Local Matters

Community Sponsors

agriculture

July 22, 2021 - 9:50am

jocelyn_web.jpgJocelyn Sikorski has no problem admitting that her first six months on the job as executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County have been an eye-opening experience when it comes to appreciating the value of agriculture in the community.

Sikorski, who spent most of her career in county government, notably as the director of the Genesee County and City of Batavia youth bureaus, said she has transitioned nicely to the CCE, an agency dedicated to agriculture, gardening, nutrition and food systems initiatives.

And she has been able to get out of her office and into the field (no pun intended) as well.

“I went to Blummer Dairy in Alexander, which is owned by Dave Patten (a CCE of Genesee County director) and his wife, Val,” she said by telephone on Wednesday. “I toured his farm with two of our regional staff and I also went out to Baskin Livestock on Creek Road, Batavia. That was so interesting.”

Visiting local farm operations and getting to know agriculture, nutrition and 4-H specialists and leaders have given Sikorski a new perspective about the food supply.

“We need folks to understand the importance of ag in our community. It’s the No. 1 industry in Genesee County, and people need to understand where this food is coming from,” she said. “That’s a big thing. You go to the store, but where is it coming from? Who is actually supporting our local industry?”

Toward that end, Sikorski said she hopes – in spite of decreased funding – to restore the “Ag in the Classroom” coordinator/educator position that has been vacant since 2016.

“Some of the things that have gone away over the past five years are a result of less federal aid and others, such as an “Ag in the Classroom” leader, are funded with county money,” she said. “Not having that is a significant loss to our community because it really is teaching children and youth about our agricultural system -- and that message then goes home.

“So, through this evidence-based curriculum, people can learn about the industry and why it is so large in the community.”

Sikorski said she and staff are hoping to reinstate that program as they draft the CCE’s strategic plan – a three-year guiding document that would take effect on Jan. 1.

“That is something that we are interested in bringing back; hopefully we can do that with the resources available or as they become available.”

Earlier this week, Sikorski presented her agency program review to the Genesee County Legislature’s Human Services Committee.

Highlights of that report are as follows:

  • Agency is in a good place financially.

Sikorski credited then interim director Glenn Simon with setting up a safety and reopening plan to enable the CCE to open for business remotely on June 1, 2020 to “reach the population that we serve.” She noted that campus staff will be returning to the agency headquarters on East Main Street on Sept. 1.

Budget-wise, the Genesee County office is “looking good going forward,” she said, reporting that the county legislature contributes $338,548 annually to its approximately $1.2 million budget.

“There are different funding streams and also revenues from some of our programs and services. Basically, whatever comes in goes right back into that program and to their expense line. It supports what we’re providing here,” she said. “The county supports our association as well as us being able to utilize our regional ag team.”

That regional approach is a key cost-saving measure for CCE of Genesee County. Through its Shared Business Network, the agency receives the services of information technology, human resources and finance professionals – sharing the expenses with other cooperative extension locations.

Sikorski said she is seeking someone to fill an administrative assistant position, noting that it is full-time, Monday through Friday days, with health insurance and retirement benefits.

  • Master Gardener training to begin.

The Master Gardener weekly in-person training program at the CCE office is set to resume on Sept. 7 and run through Nov. 23, she said.

“It will be the first time in three years. Last year, we would have held it (if not for COVID) because we do it on a two-year rotation,” she said. “So, having that training up and running again is great. We’re taking precautions where we will limit it to 24 people just in case any restrictions start coming back into play.”

  • CDL training is on the schedule.

Sikorski said CCE again will provide CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) training for the ag community. It is coordinated by Jan Beglinger in conjunction with Genesee Valley BOCES.

“We usually enroll somewhere around 20 to 25 people into the CDL program so that farms can have staff licensed property to operate their trucks and equipment,” she said.

She also mentioned that changing federal guidelines may negatively impact the program – a shutdown was supposed to take effect at the beginning of next year – but is hopeful of the continued partnership with BOCES “because this is a tool for our ag community.”

  • 4-H has strong presence at Genesee County Fair.

She said she anticipates strong 4-H participation at the Genesee County Fair (which opens Friday with the North American Six-horse Hitch Classic Series and runs through July 31).

“And we continue to recruit new adult volunteers to serve as 4-H Club Leaders to expand the program,” she said.

