Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

agriculture

October 5, 2018 - 3:47pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, trade, news, notify.

The dairy industry needs exports to really thrive, according to an Elba dairy farmer who, like a lot of dairy farmers these days, is happy there is a potential new trade agreement between the United States and its largest agricultural trade partners, Canada and Mexico.

"The name of the game in dairy now is exports," Jeff Post said. "Years ago it was all about national consumption, but if we're going to survive as the dairy industry in this country, we need to export as much product as possible and we have to rely on our government to help us with trade deals."

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump knocked the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as "a really bad deal" and promised a better deal if elected. For the most part, local farmers think they got that with the new deal with a new acronym, USMCA.

The deal must be ratified by the legislative bodies of all three countries before going into effect.

For dairy farmers in New York, the big hang-up with NAFTA was its lack of provisions for Class 6 and Class 7 milk, also known as ultrafiltered milk, which has become a big part of cheese production. Those classes didn't exist when NAFTA was approved in 1994 and nearly two years ago, Canada blocked imports of those classes.

Once elected, Trump took up the cause of dairy farmers and used the increased difficulty in exporting U.S. dairy products to Canada to push for a new deal and threatened to withdraw from NAFTA.

Craig Yunker, CEO of CY Farms, approves of the new deal but thought the heated rhetoric from the president, such as accusing Canada of cheating the United States,was unneccessary.

"Generally, it's a positive for dairy and for wheat, specifically, but I'm not sure that it's going to completely undo the hard feelings north of the border," Yunker said. "That's going to take some time, but it's going in the right direction. I think it'll take some time to repair the hard feelings."

Le Roy dairy farmer Dale Stein sides a little more with the president on his view that the United States hasn't been treated well by its trading partners, and while he welcomes the new provisions related to dairy, he thinks overall the new deal will help out the country as a whole.

"Our trading partners have been abusing us and that's been a fact," Stein said. "All the previous presidents have allowed it. There are other things in this trade agreement that I think will help with everything and have nothing to do with farming."

In 2017, the United States had a $63.6 billion trade deficit with Mexico on a total of $615.9 billion in trade. While the United States imported more goods than it exported, it still exported $276.2 billion in goods to Mexico, up from $52 billion in 1993. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that some six million jobs in the United States depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

Besides agriculture, much of what's new deals with auto production. New provisions require at least 45 percent of an automobile to be built by people earning at least $16 an hour, and that at least 75 percent of the auto's content be made in North America.

Whether these provisions will result in more car production jobs in the United States in unclear, according to economists, but it is likely to make cars more expensive.

Yunker thinks the new deal is much like the old deal with many provisions that had been part of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, which Trump scraped as soon as he took office.

"I don't see it as a major accomplishment," Yunker said. "We had NAFTA in place and while it needed some tweaking, this is a big improvement over it throwing Canada out of the deal altogether. Well, I don't see that as a major accomplishment of the Trump Administration. The major accomplishment is that it was negotiated after the rhetoric insulting Canada."

One of the big issues besetting the dairy industry is oversupply and Yunker noted that Cornell ag economist Andy Novakovic doesn't anticipate the new agreement doing much to increase milk prices anytime soon.

"He hasn't really changed his price projects for 2019 based on this," Yunker said. "It is good it opens up the market for ultrafilteration milk; that's a positive. But we still have an oversupply of milk, so I'm not sure that this cures the low price for producers but it's certainly the right direction."

Yunker remains dissapointed that TPP didn't go through.

"A lot of work went into (TPP)," Yunker said. "We lost the initiative to be the lead in Asia trade and then replaced by China taking the lead in that. I'm still disappointed over pulling out of the TPP but I'm a free-trade guy."

Post is less enthused about TPP but believes U.S. dairy farmers need Asian markets and hopes now that the NAFTA makeover is done there's a chance to open up Japan and other Asian nations.

"I look forward to hopefully getting some of these Asian markets opened up, too," Post said. "I wasn't a big fan of the TPP agreement -- only for what it did for ag. Hopefully, he government is negotiating with Japan and negotiationing to South Korea and we're going to get more more access to export to markets there."

Stein is also looking forward to getting past the trade conflicts and open up more export markets.

"We were looking at very high prices this fall or the end of the year until all this (trade conflict) started because of the exports and now we will get the exports back," Stein said. "We should be able to compete against against anybody. We haven't really sold a lot to China to begin with. We've exported dairy to Mexico primarily and a fair amount in Canada. By reopening them up again, hopefully, they will get back trading so we can use up some of our milk supply."

