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December 3, 2019 - 4:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in Charles Schumer, agriculture, business, industrial hemp.

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that following his major push, the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), in tandem with the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, have confirmed the legality of banks and other financial institutions extending services and products to industrial hemp-oriented businesses and farms.

Schumer explained that without access to traditional financial services, local farmers and the industrial hemp industry across Upstate New York had been unfairly restricted on capital investment, preventing further economic growth and the creation of good-paying jobs, and choking off valuable income for farmers.

Lack of Awareness By Lending Institutions

Schumer said the lack of awareness by lending institutions about the legality of industrial hemp had created an unwarranted murkiness around the legality of financing hemp-oriented businesses — and that new guidance was urgently needed.

With that now cleared up, the industrial hemp industry can continue to seed and grow across Upstate New York.

“This is a strong step in the right direction to boost the growth of the industrial hemp industry, and I am glad federal regulators, including the Fed, heeded my call to provide clarity to banks that industrial hemp is fully legal and their member banks are free to lend to farmers and producers," Schumer said.

"Now that the feds have issued to lenders updated guidance clarifying hemp’s legality as a crop, the industry will really start to take root and grow. I fought so hard to strip the burdensome and outdated federal regulations from industrial hemp because of all the good it can do for our farmers, our economy and our consumers. Today’s updated financial guidance related to industrial hemp means that we’re one big step closer to the complete emergence of a job-creating, economy-boosting industry across New York State.”

No More 'Suspicious Activity Reports' for Industrial Hemp-oriented Businesses

Specifically, the Fed, FDIC, FinCEN and OCC announced that under the Bank Secrecy Act, banks will no longer have to file Suspicious Activity Reports for industrial hemp-oriented businesses seeking to attain loans or other services. Schumer explained that this will significantly increase the likelihood that these businesses receive financial services, and help the industry continue growing and creating good-paying jobs for New Yorkers.

Schumer explained that since the 2018 Farm Bill removed the federal regulatory shackles from industrial hemp production, manufacturing, and selling, New York’s industrial hemp industry has started to grow significantly, with new farms and businesses emerging and existing ones expanding operations. This has brought considerably more good-paying jobs and revenue to Upstate New York, making industrial hemp a critical new part of the state’s agricultural future.

That being said, as industrial hemp farmers and businesses are exploring the full benefits of the 2018 Farm Bill, they have experienced serious difficulty accessing financial products with regulatory uncertainty at financial institutions. While some companies have agreed to offer financial services to the growing hemp industry, many have not due to confusion over the crop’s legal status.

The Schumer-backed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). It passed and was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

This legislation:

  • Removes industrial hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act;
  • Empowers states to be the principal regulators of hemp;
  • Allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); 
  • And makes hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance.

Industrial hemp is a type of cannabis plant that is grown largely for industrial uses, but it can also be used for food, oil, and cosmetic products.

The Roadblock of a Spec of THC Lifted

Hemp contains a very small amount, typically between 0.2 and 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and while from the same species of plant as marijuana, it has varied widely in use. However, due to the existence of THC in hemp, Schumer explained, both plants were considered “controlled substances” under federal law, meaning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was the primary regulator for hemp production.

Schumer argued that this narrow view has undermined the crop’s agricultural and economic potential.

With the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed by Congress and signed into law last year, this unnecessary roadblock has been lifted, and industrial hemp’s significant potential to become a cash crop in Upstate New York will be unleashed.

November 27, 2019 - 1:18pm
posted by Billie Owens in Basom, hemp, business, agriculture.

Press release:

Standing at Gina and Terry Miller’s Organic Hemp Farm in Albion, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, flanked by farmers and industry experts, today called on the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend the comment period for a proposed interim final rule that presents a number of potential problems and challenges to the rapidly emerging and growing industrial hemp industry in Orleans County, Genesee County and throughout the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region.

Schumer urged the USDA to listen to these concerns from growers and producers and to make improvements to the final rule. Last month, he visited the Mills Family Farm on Ham Road in Basom to get input from local farmers.

Specifically, Schumer expressed his concern over USDA’s proposed "Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program," which was published on Oct. 31st of this year. Schumer explained that he’s been approached by farmers, producers and stakeholders from across the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region who have concerns that the proposed regulations regarding the sampling and testing of hemp are imprecise, not fully reflective of farmers’ challenges, and could have a seriously negative impact on the fledgling industry, stunting growth and the creation of good-paying jobs.

Industrial hemp is a type of cannabis plant that is grown largely for industrial uses, but it can also be used for food, oil, and cosmetic products.

Schumer argued that given the new nature of this industry and the economic potential it holds, USDA should extend the comment period for the "Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program" interim final rule, and improve the regulations, to ensure that farmers and the public have ample time to submit comments to help guide the best possible final rule for establishing the hemp program.

“When it comes to an industry as promising as industrial hemp in the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, the feds need to get it right the first time, and not rush to any reckless regulatory decisions. Regulating this rapidly-emerging industry is a must, but any rules must be part of a well-thought-out process that carefully considers the needs of all stakeholders—from farmers and growers to producers and manufacturers,” Senator Schumer said.

“That’s why today I’m urging USDA to extend the comment period for its proposed final rule on hemp production to ensure that farmers, growers and producers have ample time to provide input and have their concerns listened to and that a meaningful part of these concerns is integrated into the final rule.

"These hemp experts have serious fears about how this proposed rulemaking could impose unrealistic or poorly thought out rules, restrict their industry, cut-off growth and stop the creation of good-paying jobs. So, it is incumbent on USDA, the chief agricultural regulators in the United States, to hear them out and make improvements to the final regulations that are balanced and smart.”

Schumer explained that the proposed rule, which is a necessary step to support domestic industrial hemp production, potentially includes regulations that could have harmful effects on hemp production in Upstate New York and the entire nation. The comment period for the proposed "Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program" began on Oct. 31 and is set to end on Dec. 31st of this year.

However, Schumer argued, with stakeholders having such serious and valid concerns about the rule, it is critical that they have adequate time to submit their comments on it. Therefore, Schumer strongly urged USDA to extend the public comment period by 60 days, so that growers and producers have ample time to make their case—and so it can be thoroughly reviewed and analyzed to best address the concerns of hemp producers throughout Upstate New York.

