12:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in michael ranzenhofer, farm workers, agriculture, news, business.

Press release:

State Supreme Court Judge Richard J. McNally Jr. has dismissed a New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) lawsuit, filed in May, regarding rights for farm workers. Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) was the first outspoken State Legislator to criticize the NYCLU’s actions.

Senator Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:

“The NYCLU’s attempt to bypass the State Legislature and push increased regulations on our agriculture industry has failed. These burdensome regulations would have had a devastating impact on our family farms.

"I applaud the judge’s decision, and I commend the New York Farm Bureau for defending our 35,000 farms all across our state. As New York State’s number one industry, agriculture is the backbone of our rural communities, and this is a major victory for our family farms.” 

January 12, 2018 - 4:07pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, community supported agriculture, batavia, business.

Here's the latest update on Gleba Farms in Batavia and its Community Supported Agriculture opportunities, provided by Tim and Amanda Gleba:

Gleba Farms will offer two CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) options for the 2018 season. We will continue with the Summer Veggie CSA and new for the year is the Meat/ Veggie CSA.

Both CSA options will run for 16 weeks, tentatively starting June 12th and concluding Sept. 27th.

The veggie pickup will be weekly, Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Pork and turkey will be included in the Meat/ Veggie CSA. Members who sign up for the Meat/ Veggie CSA will receive turkey and pork in addition to their veggie share. The turkey will be ready for pick up just before Thanksgiving and the pork will be ready for pick up at the end of November.

The pork meat is a gourmet meat pig, American Guinea Hog. The AGH were imported by Thomas Jefferson and other Virginia farmers as early as 1804. Also known as the Pineywoods Guinea, Guinea Forest Hog, Acorn Eater, and Yard Pig, the breed was once the most numerous pig breed found on homesteads in the Southeast.

The Guinea Hog is a gourmet meat pig raised on pasture. Chefs and charcuterie artists prefer to cook with this breed. The marbling, and intramuscular fat hasn't been bred out of these special hogs. However, the taste comes largely from the way they are raised.

Members will receive 1/2 a pig which equates to 50 to 60 pounds of meat. From the butcher you will receive a ham, pork chops, tenderloin, bacon, pork shoulder, breakfast sausage, neck bone and hocks (which make great tomato sauce) and lard (optional). The butcher will smoke the ham and bacon.

For the 2018 growing season we have scaled back on the amount of varieties and concentrate on growing what did well for a larger yield. The list of 30-plus veggies is available to view on our website.

As soon as the ground thaws we will start the construction of the deer fence to help protect the veggie crop. Deer was one of our biggest obstacles last year. There are other tactics we will employ to better protect this year's crop; ie. coyote decoy, scarecrows and a motion-sensor water sprinkler.

Our livestock are pastured during the spring, summer and fall months, so they grow at their own pace. We do not use antibiotics or growth hormones. We feel it's a healthier lifestyle for the animals, which in return, produces a healthier, higher quality meat.

The chickens are weathering the cold quite well. They are staying warm in the coop and currently molting. We have had a few members inquiring about eggs this winter. Between the cold and the molting, chickens are not currently laying. We will send an emailing advising when they do.

We will be adding a "guard geese" to the flock to hopefully mitigate any loss to predators. A farmer in the Southern Tier has had luck with geese protecting the chickens, so we thought we would give it a try.

We are adding two beehives to the farm this year. A local apiarist is helping us by providing some guidance on getting started. There are so many health benefits to local raw honey. We will keep everyone posted with the progress.

In a portion of the front field we will be planting 150 Christmas trees (Douglas fir, Fraser fir, concolor fir and blue spruce). As we were planning for the 2018 growing season we concluded we would not be utilizing the whole front field. So, instead of letting the field go to waste, we decided to plant coniferous trees with the intent of cutting them for Christmas trees in several years.

Since we started the farm, we have found if you work hard enough, sometimes you get lucky. There are no short cuts, it takes time and it takes money and it takes reflection to properly care for the land and livestock. We’ve had a few great farmers and members from the community help us along the way.

In closing, we valued the feedback we received from our members. We are in this for the long haul, so we want to ensure we fulfill the expectations of our members. Amanda and I have an appreciation for the relationships we have cultivated with everyone last year!

