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July 18, 2017 - 8:00am

The 178th annual Genesee County Fairgrounds turn out to be a great showing on opening night for the grand parade that marched through the grounds.  

For a complete schedule of daily events click here: http://gcfair.com/Home/FairInformation/DailySchedule.aspx

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May 20, 2017 - 4:25pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in rodeo, sports, batavia, fairgrounds.

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The New York State High School Rodeo Association held its annual state championship rodeo at the Genesee County Fairgrounds today.

This is the first time Batavia has hosted the rodeo, which in the past has generally gone to Attica or Caledonia. 

The three-day event includes two days of competition, a dance tonight and awards presentation tomorrow.

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May 2, 2017 - 5:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, fairgrounds, news.

Over the past five years, the Genesee County Fair has gone from a local event that was barely hanging on, to one that is now the envy of many other rural counties around the state, according to a report delivered by Ag Society President Norm Pimm to the Human Services Committee of the Genesee County Legislature.

Pimm said he recently attended an expo for county fair organizers in Rochester and Genesee County's fair was a subject of curiosity.

"There are a lot of fairs that are crying that they're going backward in attendance, so we are one of the few that is going forward, and we actually have a lot of fairs coming to us and asking what we're doing differently," Pimm said.

Last year more than 22,000 people attended the fair.

People attend, he said, because of the attractions and the animals.

Ag is a big part of every county fair, but Genesee County has been able to revitalize its ag program and last year there were more than 800 animals on show, which put the fairgrounds at capacity for farm animals.

Last year's fair included the Empire Classic sheep show, which attracted competitors from all over the state. The show gave local youngsters a chance to learn from and compete against some of the very best competitors in the Northeast.

The beef show was also a big hit and attracted two farm families that hadn't shown beef at the Genesee County Fair in 40 years. They were quite pleased with what they found at the show.

"They went to Syracuse after that and they were telling people there, 'you've got to go to Genesee County next summer. You've got to be in this show. It's awesome. and their fairgrounds look great.' "

The two families were in Ohio the following week complimenting the Genesee County fair again, he said. 

"We now have two big nationally known exhibitors out talking about us," he said. "That's fantastic."

Not everything, though, is a home run. The midway -- all the rides and games -- is a fair essential, but it's also a reliable money loser.

"Our midway kills us, but you have to have one," Pimm said. "It sounds sad, but you have to have one. We had some fair board members say 'let's not have one.' You have to, so we just need to make it up somewhere else."

Part of what pays for the fair are all the other events that are hosted by the fairgrounds spring, summer and fall, from auctions and 4-H events to flea markets and horse shows.

The new horse barns, in fact, are a big attraction now and there is a horse show booked at the fairgrounds every weekend this summer. 

There's also going to be a statewide high school rodeo hosted by the fairgrounds this summer; it's the first held locally. If it goes well, Genesee County could be considered to host the national high school rodeo championship.

The Genesee County Agriculture Society is on a continuous improvement project with the fairgrounds and is about to embark on a $500,000 electrical upgrade of the entire grounds. Because of the cost, it will have to be done in stages, Pimm said. A recent grant of $90,000 from the governor's office will help the society get started, he said.

The County budget earmarks $9,500 in assistance to the Ag Society.

Improvements lead to more events to host, and more events help generate the funds for more improvements. The events throughout the year help pay for the fair which, even with all its success last year, still came up short of expenses by $4,400.

"We're trying to use the grounds as much as we can so we keep the revenue coming in and we can keep investing back into the grounds," Pimm said.

November 3, 2015 - 5:07pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Genesee County Fair, fairgrounds, batavia, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Agricultural Society is accepting proposals to lease and operate the 1/3 mile dirt oval race track for the 2016 racing season. Detailed proposals should be sent to [email protected] by Nov. 17th.

June 21, 2015 - 12:42pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, fairgrounds, horse show, agricultural society.

Riders of all ages and their horses competed in the Genesee County Agricultural Society's first Summer Kick Off Classic Horse Show at the fairgrounds this Sunday.

The horse show had 44 English and Western classes and six sweepstakes classes. 

Proceeds from the show will be used to repair stalls and add a schooling area for horses to exercise at the fairgrounds. The Agricultural Society hopes to make the horse show an annual event.

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Madison Drysdale wins First Place trophy in the Open Walk-Trot English Showmanship Class. 