Schumer pointed to a few provisions under the proposed "Establishment of a Domestic Hemp Production Program" final rule that farmers and producers have expressed their concerns over, specifically related to the timeframe for sampling and testing of industrial hemp, the lack of available places to do this testing, the guidelines for THC level testing, and the restrictiveness for retesting if the threshold for THC exceeds allowable levels.

For example, under the rule, producers would have a 15-day timeframe for the harvesting, sampling and testing of crops. However, Schumer explained, since this testing typically takes 5-6 business days alone, the proposed final rule creates a tight turnaround and affords farmers very little leeway in the prescribed timeline.

Furthermore, Schumer explained the short 15-day window may be further hindered by the potential scarcity of DEA-registered laboratories in state, to perform testing in a timely manner. Additionally, Schumer said the current draft regulations do not afford any provisions for growers to salvage or retest crops that initial tests exceed the established .03 THC threshold. Crop insurance, which is often difficult to procure, still affords no protections for most farmers in these circumstances.

Other concerns highlighted by Schumer pertain to the sampling methodology to determine accurate THC levels.

Hemp contains a very small amount, typically between 0.2 and 0.3 percent of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and while from the same species of plant as marijuana, it has varied widely in use. However, due to the existence of THC in hemp, Schumer explained, both plants were considered “controlled substances” under federal law, meaning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was the primary regulator for hemp production.

Schumer argued that this narrow view has undermined the crop’s agricultural and economic potential. With the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed by Congress and signed into law last year, this unnecessary roadblock has been lifted, and industrial hemp’s significant potential to become a cash crop in Upstate New York will be unleashed.

The Schumer-backed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR). It passed and was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill.

This legislation:

  • Removed industrial hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act;
  • Empowered states to be the principal regulators of hemp;
  • Allowed hemp researchers to apply for competitive grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
  • Made hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance.
November 26, 2019 - 2:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, celebrate agriculture dinner.

Press release:

Plans are already underway for the 18th annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner, which will take place Saturday, April 18 at 6 p.m. at the Alexander Fire Hall. This annual event is a celebration of Genesee County’s agriculture industry.

The highlight of the night is a delicious meal using locally produced foods prepared by Penna’s Catering. The dinner is open to the public.

Tickets go on sale Dec. 2 at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (8276 Park Road, Batavia). Tickets are $30 each or a table of 10 can be purchased for $275. Sponsorships are also available which help support agriculture educational events in Genesee County.

Only 400 tickets will be sold. Order your tickets now as they will not be available 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 Soil & Water Conservation District and Genesee County Farm Bureau.

Sponsors of the 2019 celebration included: Alexander Equipment, Alleghany Farm Services, Arctic Refrigeration, Baskin Livestock Inc., Carolina Eastern Crocker, CPL, CY Farms/Batavia Turf, Farm Credit East, Farm Family Insurance, Freed Maxick CPA, Lamb Farms, Lawley, My-T Acres, National Grid, NY Pork Producers Cooperative, OXBO International, Rochester Regional Health -- UMMC, Scott Adams Trucking, Senator Ranzenhofer, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Torrey Farms, William Kent Inc. and Windy Acres Farm.

Farms and businesses that donated locally grown food for the 2019 dinner included: Dairy Farmers of America, Dorman Farms, Fenton’s Produce, Love Beets Inc., M-B Farms, New York Chips, O-AT-KA Milk, SJ Starowitz Farms, Torrey Farms, Upstate Niagara Co-op. and Yancey’s Fancy.

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

November 15, 2019 - 12:25pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (Nov. 15) released a report detailing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Market Facilitation Program (MFP) has treated Upstate farmers unfairly—and launched a new effort to restore parity to the system.

The MFP is designed to reimburse the farms that have been damaged by the turbulent trade climate across the globe, and has distributed $25 billion in mitigation payments to help farmers recover in recent months.

However, Schumer explained, this funding was distributed unevenly, sending 95 percent of the top payment rates to Southern farmers, who have been harmed less than other regions, and helping farms owned by billionaires and foreign-owned companies.

To address this disparity that is negatively impacting Upstate farmers, who are in dire need of assistance, Schumer urged USDA to improve the MFP to better support small New York farmers.

“This report shows that as Upstate farmers are grappling with extreme uncertainty caused by the chaotic global trade climate, USDA is using a flawed formula that helps big, wealthy farms and billion-dollar foreign-owned companies, while our small and family farms in New York have been left in the dust,” Senator Schumer said.

“The USDA must stop picking winners and losers in such an unbalanced way, and instead ensure all of America’s and Upstate New York’s farmers get the help they need and deserve—not just a lucky few.”

Farmers across New York State are being treated unfairly in many ways, including:

  • Farmers in New York are receiving $41.10 less per acre than farmers in Georgia and other Southern states;
  • Even within New York the difference in payments from county to county can be significant and cause similar farms to get vastly different payments. For example, Orleans County has a payment rate of $48 per acre, yet Warren County has a rate of $15 per acre. For an average-sized farm this is a difference in payments of $9,936 and $3,105 for Upstate farms that likely have very similar growing conditions;
  • At a county level, the average payment rate in New York was $28 per acres. However, many counties in Southern states received the maximum payment rate of $150 per acre. With more than 33,400 farms across New York, averaging about 207 acres each, NY farmers would receive a payment of about $5,796, while the same sized farm in one of these other Southern counties would receive $31,050(delta: $25,254).
  • USDA currently ignores any trade damage not related to its own chaotic trade actions and largely shuts out Upstate New York’s specialty crops from direct assistance.
  • Instead of taking steps to support small and beginning operations, USDA doubled the payment limit for row crop payments from $125,000 to $250,000. This change will concentrate payments even more in the large complicated farming conglomerates.
  • Rather than using current production numbers, USDA based payments to dairy farmers on data that are 6 to 8 years old.

In the bipartisan 2018 Farm Bill, Congress provided balanced support to help farmers manage market instability across the country and provided permanent support for USDA export market development programs.