Lastly, I would like to give a big thank you to Tom Ryan, Ryan's Rose Organic Farm, John Riley, Riley's Family Farm and John Eisenhard, Eisenhard Forestry.

Cheers to a successful and prosperous 2018!

Tim and Amanda
Gleba Farms LLC
3726 S. Main Street Road
Batavia, NY 14020
 
(Editor's note: Pricing, registration forms, and more information about the farm and how it works are available on the farm's website (see link just above). For previous coverage, click here.)
January 12, 2018 - 2:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Batavia Downs, business, michael ranzenhofer.

Press release:

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R-C-I, Amherst) has introduced legislation (S7397) today in the State Senate to establish tax parity between Batavia Downs and other gaming facilities in New York State.

“New York State imposes one of the highest tax rates on Batavia Downs, and it’s one of the smallest gaming facilities in our region,” Ranzenhofer said. “This regressive rate deprives taxpayers across 15 counties an equitable portion of revenues.

"Lowering the tax rate will make Batavia Downs more competitive with other gaming facilities while ensuring a fairer share of revenues are returned to taxpayers through our local governments.”

In 2015, the facility had a total economic impact of $83.4 million, generating $21.5 million for state education funding, and $3.4 million to participating municipalities.

“We applaud Senator Ranzenhofer’s legislative efforts to level the playing field for Batavia Downs Gaming. This bill will allow us to return more resources to our member communities,” said Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation (WROTB) Board of Directors Chairman Richard Bianchi.

The legislation would lower Batavia Down’s taxes paid to New York State by increasing the facility’s portion of net winnings from 35 percent to 41 percent. If enacted, the act would take effect on April 1, 2019.

Under existing state law, the oldest nighttime harness track in the country pays one of the highest effective tax rates among gaming centers in the region.

 

Gaming Operation

Facility’s Portion of Net Winnings* (%)

Batavia Downs

35

del Lago Resort & Casino

70.18

Vernon Downs

41

Hamburg Gaming

41

*2017-18 Fiscal Year

 
Batavia Downs Gaming, operated by WROTB, is a standardbred racetrack and gaming facility. WROTB is a public benefit corporation – owned by 15 Western New York counties, including Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Wyoming, as well as the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. Since its inception, WROTB has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in operating and surcharge revenues to the residents of those participating municipalities.
January 11, 2018 - 10:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in O-AT-KA Milk Products, batavia, business.

Press release:

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative Inc., a dairy cooperative based in Genesee County, will construct a more than 20,000-square-foot addition at its production facility.

In an effort to meet the growing demand of its customers, the cooperative will install a new retort beverage production line and install support equipment at its facility located at the corner of Cedar and Ellicott in the City of Batavia. The additional space will facilitate the addition of up to 20 new jobs; 440 jobs will be retained.

The cooperative expects to have the new line up and running sometime next fall.

Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said,The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is supporting the growth of food processing companies, like O-AT-KA dairy cooperative, which will be retaining hundreds of jobs and hiring additional employees to help them on their path to continued success.”

O-AT-KA’s production facility ensures there is a market for milk produced by more than 400 farms in the Western, Finger Lakes and Central New York regions.

The cooperative is majority owned by Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc., which is headquartered in Buffalo, New York and also by Dairy Farmers of America, a cooperative with a strong presence in Central New York.

Michael Fuchs, O-AT-KA’s Chief Financial Officer and project manager said, “This project supports our continued growth and will allow us to meet growing market demands for our products.

"The support we continue to receive from ESD, GCEDC and our Board of Directors is a testament to their commitment to the livelihood of our dairy farmer owners and to our position as a leading employer in Western New York.”

Empire State Development is providing a total of up to $750,000 for the project through a Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Grant. Genesee County Economic Development Agency also offered incentives for the enterprise. The total project cost is $34.5 million.

Supporting agribusiness is a top priority for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the locally designed the Finger Lakes Forward economic development plan.

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Monroe Community College President Anne Kress and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy said, “The Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council is committed to supporting projects that grow jobs. Agriculture is an important industry and a key driver of our regional economy.