July 16, 2021 - 12:12am
Video Sponsor

On Thursday, the Genesee County Ag Society and Empire Tractor hosted an open house to introduce the community to the planned Agri-Culture Center on East Main Street Road, Batavia.

It's the former location -- many years ago -- of CountryMax and next to the Genesee County Fairgrounds.

Tim Call, president of Empire Tractor, said the center is a longtime dream of his father, Robert Call, who will be contributing museum-piece farm equipment and a collection of farm-related toys for the museum portion of the center.

But the center will be more than just a museum. It will also provide educational space for students of agriculture as well as conference space.

June 16, 2021 - 11:38am
posted by Press Release in news, Byron-Bergen Elementary School, FFA, 4-H, agriculture, Farm Day.

Above, an FFA member teaches a younger student about livestock.  

Submitted photos and press release:

On Friday, June 11, the Byron-Bergen FFA brought agriculture education to the Kindergarten classes. Members of the Future Farmers of America introduced the younger students to a variety of animals including cows, sheep, goats and ducks.

The outdoor event on the Elementary School grounds was a collaboration between FFA advisor Jeffrey Parnapy and Kindergarten teacher Ayn Gardner.

“We reached out to local people who own animals, a farmer brought his tractor in, and we’re also learning about different kinds of feed,” Parnapy said. “Both 4H and FFA members are presenting their animals and answering the kindergarteners’ questions.”

In some cases, the younger students were able to touch the animals.

“I like petting the lambs,” said kindergartener Evelyn Haywood.

“Looking around today, I already think that this is going to have to be a yearly event,” Parnapy said. “Everyone is having a blast and I’m so excited that we were able to provide this experience for the kindergarten students.”

Upstate Milk donated milk and cheese sticks for all the students and the FFA provided goodie bags for participating elementary students.

First three photos courtesy of Amanda Dedie. Bottom photo courtesy of Ayn Gardner.

Above, 4H member participating in Byron-Bergen Farm Day.

Above, Byron-Bergen students.

Above, students learn about farm machinery.

June 15, 2021 - 2:38pm

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge will offer for bid 167 acres of grassland hay in three different fields ranging in size from 49 to 60 acres.

The Refuge annually provides a total of 1,100 acres of grassland habitat for migratory birds and resident wildlife. Active management of these grasslands is necessary to provide the highest quality nesting and migration habitat.

The Refuge haying program helps in this management process by reducing encroachment of broad leaf weeds and shrubs.

Hay will be allocated on a highest bid per field basis for each field. Sealed bids will be accepted until close-of-business (COB) on Friday, July 2. An official Bid Sheet, available from the Refuge headquarters, is required to make a bid.

Completed Bid Sheets can be mailed to the Refuge headquarters at 1101 Casey Road, Basom, NY 14013 and must contain all the information requested.

If you have any questions about the haying program or would like to see the fields, please call Paul Hess at (585) 948-5445, ext. 7032.

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is located midway between Rochester and Buffalo and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

June 9, 2021 - 11:09am
posted by Press Release in Ed Rath, agriculture, news, 61st state senate district.

Press release:

“The legislation that passed the Senate today, S.699b, is detrimental for our farming community and a clear disregard to their knowledge and expertise.  

“I have heard from many farmers from my district, as well as statewide organizations, such as the Farm Bureau, the New York State Turfgrass Association, and the New York State Corn, Soybean and Vegetable Growers, who have voiced their extreme concern with this legislation. This legislation will tie their hands and prohibit them from protecting their crops.

“Unfortunately, this is just another example of a Downstate politician proposing legislation from a conference room that will negatively impact the agricultural community without taking the time to understand the effects.  Farmers take great care in assuring their crops and products are safe and healthy, while also having an obvious vested interest in the environmental impacts.

“I would encourage the agricultural community to contact Assembly leadership to share their opposition to this dangerous legislation.”

May 11, 2021 - 5:04pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, news, Oakfield, agriculture.

tractordowneyroad2021.jpg

A tractor waiting to do more work this morning in a field off of Downey Road in Oakfield.

May 6, 2021 - 3:04pm

soilwaterfarmyear2021-2.jpg

Udderly Better Acres, a dairy farm on Vallance Road in Le Roy, has been selected by the Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District as the 2021 Conservation Farm of the Year.