Schumer raised concerns that the administration’s policy upends this careful compromise, replaces income from markets with government payments, creates vast inequities, and does not address the actual trade damage to farmers who have been hit the hardest.

NY County

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St. Lawrence
























































    October 29, 2019 - 1:35pm
    posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, USDA, news, education, scholarships.

    WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the opening of the 2020 scholarship application cycle for the USDA/1890 National Scholars Program.

    The program aims to increase the number of students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. The program is available through the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement (OPPE).

    The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program was established in 1992 as part of the partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the 19 1890 Land-Grant Universities (PDF, 1.2 MB).

    The program provides full tuition, fees, books, room and board to students pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, or related academic disciplines. When the student has completed the academic and summer work requirements of the scholarship, USDA may convert the student to a permanent employee without further competition.

    Currently, USDA and 1890 Land-Grant Universities are providing scholarships to 109 students.

    “The Scholars Program is an important way to collaborate with historically black land-grant universities and train the workforce for 21st century agriculture.” said Mike Beatty, director of USDA’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement.

    This program is among several USDA efforts to build the capacity of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Since the passage of the Second Morrill Act of 1890, USDA has supported scholarships, research, education, extension activities, and grants for facilities and equipment at these institutions.

    The USDA/1890 National Scholars Program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college, and college sophomores. General requirements include U.S. citizenship, a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a score of 1080 or more on the SAT or 21 or more on the ACT, and acceptance to, or currently attending an 1890 University to study agriculture, food, and natural resources.

    The scholarship is renewable each year and is contingent on satisfactory academic performance and normal progress toward the bachelor’s degree. Additional requirements are listed in the application package.

    All application materials must be postmarked by Friday, Jan. 31. See the 2020 high school application (PDF, 337 KB) and the 2020 college application (PDF, 347 KB) for details. For other questions, email: [email protected]

    October 29, 2019 - 12:56pm
    posted by Billie Owens in hemp growers, agriculture, business.
    WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the establishment of the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program.
    This program, as required by the 2018 Farm Bill, creates a consistent regulatory framework around hemp production throughout the United States.
    “At USDA, we are always excited when there are new economic opportunities for our farmers, and we hope the ability to grow hemp will pave the way for new products and markets,” Secretary Perdue said.
    “We have had teams operating with all hands-on-deck to develop a regulatory framework that meets Congressional intent while seeking to provide a fair, consistent, and science-based process for states, tribes, and individual producers who want to participate in this program.”
    Later this week, an interim final rule formalizing the program will be published in the Federal Register that will allow hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans and make hemp producers eligible for a number of agricultural programs.
    The rule includes provisions for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve hemp production plans developed by states and Indian tribes including: requirements for maintaining information on the land where hemp is produced; testing the levels of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol; disposing of plants not meeting necessary requirements; and licensing requirements.
    It also establishes a federal plan for hemp producers in states or territories of Indian tribes that do not have their own approved hemp production plan.
    The interim final rule becomes effective upon publication in the Federal Register. Following publication, USDA invites public comment on the interim rule and the information collection burden. A preview of the rule is posted on USDA’s website.
    USDA also developed guidelines for sampling and testing procedures that are being issued concurrently with this rule. These documents provide additional information for sampling agents and hemp testing laboratories.
    More information about the provisions of the interim final rule is available on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program webpage on the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) website.
    Once state and tribal plans are in place, hemp producers will be eligible for a number of USDA programs, including insurance coverage through Whole-Farm Revenue Protection. For information on available programs, visit here.
    October 28, 2019 - 4:24pm

    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 Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at the Genesee County 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 also be passed out at this time.

    Classroom instruction dates are Dec. 10 and 11, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building, 420 E. Main St. in Batavia.

    Drive times will be scheduled with the instructor at a later date.

    Class A drivers must be at least 21 years of age and Class B drivers must be at least 18 years of age.

    Full payment (check or cash) is due at the class on Dec. 10. The cost for Class A is $775 and the cost for Class B is $600.

    Registration is required and will be accepted until Dec. 3 or until the class is full. Class size is limited.

    For more information or to register, please contact Jan Beglinger at 585-343-3040, ext. 132.

    October 24, 2019 - 11:46am

    Press release:

    The Genesee Country Farmers' Market @ The Downtown Batavia Public Market will close for the season at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25th.

    It is located on the corner of Bank Street and Alva Place in the Downtown Batavia Business District. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. -- today (Oct. 24) and tomorrow.

    The season began June 7. Though locations have changed, the market has been provided the freshest locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as specialty artisnal items to the greater Batavia area and Genesee County for 45 years.

    The Market would like to thank everyone that helped to make the 2019 market a success: our loyal customers, generous sponsors, the City of Batavia, and the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID).

    October 23, 2019 - 2:55pm
    posted by Billie Owens in hemp, CBD, agriculture, business, senator charles schumer.

    Press release:

    On a conference call with reporters and in the midst of an industrial hemp explosion across Upstate New York — triggered by a Schumer-championed provision in the recently passed Farm Bill — U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue guidance and allow producers to fully take advantage of the popular cannabidiol (CBD) market and also protect consumers.

    Even though CBD products have gained popularity since the 2018 Farm Bill legalized the farming, manufacturing, and selling of industrial hemp, Schumer explained that the FDA has yet to set regulations or safety requirements for CBD derived from hemp.

    According to Schumer, the lack of federal guidance and clarity is sowing chaos for both consumers and in the rapidly-emerging Upstate New York industrial hemp industry, which saw sales of CBD products surpass $200 million nationally in 2018.

    To address this lack of clarity, to protect consumers, and to allow the industrial hemp industry to maximize job creation from this cash crop, Schumer urged the FDA to expediently issue guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD products.

    “CBD is brimming with potential to be a billion dollar industry across New York State, bringing along countless jobs and truly meaningful economic development with it. But before that can happen, farmers, growers, producers, consumers and vendors need to know exactly what the rules of the road are and right now they’ve got no idea,” Senator Schumer said.