"This expansion project will also create solid opportunities for area farmers, shaping the future of the region’s agricultural industry, helping to move the Finger Lakes forward.”

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said, "Agribusiness is Genesee County's number one economic driver, and growing demand for milk products produced by our local dairy farmers will help to reinforce this important industry.

"Today's announcement by O-AT-KA Milk Products will further strengthen our local economy. I commend Genesee County's largest private-sector employer for continuing to create jobs for Western New York residents."

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said, “Economic development and business expansion, especially when it comes to the dairy sector, is tremendously important to our region. I am pleased to see that not only will O-AT-KA be expanding its production, but also adding 20 new jobs to solidify itself as a top-tier producer in Western New York.

"The support of businesses and job creation at the state level benefits our entire community, and this is a prime example of our state’s agricultural sector rising to one of the best in the nation. I look forward to the continued prominence of our area’s farmers and producers and am proud to share in their success.”

Steve Hyde, president & chief executive officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center, said, “The GCEDC is proud to assist O-AT-KA Milk Products, the largest private sector employer in Genesee County, to expand its operations. O-AT-KA is an industry leader through innovation and commitment to excellence.

"Through our collaboration with Empire State Development and the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, we are demonstrating that companies like O-AT-KA can grow and prosper in New York State.”

O-AT-KA’s name was taken from the Seneca Native Americans, and means leaving the highlands or approaching an opening. The “highlands” refers to Wyoming County, New York and the “opening” refers to the Genesee River flowing into Lake Ontario.

The cooperative opened in 1959 with only five employees and has since grown to provide employment tomore than 440 people contributing to growth in the local economy. O-AT-KA has long-term business relationships with many Fortune 500 listed manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers.

January 9, 2018 - 10:50am
posted by Howard B. Owens in darien lake theme park, darien lake, Darien, business.

Press release:

Live Nation and Darien Lake Theme Park are thrilled to announce that due to overwhelming demand, concertgoers will once again get free same day Theme Park access with each paid Amphitheater concert ticket in 2018. The wildly popular promotion started in 2017 as part of Darien Lake Amphitheater’s 25thseason.

“This was truly the deal of the Summer last year and we couldn’t be happier to be partnering again with the theme park to bring the best value in entertainment in Western New York,” said Jim Koplik, Live Nation president of Upstate New York and Connecticut.

This year is already shaping up to be a great one for music fans and thrill seekers alike at Darien Lake. The amphitheater has announced two shows to date, including Kesha and Macklemore on July 22 and Niall Horan with Maren Morris on Sept. 7, with many more shows being announced in the coming months. Darien Lake Theme Park recently announced the amazing new 98-foot vertical coaster, Tantrum, opening this Summer that will be a ride not to miss.

“We’re excited to partner with Live Nation to offer free same day park admission for concertgoers again this season and know we will thrill them with our new Tantrum coaster, ensuring all guests can rock and ride all summer long,” said Chris Thorpe, general manager of Darien Lake Theme Park.

To redeem the offer, guests will show their concert tickets at the Theme Park’s main gate for same day validation and admission.

The offer is not valid in conjunction with any other Darien Lake Theme Park offer and is nontransferable. Free Theme Park access is only valid the same day as the concert ticket and is only valid on purchased tickets and not valid on complementary concert tickets. For concerts occurring on days the theme park is not operating, purchasers can present their concert ticket for free admission at the Theme Park’s main gate for any other operating day after the concert.

January 8, 2018 - 4:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, education, GCC, BEA, news, batavia.

Press release:

More than 200 local high school students will be participating in the inaugural Health Career Day at Genesee Community College in Batavia on Tuesday, Jan. 9th.

The event is from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will provide Genesee County students the opportunity to learn about high-growth and high-demand health careers and meet with medical professionals from over 10 different fields, including laboratory technologists, first responders, nurses, physical therapists, sonographers, radiologists and more.

Students will also participate in the Health Care College and Career Fair in the William W. Stuart Forum from 12 to 1 p.m., where they will meet with representatives from more than 20 colleges and health care providers.