Brad Mudrzynski presented the Conservation Farm of the Year sign to owners Don Krenzer and Roz Krenzer this morning.

Press release:

Since 1959, Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District (District) has honored a farm that has displayed a long-term commitment to sustainable conservation, leads by example, and implements farm conservation best management practices on their own or with the District. Udderly Better Acres has met and surpassed these criteria and continues to demonstrate outstanding stewardship of the land.

Don Krenzer and his family operate the dairy farm on 1,200 acres in the Town of Le Roy within one-half mile from Oatka Creek. The farm began using no-till and strip-till methods many years before they became common in our region. These methods, coupled with his use of drag-lining manure and other practices, put him as an early adopter of soil health practices before that term’s recent rise in popularity.

These practices have benefitted not only the farm’s productivity but also ensured watershed health and preserved water quality in Oatka Creek, a blue-ribbon trout stream. The farm has worked with the District to collect and treat silage leachate, manage manure better with new storage, and identify a plan to collect farmstead runoff and prevent it from entering the aquifer.

We thank Udderly Better Acres for their continued use of sustainable farming practices that help to preserve the land. 

soilwaterfarmyear2021.jpg

Friends, advisors, helpers, John Zastrocky and Molly Higgins, with Don, Roz and Brad.

April 29, 2021 - 5:10pm

Press release:

Washington, D.C. -- The American Families Plan includes critical tax reform to ensure that the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes in order to finance essential investments in workers and families, including childcare, nutrition, higher education and more.

One of those reforms is a change in the way capital gains are treated in our tax system so that, for people making over $1 million, the tax system no longer favors income from wealth over income from work. The plan won’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

Part of this plan to make sure the wealthy pay their fair share is a proposal to close the “stepped-up basis” loophole for wealthy estates so that enormous fortunes do not completely escape taxation. Under the proposal, unrealized capital gains (those that have never been previously taxed) are taxed at death above $2 million in gains per couple. But this won’t affect family farms that stay in the family.

  • Under this proposal, estimates indicate more than 98 percent of farm estates will not owe any tax at transfer, provided the farm stays in the family. The tax the remaining less than 2 percent would owe, would be on their non-farm assets.
The President recognizes the importance of agriculture and family farms to the American economy and way of life. He also recognizes the risks and economic challenges unique to agriculture, family farms and ranching operations across America. The Biden Administration is committed to American agriculture, family farms, ranches and the rural way of life.

The American Families Plan protects family farms and ranches in two key ways:

  • No capital gains taxes at death for family farms. This plan includes a special protection for family-owned farms and businesses. It defers any tax liability on family farms as long as the farm remains family-owned and operated. No tax is due if the farm stays in the family. No one should have to sell a family farm they inherit to pay taxes and the President’s tax reform guarantees that.
  • $2 million exclusion from increased capital gains for all married couples. This plan also excludes the first $2 million of gains per couple ($2.5 million if the farm also includes the family home) from capital gains tax and heirs continue to get step up in basis on those first $2 million in gains. If an heir decides to sell the family farm, the first $2 million in gains is tax free.

How the President’s Capital Gains Reforms Affect Family Farms:

  • A married couple with $900,000 of farm gains and $200,000 of non-farm gains passes the farm onto their children. No capital gains taxes are owed, even if they sell the farm because the $1.1 million in gains are below the $2 million per-couple exemption.
  • A married couple with $3 million of farm gains and $250,000 of non-farm housing gains passes the farm onto their children. No taxes due as long as the children keep the family farm.

The President’s capital gains reforms are a key part of building a tax code that rewards work, and not wealth. The American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are once-in-a-generation investments in our nation’s future.

The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good jobs, rebuild our country’s physical infrastructure and workforce, and spark innovation and manufacturing here at home.

The American Families Plan invests $1.8 trillion in our children and our families—helping families cover the basic expenses that so many struggle with now, lowering health insurance premiums, cutting child poverty, and producing a larger, more productive, and healthier workforce in the years ahead. Together, these plans reinvest in the future of American families, American workers, and the American economy.

To learn more about the American Families Plan, visit the White House.

March 30, 2021 - 4:23pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) held the first official meeting of his Agriculture Advisory Committee on Saturday, March 27th.