    “That’s why I’m calling on the FDA to do its job in a timely manner and issue guidance related to CBD classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sales. And once the feds spell out these ABC’s of CBD, the industry will seed and grow from one corner of the state to the other, many jobs will be created in the industrial hemp space, and farmers will be able to safely cash in on this cash crop.”

    CBD is one of the two main chemical compounds that can be found in the cannabis plant. However, CBD is not psychoactive, meaning that it cannot get a person high—like tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other chemical compound found in many types of cannabis plants, primarily marijuana. CBD products have become exceptionally popular in the marketplace, with estimated sales of CBD-containing products, such as oils, gummies, balms, lotions, and capsules, surpassing $200 million in 2018.

    According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, there are currently just under 500 people, businesses, and organizations spread across New York State licensed to grow and process industrial hemp.

    According to news reports, roughly three-quarters of those licenses were approved for the purposes of cultivating and extracting CBD. Currently, there are 18,000 acres of land licensed for industrial hemp growing in New York State, with 14,000 designated for CBD cultivation and extraction.

    Furthermore, of New York’s 62 counties, 56 are home to industrial hemp farms and related growing operations. Schumer says these figures show just how much potential CBD products have to boost the economy across New York State, should clear guidance on CBD be issued by the FDA.

    Schumer pointed out that the FDA is responsible for protecting public health, and guidance related to CBD is desperately needed to ensure that products on the market are safe. He also said that consumers rely on the FDA to conduct timely and appropriate oversight of new and emerging ingredients, like CBD, and that guidance from the agency would provide crucial direction for manufacturers seeking a pathway to develop safe and credible products for consumers.

    Schumer argued that the market for CBD products is rapidly growing and that the agency must expedite its efforts to promote accuracy and transparency within the CBD industry. Specifically, Schumer called on the FDA to provide an outline of its plans for a regulatory framework related to CBD, as well as a timeline for when comprehensive enforcement policies for CBD products will be finalized and implemented.

    The Schumer-backed Hemp Farming Act of 2018 was introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). It passed and was signed into law as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. This legislation:

    • Removes industrial hemp from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act;
    • Empowers states to be the principal regulators of hemp;
    • Allows hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA); and
    • Makes hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance.

    Industrial hemp is a type of cannabis plant that is grown largely for industrial uses, but it can also be used for food, oil, and cosmetic products. Hemp contains a very small amount of THC, typically between 0.2 and 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis, and while from the same species of plant as marijuana, the two plants have varied widely in use.

    However, due to the existence of THC in hemp, Schumer explained, both plants were considered “controlled substances” under federal law, meaning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was the primary regulator for hemp production.

    Schumer argued that this narrow view has undermined the crop’s agricultural and economic potential. With the Hemp Farming Act of 2018 passed by Congress and signed into law last year, this unnecessary roadblock has been lifted, and industrial hemp’s significant potential to become a cash crop in Upstate New York’s will be unleashed.

    Below is the full text of the letter Schumer sent to Acting Commissioner Norman Sharpless.


    Dear Acting Commissioner Sharpless:

    We write today to ask that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urgently clarify and implement regulations for cannabidiol (CBD) derived from hemp. Since the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill (P.L. 115-334), which paved the way for industrial hemp cultivation and marketing, farmers, processors and retailers across the country are eager to enter this new market and leverage its potential. With new products containing CBD becoming available nearly every day, your agency’s lack of an official stance on this ingredient remains confusing to manufacturers and potentially dangerous to consumers. It is now imperative that the FDA finalize and implement a comprehensive regulatory framework for CBD, including guidance on the classification, labeling, quality, marketing, and sale of CBD-containing products, to ensure each manufacturer is producing safe and effective products for consumers. In accordance with your agency’s July statement regarding CBD oversight, we expect an update on your activities no later than 90 days from today’s date.

    The CBD industry has exploded in recent years. Estimated annual sales of CBD-containing products were over $200 million in 2018, and CBD oils, gummies, balms, lotions, capsules, and other products are broadly available and widely advertised in stores and online. However, as the CBD industry expands, the lack of clarity and regulation around CBD use has created significant confusion and uncertainty among stakeholders in every segment of the supply chain. It is crucial that the FDA remain proactive in its duty to safeguard public health, protect consumers from potentially unsafe products, and provide a predictable pathway to market for producers and manufacturers.

    Purveyors of CBD-containing products attribute a wide range of health benefits to this ingredient, including relieving pain and anxiety, preventing seizures, treating post-traumatic stress disorder, and easing inflammation. But consumers still lack answers to questions about the potential risks, including adverse side effects and drug interactions, associated with CBD.

    Consumers rely on the FDA to conduct timely and appropriate oversight of new and emerging ingredients, and guidance from the FDA would also help manufacturers to develop safer, more effective, and more credible products for consumer use. The market for CBD products is rapidly outpacing the FDA’s current regulatory efforts, and your agency clearly must expedite its efforts to promote accuracy and transparency within the CBD industry. It is imperative that any comprehensive regulatory framework for products containing CBD provide straightforward guidance to manufacturers and retailers who wish to incorporate CBD into new products.

    Consumers and manufacturers of this fledgling industry are counting on regulatory oversight and certainty that only the FDA can provide. Your efforts to date have been woefully inadequate. Within 90 days please provide our offices with an outline of your agency’s current plans for a specific regulatory framework related to CBD along with a timeline for when comprehensive enforcement policies for CBD products will be finalized and implemented.

    Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to your response.

    U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer

    October 2, 2019 - 12:24am
    posted by Howard B. Owens in hemp, agriculture, news, Basom, video.
    Video Sponsor

    Hemp could be big business in Western New York, the way Sen. Chuck Schumer sees it, but right now bank regulators are standing in the way.

    As part of the most recent Farm Bill, Schumer teamed up with Sen. Mitch McConnell to take hemp off the list of Schedule I drugs and make growing it for cultivation legal. Farmers can even qualify for crop insurance when they grow it.

    But banks have been unwilling to extend credit to farmers who want to start or expand hemp operations.

    Today, Schumer was at Mills Family Farm on Ham Road in Basom to announce a new push by his office to get bank regulators to hurry up and write guidelines for banks seeking to do business with hemp growers.