The BEA Health Career Day is a special collaboration between the Genesee County Business Education Alliance (BEA), Rochester Regional Health United Memorial Medical Center, Genesee Community College Accelerated College Enrollment Programs, and the Michael Napoleone Memorial Foundation.

Our mission is to promote employment opportunities with tomorrow’s workforce, as jobs in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. The BEA Health Career Day will help secure the health and wellness of Genesee County for generations to come.

For more information, contact Genesee County Business Education Alliance Director Karyn Winters at [email protected] or 343-7440.

January 5, 2018 - 6:24pm
posted by Billie Owens in education, Nursing, GCC, business, news.

Press release:

Genesee Community College will host a Recruitment Open House for the Nursing Program from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at GCC's Medical Technology Building in Batavia.

GCC invites anyone interested in joining the GCC Nursing Program faculty to come to the open house and meet Director of Nursing, Laurel Sanger, Human Resources Recruiters and members of the Nursing Program Faculty team.

At this time, GCC is recruiting for full-time positions in the fields of obstetrics, pediatrics, mental-health and medical-surgical. In addition to these, GCC is continuously recruiting for adjunct clinical instructors.

Details on these career opportunities are available here.

GCC's Nursing Program Faculty members work in an innovative and supportive environment using state-of-the-art nursing laboratories and are able to participate in clinical placements in Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester. Our faculty members enjoy a superior benefits package and a culture that encourages personal and professional growth and development.

If this sounds like the environment for you, RSVP via email to [email protected] or by calling (585) 345-6808 today and come check out the facility on Jan. 24. Walk-ins are also welcome. Qualified applicants must have or obtain a master's degree in Nursing by Aug. 31, 2019. Concentrations in Nursing Education are preferred but not required.

January 5, 2018 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, corn, Farming, cornell extension, business.
Press release:
 
Looking to improve corn grain and silage production in 2018! Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team will be offering its annual congresses for corn producers, one of which will be held in Batavia 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, at the Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road.

 

Registration fee: $50 per person includes proceedings booklet, morning refreshments & hot buffet lunch.     

DEC Recertification points and Certified Crop Advisor credits will be available.

PLEASE PRE-REGISTER to guarantee a lunch: Call Cathy Wallace @ 585.343.3040, ext. 138, or [email protected]

 

J. Julian Smith, Ph.D.: “Why is 300 bu/ac Corn the Goal when the Genetic Potential is 1000?”

Smith is currently president and co-founder of CZO Agronomics, a global consulting group devoted to technical advisory and end-to-end project management services in agribusiness and horticulture. Before founding CZO Agronomics, Smith was the firector of Discovery & Innovation for Brandt Consolidated Inc. in Springfield, Ill., leading the company’s plant health research and new product development team.

Smith is a widely published agricultural professional in the fields of agronomy, environmental issues and precision agriculture. His career has been primarily concerned with plant nutrition and specialty products, as well as their positioning within the agricultural market-places of North America and Europe. The latter half of Smith’s career has focused on micro-nutrient, biostimulant, biological and plant growth regulator product application for all crops.

Jim Hershey: “Managing Corn in a No-Till System”

Hershey owns and operates a 600-acre livestock and grain farm located in Elizabethtown, Pa., and has been operating a Crop Management Service that covers several thousand acres.

Hershey is presently serving as president of the Pa No-Till Alliance where their mission is to promote No-Till, Cover Crops and Soil Health. He has been practicing No-Till for more than 25 years and Cover Cropping for 15 years. Hershey’s operation has been a leader in Cover Crop Interseeding where they have been marketing interseeders commercially. One has planted several thousand acres in NY the last three years with great success.

He has also installed a ZRX roller on his corn planter to be able to roll and plant into green cover. This has helped reduce weed pressure, less herbicide, build organic matter while conserving moisture and nutrients.

Other topics to be discussed by Cornell researchers, Cornell Cooperative Extension and PRO-DAIRY:

  •  Using Corn Yield Data to Develop Yield Stability Zones
  •  Corn Silage Trials, so Much More than Yields
  •  GMO Free Corn Pest Management: Insects and Weeds
  •  Western Bean Cutworm Resistance: Where do We Go from Here?

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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

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