"In order for me to craft effective policy and ensure the long-term prosperity of our region's farmers and agribusinesses, it is critical to make sure they have a seat at the table," Jacobs said. "We had a productive introductory meeting and discussed many of the pressing issues facing Western New York agriculture. I look forward to continuing our work together."

"We are very pleased that Congressman Jacobs asked to be appointed to the House Agriculture Committee, and the agricultural community lauds Congressman Jacobs' in recognizing the diverse agriculture businesses in his district," said Maureen Torrey, of Torrey Farms Inc.

"His first meeting of his Agriculture Advisory Committee was a major success as all facets of agriculture from dairy, vegetables, apples, grapes, peaches, poultry, flowers, grain, greenhouse, family farms small and large, and agribusinesses had a chance to share trends and concerns about this major economic driver in his district with him."

"The Agriculture Advisory Committee gives all categories of agriculture a voice and representation in matters that directly impact our lives and our family's lives," said Stacie Rogers, of Rogers Dairy. "We appreciate Congressman Chris Jacobs for caring what that voice is and following through with what he says, I can't wait to continue that partnership and collaboration."

"As a farmer in Western New York, I am honored to be part of Congressman Jacobs' Agriculture Advisory Committee," said Jim Bittner, of Bittner Singer Orchards. "His willingness to serve on the House Agriculture Committee demonstrates his commitment to Western New York and the businesses that are its economic engine. Most recently, he supported the Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which will benefit every employee on my farm and those around us.

"Congressman Jacobs has also introduced a bill to allow dairy farms to participate in the H-2A Visa Program. This will have long-term benefits which will preserve our industry. As discussions continue, I appreciate his willingness to learn what is important to those who feed our citizens and how to support it through legislation."

"I believe the first meeting went very well, and I hope that the topics discussed give Rep. Jacobs a better understanding as to how crucial these issues are to agriculture," said Bruce Naas, of Naas Farms LLC. "Labor and infrastructure are just two of many ongoing concerns that affect how we can be competitive in today's global environment. I look forward to our next meeting."

“The Agriculture Advisory Committee is very promising, with participants from every aspect of the ag industry represented across NY-27," said John King, president – Niagara County Farm Bureau. "Congressman Jacobs will have a wealth of knowledge to pull from and very active members of the farming community to look to as a resource.

I look forward to providing the Congressman with updates and concerns that NY-27 farmer members have. I think committee’s like this are critical in regard to connecting our needs with Congress to ensure our family farms are represented appropriately going forward.”

The first meeting of the NY-27 Agriculture Advisory Committee was held virtually, and members discussed a wide range of topics and issues facing Western New York agriculture, including dairy and farm labor needs, trade enforcement, infrastructure and rural broadband development, and vaccine eligibility for farm workforces. Each member also provided a brief overview of their business and the commodities they represent.

The NY-27 Agriculture Advisory Committee is comprised of members from across the eight counties of the New York 27th District and includes stakeholders affiliated with farms, agribusiness, academia, and advocacy organizations. Its members produce a large variety of commodities including dairy, cash crops, vegetables, fruits, maple, and poultry.

March 24, 2021 - 11:30am

Press release:

Join Nancy Glazier with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Team for the classroom portion of the Beef Quality Assurance training Wednesday, April 14 from 7-8:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Here's the Facebook page about it.

Glazier, MS, CCA, is part of Cornell extension's Small Farms & Livestock team.

Topics covered include safe handling and use of health care products, safe animal handling, animal welfare and record keeping. Producers will become Level 1 certified with the completion of the class along with submission of required paperwork.

There is no cost for attending the training, but preregistration is required by April 13. Register here.

Producers may become Level 2 certified with the completion of the chute side training and having a valid veterinary client patient relationship form signed by their farm’s veterinarian. Chute side trainings will be held later at various locations. 

 (BQA) is a voluntary program supported by the Beef Checkoff that is focused on training cattle producers in management practices. The training is based on national guidelines and scientific research with the purpose of enhancing carcass quality and safety, thereby protecting the consumer confidence in our beef supply. 

If you have any questions regarding the program, contact Nancy Glazier at: [email protected] or (585) 315-7746.

March 23, 2021 - 4:16pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) announces that he has formed an agriculture advisory committee.