    "Hemp is harmless and in fact it's useful," Schumer said. "It's a very versatile and vital crop and it has much, much less THC, which is the active ingredient in marijuana, than marijuana."

    He said besides producing CDB oil, it's used in cosmetics, construction materials, side doors of cars, and several other uses, he said.

    "You know, everyone thought hemp was just for ropes but it is for much more," Schumer said.

    Banks want to lend to hemp farmers, he said, but they're worried about getting in trouble with banking regulators, because of the association with marijuana, without specific, written guidelines.

    "They know it's profitable loaning lending for them but they need this clearance from the regulators and today I am starting a major push to get the regulators to put out their guidelines about lending to hemp farms," Schumer said.

    Brad Mills started growing hemp this year but he said without access to credit, it will be hard to expand hemp acreage next year, and hemp, in the current market, has attractive profit margins.

    "On a small family farm, we had the equipment, we obviously had the land -- some of the best land in the state, and I would argue the nation for growing hemp at our disposal  -- but as we began to move along we saw obstacles," Mills said. "We really do need financing for things and that includes sophisticated equipment for the growing of hemp that a corn or dairy farmer just doesn't have along with that, the costs of buying clones, buying seeds, buying sprouting equipment to get those seeds going.

    "None of that your average small dairy farmer or crop farmer would have. And that's very necessary equipment for moving forward in this industry. Our profits from this year's crop likely won't be enough to both establish that equipment and then move forward with a larger planting from next year. So we really need financing in place for that.

    "And beyond that, you know moving forward, there's a real shortage of drying and processing facilities in the state as well. As we advance this farm ideally in the future, we would like to get into our own drying and processing. But you know these are all obstacles to overcome. We need financing."

    September 20, 2019 - 11:43am

    Press release:

    Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today (Sept. 20) highlighting actions announced by the Department of Labor (DOL) which will modernize the burdensome H2A visa process.

    First, DOL published a common-sense rule that eliminates the requirement to advertise a job opening in print newspapers, instead shifting to advertising on the DOL and State Workforce Agency websites, which are further reaching and more cost effective. Also, DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification announced updates to the pertinent H-2A forms and online filing process for the H-2A temporary agricultural program.

    These two actions will ease regulatory burdens on our farmers and ranchers, making it easier for them to follow the law and hire farm workers through the H-2A program.

    “Both of these actions by DOL are critical changes the Administration is making to improve the H-2A application process,” Secretary Perdue said. “President Trump is committed to ensuring our farmers and producers have access to a stable, legal agricultural workforce.

    "By streamlining these processes, DOL is bringing the H-2A process into the 21st century allowing farmers to be able to better and cost-effectively advertise for workers they need and fill out the required forms faster and more efficiently, because no one should have to hire a lawyer to hire a farm worker. I commend President Trump for his continued support of America’s farmers, ranchers and producers.”


    In addition to making it easier for Americans to find and fill open jobs, the Final Rule will reduce regulatory burdens like the requirement that all employers advertise in a print newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment as the method of recruitment. Department of Labor’s system updates increase ease of use for farmers and producers who apply for H-2A employees.

    As any employer knows, hiring forms, applications and rules are cumbersome, time intensive, and duplicative that lack flexibility and common sense. These changes demonstrate the Trump Administration’s commitment to releasing the regulatory burden from our agricultural producers, making it easier for them to hire a stable and legal workforce. The more time a farmer spends on paperwork, the less productive they are, hurting their business and way of life.

    DOL’s new labor application process modernizes two forms by making them electronic forms, removing time intensive paper applications that require delivery via mailing. The Department of Labor will continue to accept online submissions of the current Form ETA-9142A (and job orders uploaded using the current Form ETA-790, Agricultural and Food Processing Clearance Order) through the iCERT System until Oct. 16.

    Beginning Oct. 1, an employer seeking to employ emergency, H-2A workers or those starting on or after Dec. 15 must submit a job order using the new form ETA-790/790A (and corresponding addendums) and an H-2A application using the new form ETA-9142A (and corresponding appendices) in the FLAG System.For more information, visit DOL’s Foreign Labor Application Gateway(FLAG) page.

    DOL’s Electronic Recruitment Rule rescinds the requirements to advertise a job opening in the newspaper, expands and enhances electronic job register, and uses State Workforce Agencies to promote job openings.

    September 17, 2019 - 11:26am

    Press release:

    The checkoff-funded Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program has launched a new training and certification program for cattle transportation.

    The program, known as Beef Quality Assurance Transportation (BQAT), provides cattle producers and haulers with comprehensive training based on their roles in the cattle industry. Two in-person trainings will be offered this Fall in partnership with Empire Livestock Marketing.

    On Tuesday, Oct. 8th from 6 to 9 p.m. a training will be held at the Pavilion Empire Livestock Market located at 357 Lake Street, Pavilion. The training is free to all attendees thanks to support from Cargill.

    The three-hour long training will include a classroom session, meal, and update on trailer inspections and common violations from the New York State Troopers.

    “By educating cattle haulers and producers on the best practices in cattle transportation, BQA is helping make improvements in cattle care and beef quality," said Chase DeCoite, director of Beef Quality Assurance for NCBA, a contractor to the beef checkoff.

    "Participating in BQA Transportation will be an indicator that the beef and dairy industries are committed to responsible animal care during transportation and makes both the BQA and dairy FARM animal care programs more complete.” 

    The BQA program was first funded by the beef checkoff in the early 1990s and developed its first guidance on transportation in 2006. Today, the program offers training and certification programs for all sectors of the industry: cow-calf, stocker and feedyard.

    This is the first time a nationally recognized certification has been offered for the transportation segment of the industry.

    To learn more about the trainings visit www.nybeef.org under Farmer’s Fencepost. Preregistration is required by Oct. 4 to plan for materials and meals. Contact Katherine Brosnan, [email protected] or call the NYBC office at 315-339-6922.

    To learn more about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com or www.nybeef.org.

    September 12, 2019 - 5:14pm
    posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, farmers, 2015 WOTUS rule.