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Stella and Cherie Glosser show off their award ribbons they won in the Hunter Hack classes.

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Liz Osborn sang the national anthem.

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Show managers Crista Boldt and Amanda Gallo.

July 20, 2014 - 6:22pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in batavia, fairgrounds, Genesee County Fair.

A little rain did nothing to deter fairgoers from enjoying the final day of the Genesee County Fair. As of Saturday morning, approximately 14,000 visitors attended the 175th County Fair in Batavia.

“Overall includes lifetime members, volunteers and 4-H’ers and the 9,500 that paid at the gate and thus far 14,000 people have visited the 175th Genesee County Fair,” said  

Norm Pimm, treasurer for the Agricultural Society.

According to Nick O’Geen of the Agricultural Society, the cooler, nicer weather this year played a part in drawing a crowd. Additionally, the number of vendors and local people that have had displays is greater this year, according to Agricultural Society Secretary Rose Topolski.

“Several local businesses have set up (displays/food stands), so there is a familiarity to them; people recognize local shops,” Topolski said.

Entertainment options have been ramped up to draw families as well as adults. 

“We’ve kept the family entertainment tent but we also added a beer tent with entertainment for the older crowd,” said Agricultural Society Member Alton MacDuffie.

Other additions to the fair included adding the Princess Contest and new sponsors for the Tractor Pull.

“A lot of new 4-H members put forth ideas and carried through on them,” Topolski said. “The young blood brought forth more to the fair -- more grandeur.”

“For a week people become like your family because you see and wave to them every day.” O'Geen said.

A fond farewell to this year’s Genesee County Fair -- the 175th Anniversary celebrations came to a close Saturday night.

“We’d like to thank all the 4-h'ers, volunteers, sponsors, and fair supporters for making the 175th Genesee County Fair a success,” O’Geen said. 

May 12, 2008 - 6:13pm

Gov. David Paterson and Sen. Chuck Schumer visited the Grange at the Genesee County Fairgrounds today for a forum on agriculture. More than 100 farmers from upstate counties came out to attend the Q&A session that kicked off with a brief recap of the federal Farm Bill by Schumer.

About 20 people lined up at the microphone for a chance to ask the governor questions on agricultural policy and the future of upstate farms. In fact, there were so many folks interested in getting their voice heard that the governor didn't have time to address them all — and an event that was expected to last about a half-hour ran well over an hour. Immigrant labor and supporting youth education in agriculture were among the many issues raised by the public.

Paterson was joined by state Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith who took up the issue of immigrant labor. From a released statement issued by the governor's office after the event:

Farmers have been increasingly frustrated at their inability to find qualified workers to harvest their crops, hampered in large part by federal regulations requiring them to exhaust all domestic possibilities before being granted waivers to hire non-domestic workers. Farmers insist the supply of farmhands is far outweighed by the demand, and without sufficient federal waivers from the Bush Administration, crops will literally die on the vine.

The governor also discussed a state program to fight the Plum Pox virus that threatens "stone fruit crops" such as peaches. The program will continue to study infected crops and reimburse farmers for their losses from destroyed crops.

UPDATE: The blog Poltics on the Hudson covers Gov. Paterson's visit:

Business leaders in upstate are criticizing the governor’s plans to go back to the old policy, in which a New York City chairperson oversees the state’s entire economic development program.

Right now, Dan Gundersen serves as the upstate chair, based out of Buffalo.

“No one has said that we are taking Mr. Gundersen away from upstate,” Paterson told reporters after a town-hall meeting in Batavia on farm issues with Sen. Charles Schumer.  ...

“And I certainly understand that the economy is reeling, the anxiety is overflowing in upstate New York.”

Paterson went on to say that “I wanted to have an ability of the agency to have a centralized organization” yet he doesn’t plan to diminish any services to upstate.

“If we don’t change something, we’re not going to have improvement around here,” Paterson said.

“And I would invite some of those who said they were irked, to please call me because I let them know since the time I was in office two months ago that if they ever had a problem, they should call me and not one of them have called me in the past few days.”

Also, here's News 10's coverage.  And Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Albany Watch blog wonders why Paterson has missed four consecutive legislative work days.

His absence is giving rise to speculation that he doesn’t intend to push an aggressive agenda for the rest of the legislative session.

“It’s hard to drive the Albany agenda without being in Albany,’’ said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “That’s why the Executive Mansion is in Albany.’‘

 

Update posted by Howard Owens

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