“Agriculture is the number one economic sector in our region, and our farmers provide nutritious produce and dairy nationwide,” Jacobs said. “I am proud to represent them on the House Agriculture Committee, and I want to make sure that they have a seat at the table as well.

"This committee serves as a way for me to hear directly from our farmers about their needs and concerns and will allow me to share pertinent information.”

Congressman Jacobs’ Agricultural Advisory Committee is comprised of members who represent all areas of NY-27 agricultural production. The committee is set to have its first official meeting later this month and will meet quarterly. Jacobs is also a member of the House Agriculture Committee for the 117th Congress, serving on three subcommittees.

“Western New York is home to over 4,400 farms," Jacobs said. "This committee ensures the voices of Western New York farmers and agribusinesses are heard and I am able to represent them as best I can. I look forward to working with them."

March 23, 2021 - 8:00am
posted by Press Release in business, agriculture.

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA -- A PROCLAMATION

On National Agriculture Day, we recognize the unique and irreplaceable value that farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers, and other agricultural stewards have contributed to our Nation's past and present. America's agriculture sector safeguards our Nation's lands through sustainable management; ensures the health and safety of animals, plants, and people; provides a safe and abundant food supply; and facilitates opportunities for prosperity and economic development in rural America.

Over the last year, workers and other leaders across the agriculture sector have stepped up to ensure a stable food supply in the face of incredible challenges prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmworkers, who have always been vital to our food system, continued to grow, harvest, and package food, often at great personal risk.

Local farmers helped to meet their communities' needs by selling food directly to consumers. Small meat processors increased their capacity as demand for their services skyrocketed. Restaurants found creative ways to bring food to members of their communities. Grocers and grocery workers also navigated new models, such as curbside pickup and online sales.

These collective efforts helped get food to the millions of adults and children in America experiencing nutrition insecurity. Programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children; school meals; and others focused on eliminating nutrition insecurity play an integral role in making sure that every family has enough food on the table.

As we overcome the pandemic and build back better, we will advance an agriculture sector that works for everyone. When I took office, I made a commitment alongside Vice President Kamala Harris to put racial equity at the forefront of our Administration's priorities. For generations, Black, Indigenous, and other farmers of color have contributed to sustaining this Nation.

They fed their communities, gave the country new food products, and nourished communities with rich food traditions. Yet for generations they have faced the harmful effects of systemic racism. On this National Agriculture Day, I remain determined to address racial inequity and create an equitable space for all to participate in the great American enterprise of agriculture.

I also made a commitment to tackle the climate crisis. Farmers, ranchers, and foresters play a critical role in combating climate change. From sequestering carbon in the soil to producing renewable energy on farms, we will continue to innovate and create new revenue streams for farmers and ranchers while building a resilient agriculture sector.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., president of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 23 as National Agriculture Day. I call upon all Americans to join me in recognizing and reaffirming our commitment to and appreciation for our country's farmers, ranchers, foresters, farmworkers, and those who work in the agriculture sector across the Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

March 18, 2021 - 2:03pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, news, agriculture.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) joined with colleagues to ask the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack to uphold agricultural purchase commitments made by China under the Phase One trade deal. 

“American farmers and businesses have been cheated for decades by China’s malign trade practices and efforts to artificially bolster their state-run entities,” Jacobs said. “The Phase One trade deal was critical to supporting American farmers and increasing American exports.”

The Phase One trade deal, signed in January 2020, required China to purchase $200 billion worth of American products, goods, and services. In part, China agreed to purchase $12.5 billion in additional agricultural products above the 2017 trade level in 2020.

Current data shows that the Chinese government failed to meet those 2020 purchasing commitments. If needed, the Phase One trade deal has built-in mechanisms that can be used by the United States government to enforce those commitments.  

“Ensuring China adheres to purchasing agreements is critical to supporting American farmers, especially as they continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jacobs said. “I urge the Secretary to work with the U.S. Trade Representative to review the Phase One trade deal and implement necessary enforcement measures to hold China accountable.”

March 9, 2021 - 3:54pm

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced legislation that would make the dairy industry eligible for H-2A temporary agricultural visas.