    New York farmers, Congressman Chris Collins and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue applaud today's announcement that the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to rescind the 2015 Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

    From the New York Farm Bureau:

    Repeal of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule is a victory for clean water and clear rules, according to New York Farm Bureau.

    “Farmers share the goal of protecting the nation’s water, but the 2015 Waters of the United States rule was unreasonable and unworkable,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher.

    “It made protecting water quality and conservation efforts more difficult and created huge liabilities for farmers, especially when what waters would be regulated under the old rule could not be clearly defined. This turned farming into a guessing game on which land use required federal permits and what did not.”

    The administration’s repeal announcement follows a multi-year effort by the American Farm Bureau, New York Farm Bureau and an array of allies to raise awareness of overreaching provisions of the rule.

    “No regulation is perfect, and no rule can accommodate every concern, but the 2015 rule was especially egregious,” Fisher said. “We are relieved to put it behind us. We are now working to ensure a fair and reasonable substitute that protects our water and our ability to work and care for the land.”

    From Congressman Chris Collins:

    Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) praised EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s signing of the repeal of the Obama-Era Clean Water Rule, commonly known as the, “Waters of the United States.”

    The signing of the repeal is part of a two-step process ordered by President Donald Trump in February 2017. This first step overturns the Obama-era regulation and reenacts rules established prior to 2015. The second step of process is for the EPA to propose a replacement rule, which is expected before the end of this year.

    “This was nothing more than a giant power grab by the Obama Administration that had real and harmful consequences on America’s hardworking farmers and small business owners,” Congressman Collins said.

    “This rule has serious implications for our local farmers, it allows bureaucrats to determine if small divots or puddles were considered ‘navigable waters’. President Trump made a promise to farmers across the nation and I applaud him for keeping it by repealing these outrageous regulations. &rdquo

    In 2014, Congressman Collins attempted to block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from expanding federal control under the Clean Water Act by leading a letter to the EPA Administrator and the Department of Army Secretary urging them not the move forward. A majority of Congress signed on to Congressman Collins’ letter.

    Congressman Collins additionally was a cosponsor of H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, which would prevent the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers from implementing the proposed rule that would redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. This legislation passed in the House but was not taken up in the Senate.

    The repeal is expected to be challenged in court by a number of environmental groups.

    From U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue:

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for taking another step to fulfill President Trump’s pledge to repeal and replace the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

    “Repealing the WOTUS rule is a major win for American agriculture. The extreme overreach from the past Administration had government taking the productivity of the land people had worked for years,” Secretary Perdue said.

    “Farmers and ranchers are exceptional stewards of the land, taking great care to preserve it for generations to come. President Trump is making good on his promise to reduce burdensome regulations to free our producers to do what they do best – feed, fuel, and clothe this nation and the world.” 


    One of President Trump’s earliest acts in office was an Executive Order directing EPA and the Army Corps to review and potentially replace the Obama Administration’s definition of the “Waters of the United States.”

    The EPA and the Army Corps have repealed the 2015 Rule that impermissibly expanded the definition of “Waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.

    The agencies upcoming action will restore the regulatory text that existed prior to the 2015 Rule and will end the inconsistent regulatory patchwork that has created uncertainty and has hindered projects from moving forward that can benefit both the environment and the economy.

    The repeal remedies the legal and procedural deficiencies of the 2015 Rule, addresses the extensive litigation surrounding it, and recodifies and restores a regulatory process that has been in place for years. The new rule will provide regulatory certainty to our nation's farmers and businesses as to the definition of “Waters of the United States.”

    To learn more about EPA’s WOTUS Rule, click here.

    September 12, 2019 - 4:21pm

    Information from New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health:

    Genesee County is one of the state's top five farming counties by sales, with more acreage dedicated to corn for grain and silage than any other local crop. And this is the time of year motorists can expect to begin sharing the road more frequently with tractors, combines and other farm equipment.

    So it's an especially good time to pay attention on rural roads to reduce the likelihood of accidents.

    A fatal accident involving farm equipment occurred this year in Genesee County. In any given year, there are also accidents here involving farm equipment and motorists that result in minor or serious injuries.

    Though only 19 out of every 100 Americans live in rural areas, more than half of fatal roadway accidents take place in rural areas, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that agriculture, forestry, and fishing as an occupational group has the third highest rate of work-related roadway crashes.

    Collisions involving tractors and other farm equipment are the deadliest rural road accidents in New York.

    In fact, crashes involving agricultural vehicles were found to be five times more fatal than that of non-ag crashes, according to the Rural Road Accident Study by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH).

    The study was funded by Columbia University Center for Injury Science and Prevention and published recently in the Journal of Agromedicine. It was conducted because although agriculture-related crashes have been explored in the Midwest and South, little was known about agriculture-related crashes in the Northeast, specifically in New York.

    NYCAMH released its findings this week in advance of National Farm Safety & Health Week (Sept. 15-21) and as the harvest season approaches.

    For the study, electronic records from the NYS Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Accident Reports (MV-104) for 2010-2012 were analyzed. Agricultural cases were identified using variables for the vehicle body type and vehicle registration.

    During this three-year time frame, NYCAMH researchers identified 203 agriculture-related accidents involving 381 vehicles and 482 people.

    Of the agriculture incidents, 91.6 property caused property damage, while 36 percent caused injury.

    Incidents involving farm vehicles or equipment tended to be more severe than non-ag crashes in terms of the number of vehicles involved, the extent of the injuries, and the number of resulting deaths.

    Of the agriculture-related incidents, the most common event was a collision with another vehicle (80.8 percent). The second most common was a collision with a fixed object such as a ditch or embankment (10.3 percent), followed by an overturn/non-collision event (3.4 percent).

    Poor weather conditions were rarely a factor in these events.

    The study found straightaways tend to be most common crash site and crashes on straight roads with a grade were twice as common in ag-related crashes than in non-ag crashes.

    NYCAMH deputy director Erika Scott speculates that this is due to non-agriculture vehicles attempting to pass slower-moving agriculture machinery on straightaways.

    Although one likes being caught behind a tractor or other slow-moving farm vehicle, waiting a minute or two before you pass could make a lifetime’s difference.

    NYCAMH has worked with the New York State Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee on issues surrounding slow-moving vehicle use. These initiatives have brought together the farming community, safety professionals and emergency services to raise awareness of slow-moving vehicles on the roadway.

    If you’d like more information on this research, please contact the NYCAMH information specialist at [email protected] The abstract for this article can be found here.

    Know the Signs

    A bright orange triangle-shaped Slow Moving Vehicle (SMV) emblem, by law, must be mounted on any machinery that travels less than 25 mph on public roads.

    NEW: A Speed Identification Symbol (SIS) is newly required by NYS law for equipment that moves between 25 and 40 mph.

    Examples of slow-moving vehicles that these regulations apply to include tractors, self-propelled agricultural equipment, implements of husbandry, road construction and maintenance machinery, and animal-powered vehicles.

    Seconds Count -- Tips for Sharing the Road with Farm Equipment during the Growing Season:


    • Slow down. The faster you drive, the longer the stopping distance. When speed doubles from 30 mph to 60 mph, the stopping distance more than triples.
    • Never pass with limited visibility or in a no-passing zone.
    • Be alert for farm equipment that may be turning left. Tractors not only turn onto roads or into driveways but can also turn into fields.
    • Slow down and increase following distance if you come upon equipment with an SMV emblem.


    • Machinery must display a slow moving vehicle emblem when traveling under 25 mph. In addition to the SMV emblem, tractors and machinery must also display a speed-appropriate speed identification symbol (SIS) when travelling between 25 and 40 mph. Never exceed the top-rated speed of any trailed implements.
    • Use proper lighting on farm equipment, including flashing amber lights in the front and rear. Use lights and flashers at all times of the day for increased visibility. Use of lights on tractors is required after dark and during times when visibility is reduced under 1000 feet.
    • Stay in the lane, do not drive equipment half on the shoulder and half on the road. A tractor can easily lose control on a soft shoulder. Ditches that parallel most rural NY roadsides can cause potentially fatal rollovers for tractors.


    • Look down the road as far as possible to be aware of what is coming and increase your warning time. At 60 mph, a vehicle is covering 88 feet per second.
    • Distractions can double your reaction time. Pay attention and keep your phone shut off while driving. Hands-free phones are legal to use but can still be a distraction.

    Top photo -- file photo from accident scene on April 13, 2017 on Route 20, Bethany. The wrecked tractor-trailer passed another tractor-trailer on a hill only to come upon a farm tractor towing a manure spreader. The farm tractor had just made a left-hand turn into a driveway, but the manure spreader was still in the roadway and the passing tractor-trailer clipped the rear of it and tore off the spreader's rear axel. Loaded with 80,000 pounds of cargo, the big rig continued off roadway into a guard rail and down a deep culvert into a creek filled with water. The trucker suffered a big bump on his forehead. Citations were issued. They had a lot of manure to clean up on Route 20 as a result of the accident.

    Inset photo of SMV/SIS sign and bottom photo on rural road courtesy of New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.

    NYCAMH, a program of Bassett Healthcare Network, is enhancing agricultural and rural health by preventing and treating occupational injury and illness.

    September 4, 2019 - 2:50pm
    posted by Billie Owens in elba, agriculture, education, stem, Grow Rural Education, news.

    Press release:

    ELBA -- Elba Central School has been awarded a $10,000 grant to enhance its curriculum for STEM -- Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

    By working with farmers, America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Program, sponsored by the Bayer Fund, awarded $2.3 million in grants nationwide this year to strengthen STEM education in rural schools.

    The schools that received grants were nominated and selected by farmers in their communities and Elba's farmers answered the call to strengthen STEM education.

    Elba's grant will allow it to produce and broadcast video announcements.

    There will be a check presentation at the Monday, Sept. 9 Board of Education meeting at 7 p.m. at the Elba Central School Library Media Center. (The school is located at 57 S. Main St. in Elba.)

    ​Grow Rural Education has distributed more than $18 million in grants to more than 1,000 rural public school districts since 2011. 

    For each grant-winning school, teachers, students and, oftentimes, community members develop plans to create more engaging and innovative STEM programs.

    Grow Rural Education grants have helped schools purchase an array of STEM-related materials, such as augmented-reality sandboxes, weather-forecasting and robotics equipment.

    To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, farmers nominated a school or school district to compete for a merit-based grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. School districts that were nominated then submitted a grant application describing their STEM-focused project.

    Grow Rural Education’s Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the country, reviewed the finalist applications and selected the winning school districts, including Elba Central School.

    About America’s Farmers

    The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern U.S. Agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America. To learn more, visit America’s Farmers at www.AmericasFarmers.com.

    About the Bayer Fund

    The Bayer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the overall health and wellbeing in communities where farmers and Bayer employees live and work. Visit the Bayer Fund at www.monsantofund.org.

    September 3, 2019 - 5:46pm


    GO ART! is hosting a Farm to Table Dinner on Sept.14th.

    This fits with its mission of expanding the culinary arts and cultural richness of farms in Genesee and Orleans counties.

    Farm to Table events have become extremely popular in the last few years. GO ART’s! event is expected to be just as popular as the many other similar events held around the country in rich and diverse farming communities like ours.

    The splendid diversity of the local food and expert preparation by the Genesee Valley Education Partnership Culinary Program, led by Executive Chef Tracy Burgio, are not to be missed.

    Guests will enjoy live music and food that could not possibly be any fresher in the magical restaurant without walls at GO ART! at Bank and Main streets in Downtown Batavia. It is sure to please all who attend.

    The four-course feast costs $105 per person and will feature local produce, beef, chicken and a vegetarian option. Click here to see the menu.

    Because this is the debut farm to table dinner in Batavia hosted by GO ART!, as a special thank you for those attending, diners who book this year will be able to pre-purchase tickets for next year's event before tickets are available to the public.

    For information on purchasing tickets, please click here.

    A portion of the proceeds will go to the Culinary Arts Club at GVEP.

    Photos courtesy of DixieLand Images | Marcy Morgan.