“As I have traveled throughout NY-27 and met with farmers, one thing that has become clear is the need for dairy producers to have access to a steady and legal workforce," Jacobs said. "Currently, dairy workers are not eligible for H-2A status because of the way the current law is interpreted by federal agencies. This simple legislation would fix an urgent need while Congress works on broader reforms to the H-2A program.”

The Dairy H-2A Eligibility Act would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to include “dairy workers” as eligible candidates for H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa status. Employers are currently only eligible for H-2A nonimmigrant classification if they offer a temporary or seasonal position. Though H-2A workers are themselves temporary, dairy production has been interpreted to not qualify for these visas because it occurs year-round.

“Dairy’s workforce crisis is especially severe because dairy farms, which operate year-round, can’t use the H-2A program, which is seasonal," said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation. "NMPF has fought for decades for H-2A access for dairy. "We thank Congressman Jacobs for stepping up and making ag labor reform a priority issue, and we look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Jacobs to address the workforce needs of dairy farmers in New York and across the country.” 

David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau president, said: "Agricultural labor reform has long been a New York Farm Bureau priority. We must address the seasonal and long-term needs of agriculture, including for the state's dairy farms that currently do not have access to a year-round federal guest worker program. We thank Rep. Jacobs for his efforts to fix a broken system and moving the conversation forward for the betterment of our farms and food system."

“The bottom line is that we need a migrant worker program that respects and enforces our immigration laws while providing farmers with the workforce that they need,” Jacobs said.

March 6, 2021 - 12:55pm
posted by Press Release in business, Sen. Ed Rath, agriculture.

From Sen. Ed Rath, NYS Senate District #61:

Agriculture is such an important aspect of our Upstate communities and supporting our farms is critical. During Legislative Session this week, several agricultural bills came to the floor.

I was happy to cosponsor and support these bills, and for your convenience, I have included information on a few of the bills below. 

Thank you to all our farms who have stepped up during the pandemic and supported our local communities! I am happy to be able to do my part in supporting local agriculture.

S.549 - Relates to the procurement of locally grown farm and food products.

S.2135 - Relates to agricultural custom operators.

S.2199 - Provides for the expansion of regional farmers' markets.

S.3396 - Establishes the New York state animal and plant fiber program to be part of the New York state Grown and Certified Program.

S.4072 - Establishes a one-stop farming hotline with the Cornell cooperative extension.

S.4707 - Relates to establishing a carbon farming tax credit for farmers.

S.4892 - Establishes the Nourish New York program.

March 5, 2021 - 1:36pm
Video Sponsor

Chamber Awards: Ag Business of the Year, L&M Speciality Fabrication

February 19, 2021 - 2:50pm
posted by Press Release in business, agriculture, 2021 Forage Congress.

Press release:

Due to the ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team has decided to transition the 2021 Forage Congress into a virtual conference scheduled for March 11.

The conference will be held using Zoom. Preregistration is required. Cost: $25 per person.

Preregistration is now open on the NWNY Team’s website.  Registration closes March 9.

Topics and Agenda include:

10 - 10:30 a.m. -- The Economic Costs of Loading & Mixing, Jason Karszes, PRO-DAIRY, Cornell University

10:35 - 11:05 a.m. -- Improving Harvest Management, Joe Lawrence, PRO-DAIRY, Cornell University & Tom Kilcer, Advanced Ag Solutions (recording)

11:10 - 11:40 a.m. -- Nutritive Value and Yield of Reduced-Lignin Alfalfa Cultivars in Monoculture & Binary Mixtures with Perennial Grass, Dr. Jerry Cherney, Cornell University

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. -- Cover Crop Adoption on Dairy Farms, Virginia Moore, Ph.D., Cornell University

Questions, contact: Brandie Waite at: (585) 343-3040, ext. 138.

The Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team is a partnership between Cornell University and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations serving dairy, livestock, and field crop farm businesses and supporting industries in these nine Northwest New York counties: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne and Wyoming.

February 17, 2021 - 2:56pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by the recent winter storms that USDA has programs that provide assistance.

USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices are prepared with a variety of program flexibilities and other assistance to residents, agricultural producers and impacted communities.

"USDA is committed to getting help to producers and rural Americans impacted by the severe weather in many parts of the country," said Kevin Shea, acting Secretary of Agriculture.