    September 3, 2019 - 4:05pm

    Press release:

    SYRACUSE -- The 51st Annual Butter Sculpture at the New York State Fair was taken down, but it didn't go to waste.

    American Dairy Association North East, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and Noblehurst Farms, dismantled the 800-pound sculpture today at the New York State Fairgrounds.

    Ultimately, the inedible butter will make its way to Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion (and Linwood), a "Dairy of Distinction," where it will be recycled in the farm’s methane digester and converted into renewable energy to power the dairy farm and produce liquid fertilizer for crops.

    Noblehurst Farms has been recognized for achievements in sustainability and community partnerships to divert food waste from local landfills. (For previous coverage of an example of these efforts, click here.)

    This year’s sculpture, “Milk. Love What’s Real,” featured a grandfather and child dunking cookies into milk and a young couple sharing a milkshake, illustrating how our love for real dairy connects many cherished moments in our lives.

    Here's a link to a time-lapse video of the sculpture's deconstruction, which actually took 90 minutes to do.

    About American Dairy Association North East

    The American Dairy Association North East (ADANE) is the local affiliate of the National Dairy Council® and the regional consolidation of three promotion organizations including the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council Inc., Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program.  Committed to nutrition education and research-based communications, ADANE provides science-based nutrition information to, and in collaboration with, a variety of stakeholders committed to fostering a healthier nation, including health professionals, educators, school nutrition directors, academia, industry, consumers and media.

    Funded by dairy checkoff dollars from more than 12,000 dairy farm families in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Northern Virginia, ADANE works closely with Dairy Management Inc.™ to bring a fully integrated promotion program to the North East region. For more information, visit AmericanDairy.com

    August 27, 2019 - 2:06pm

    From the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce:

    The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will host the 30th annual Decision-makers Ag Tour on Wednesday, Sept. 18.

    It is open to the public.

    The initial tour begins at 8 a.m. at the Kennedy Building at the Genesee County Fairgrounds, 5056 E. Main Street Road, Batavia.

    After registration / check-in, breakfast and a quick welcome and discussion with Bill Schreiber, of O-AT-KA Milk Products Co-Operative Inc., attendees will board the bus and be transported to the next location.

    The bus will return to the fairgrounds once the tour ends at 12:30 p.m.

    The tour will include:

    • Autumn Moon Farm Winery, 7585 W. Bergen Road, Bergen
    • Black Creek Cidery, 6885 Warboys Road, Byron
    • Sweet Life Country Store, 100 S. Main St., Elba


    Via email at:   [email protected]

    Online by visiting the chamber website's events page here, then click on the button for the ag tour.

    Or call the chamber office 585-343-7440.

    August 23, 2019 - 4:43pm

    Submitted photo and press release:

    Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) toured several farms in Genesee, Orleans and Monroe counties yesterday, speaking with farm owners and employees on their concerns and trepidations with the recently passed the Farm Labor Bill.

    Hawley is the former owner and operator of his family’s farm in Batavia, a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee and past President of the Genesee County Farm Bureau.

    “I want to thank all the farm owners and their families for having me on a tour of their facilities,” Hawley said.

    “I understand how detrimental these new labor regulations can be to our agriculture sector and I will be pushing very hard to have a seat at the table for the Commissioner of Agriculture and Farm Bureau members on the new wage board.”

      “As a former farm operator, it was great to meet so many dedicated families that are driving New York’s agricultural sector here in Western New York,” Hawley said.

    “A consistent theme at all of the farms we visited was the new labor regulations pushed by Downstate politicians and their detrimental effect on family farms throughout the state. Many owners are concerned about labor shortage during an already short growing season and the possibility of migrant workers leaving to earn more money in other states.”

    Photo: Assemblyman Hawley on his first stop of the farm tour at CY Farms in Elba, a second- and third-generation family farm where sod, spinach, corn and onions are grown.

    August 23, 2019 - 12:41pm
    posted by Billie Owens in news, Genesee County 4-H, Dairy Club, agriculture.

    Top photo: Genesee Dairy Challenge Team – Genesee County 4-H Dairy Challenge Contest participants, from left: Bing Zuber, Wyatt Uberty, Chase Zuber, Otto Uberty, Renee Uberty.

    Submitted photos and press release:

    SYRACUSE -- Members of the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club took their skills to the New York State Fair in Syracuse earlier this week.

    4-H Dairy Challenge and Dairy Judging Contests were held to test the youth’s knowledge on judging skills, animal nutrition, agronomy, feed identification, farm safety, and business management.

    Below are results from the contests that included more than 150 participants.

    New York State Fair 4-H Dairy Challenge Contest:

    Genesee Novice Team – Second-place Team. Team members were: Otto Uberty, Wyatt Uberty, Bing Zuber and Chase Zuber.

    Individual Results – Bing Zuber -- third High Novice Individual; Renee Uberty -- 19th Junior Individual.

    New York State Fair 4-H Dairy Judging Contest:

    Genesee Novice Team AFourth Place. Team members and individual rankings were: Chloe Lamb -- 14th, Bing Zuber -- 16th, and Chase Zuber -- 18th.

    Genesee Novice Team B – Third Place. Team members and individual rankings were: Evan Winspear -- third, Wyatt Uberty -- 17th, Otto Uberty -- 20th.

    Genesee Junior Team – Fourth Place. Team members and individual rankings were: Maggie Winspear -- fifth, Jillian Brewer -- eighth, and Renee Uberty -- 36th.

    Genesee Senior Team – 13th-place. Team members and individual rankings were: Carolyn Sybertz -- 23rd and Amelia Brewer -- 29th.

    Congratulations to all of the 4-H’ers competing at the New York State Fair this week!  For more information on the Genesee County 4-H Program, please contact the 4-H Office at [email protected] or (585) 343-3040, ext. 131.

    Bottom photo: Genesee County 4-H Dairy Judging Contest participants, from left, back row: Amelia Brewer, Carolyn Sybertz, Jillian Brewer, Renee Uberty, Maggie Winspear. From left, front row: Wyatt Uberty, Evan Winspear, Chloe Lamb, Bing Zuber, Otto Uberty, and Chase Zuber.

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