"As severe weather and natural disasters continue to threaten the livelihoods of thousands of our farming families, we want you and your communities to know that USDA stands with you."

Visit farmers.gov or your local USDA Service Center to inquire about assistance.

Risk Management and Disaster Assistance for Agricultural Operations

USDA offers several risk management and disaster assistance options to help producers recover after they are impacted by severe weather, including those impacted by winter storms and extreme cold.

Even before disasters strike, USDA provides tools for producers to manage their risk through the Federal Crop Insurance Program, a public-private partnership between USDA’s Risk Management Agency and private companies and agents.

For crops that do not have crop insurance available, the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) is available through the local Farm Service Agency. This risk protection includes crop production loss and tree loss for certain crop insurance products. It is recommended that producers reach out to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office for more information.

Producers that signed up for Federal Crop Insurance or NAP who suffer losses are asked to report crop damage to their crop insurance agent or local FSA office, respectively, within 72 hours of damage discovery and follow up in writing within 15 days.

Livestock and perennial crop producers often have more limited risk management options available, so there are several disaster programs for them. Key programs include:

  • The Livestock Indemnity Program and the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that were killed or severely injured by a natural disaster or loss of feed.
  • The Tree Assistance Program provides cost share assistance to rehabilitate or replant and clean-up damage to orchards and vineyards that kill or damage the tree, vines or shrubs. NAP or Federal Crop Insurance often only covers the crop and not the plant.

USDA reminds producers that it’s critical to keep accurate records to document the losses and illnesses following this devastating cold weather event. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking photos or videos of any losses.

Other common documentation options include:

  • Purchase records
  • Production records
  • Vaccination records
  • Bank or other loan documents
  • Third-party certification

Additionally, USDA can provide financial resources through its Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help with immediate needs and long-term support to help recover from natural disasters and conserve water resources. Assistance may also be available for emergency animal mortality disposal from natural disasters and other causes.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) also has a variety of loans available including emergency loans that are triggered by disaster declarations and operating loans that can assist producers with credit needs.

February 17, 2021 - 2:11pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, in collaboration with Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, will be offering a CDL (Commercial Driver License) 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 March 11 at 7 p.m. at the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus, 8250 State Street Road, 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 (for those who need to get a permit) are March 17 and March 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Genesee Valley BOCES Batavia Campus. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will be limiting the permit classroom instruction to 20 people.

Drive time will be scheduled with the instructor at a later date. Class A gets eight hours of drive time (four sessions, two hours each). Class B gets four and a half hours of drive time (three sessions, one and a half hours each).

All COVID-19 protocols, including wearing a mask, will need to be followed in the classroom and while driving.

Registration is required and will be accepted until noon of March 11 or until the class is full. All participants are expected to attend the informational meeting on March 11.

Full payment (check or cash) is due at the class on March 17.

The cost for Class A is $775 and the cost for Class B is $600. DMV fees are not included in the cost of the class.

Make checks payable to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County. If paying in cash, please bring the EXACT amount.

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

February 11, 2021 - 12:13pm
posted by Press Release in Chris Jacobs, NY-27, agriculture, news.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) released the following statement after the House Committee on Agriculture met today to consider the agriculture portion of the proposed COVID-19 budget reconciliation package. 

"This legislation was crafted unilaterally without any input from the Republican members serving on the Agriculture Committee. While there is some good in the bill, it contains many unrelated, partisan provisions that fail to meet the needs of our farmers and my calls for targeted, bipartisan relief.

"In my district alone, there are over 4,400 farms who produce 22 percent of New York State's total agriculture sales. Western New York farmers supply schools around the country with dairy and supply grocery stores throughout the United States with produce, meat and eggs. The impact of NY-27 farmers on our country is significant, yet we have not held one hearing to assess the current needs of farmers, and my Republican colleagues and I were not consulted. 

“Republicans offered several amendments that would improve this legislation by supporting small producers, restarting the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program halted by the President and redirecting money toward high-speed internet in rural communities. Democrats rejected these amendments, once again refusing to work with us to craft a bipartisan package.

"It is my hope this does not become the norm for this committee for the 117th Congress, but rather we work together to support America’s oldest and most substantial industry."

Jacobs has served on the House Committee on Agriculture since his election in June during the 116th Congress. He was reappointed for the 117th Congress in January of this year.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button