September 12, 2018 - 6:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Cornell Cooperative Extension, news, agriculture.

Press release:

The Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension Board of Directors has selected Christopher Crawford as their Executive Director to lead the 100-year-old organization.

Chris Crawford, Ph.D., MUP, is currently a Lead Science Advisor in New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Bureau of Environmental Science and Engineering. As such Crawford works in the Bureau’s Building Water System Oversight program, which provides regulatory oversight of more than 5,000 cooling tower systems in New York City.

Prior to working in New York City, Crawford worked in a rural Upstate New York local health department providing technical assistance and regulatory oversight to more than 200 public water systems, while working to address technology and policy issues across the department. Crawford also spent time working in the U.S. Virgin Islands with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, attended law school at SUNY at Buffalo, received a Master of Urban Planning from SUNY at Buffalo and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Boston in Environmental, Coastal and Ocean Science.

Board President Colleen Flynn said “CCE of Genesee County enjoyed several years of exceptional leadership under Bev Mancuso and we greatly appreciate the assistance of Robin Travis as interim director following Bev’s retirement. We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Christopher Crawford and his family to Genesee County. His education, experience and leadership style will complement the many talents of Extension's knowledgeable staff and dedicated volunteers.”

"I am looking forward to working with the people, organizations, and community of Genesee County as Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension's Genesee County office,” writes Crawford. “Looking back on my career and varied organizations I have worked with, I have seen the real-world differences that can be made when communities and universities come together.

"I'll strive to work closely with both the community and Cornell to identify vital issues, generate solutions and build the relationships necessary to ensure successful and sustainable implementation." 

Crawford will begin his role on Nov. 5th. For more information on Genesee County Cornell Cooperative Extension, please visit genesee.cce.cornell.edu.

August 30, 2018 - 3:26pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, New York Farm Bureau.

Press release:

New York Farm Bureau, along with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner, Richard Ball, and Farmers for Free Trade, highlighted today the importance of open markets for the state’s farmers and encouraged a quick end to the trade war that is creating an economic hardship on family farms across New York.

The farmers gathered at the Great New York State Fair, an important celebration of New York agriculture, to discuss their concerns. A number of New York commodities, including dairy, soybeans, wine, maple and apples face retaliatory tariffs in several countries including China, Canada, Mexico and in the European Union.

In turn, commodity prices have fallen on agricultural products. Equipment prices are rising due to the steel and aluminum tariffs, and farmers are concerned about losing long-established markets as countries turn to other, cheaper sources for their food. These losses, in turn, will impact rural communities that depend on agriculture to support their local economies.

While U.S. agriculture has had a trade surplus, the farm economy has not been a bright spot for this country. Net farm income was already down by 50 percent before the trade wars began. When times are tough, this is when this country needs to be looking for new opportunities to expand markets to sell the quality products produced on our farms.

The principle agreement announced this week with Mexico is a positive step in the right direction, but ultimately, we will need Canada to complete an effective NAFTA deal. Farmers also encouraged a resolution to disputes elsewhere, including China.

“We understand that trade agreements may need to be updated, but we have to be careful not to damage the relationships that we already have and depend on,” said New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher. “We are encouraging our leaders in Washington, to move quickly at getting the parties back to the negotiating table, much like we have seen this week with Mexico, and to move forward on improving trade relations with our partners.”

“The tariffs being imposed on our agricultural commodities are compounding an already difficult marketplace and putting New York’s farmers in a precarious situation. Once these markets are lost, we could find it extremely difficult to regain that footing. We have an opportunity here to collaborate with our partners and to call for new free trade agreements and thoughtful, long-term solutions,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball.

“Farmers for Free Trade is proud to join the New York Farm Bureau at the state fair today to discuss the importance of trade to New York's agriculture and manufacturing industries,” said Angela Hofmann, deputy director of Farmers for Free Trade. “Today's joint event will highlight the price that New York agriculture and manufacturing workers are paying from the trade war and call attention to the need for consistent and fair trade policies.”

“Our farmers are reliable, they are resilient, and they are responsible. They are ingenuitive and they are innovative in producing an excellent product for consumers both stateside and abroad amid a myriad of unpredictable challenges including the weather and ever-changing consumer demand. As steadfast patriots, we look to our government to recognize that our growers already operate in an environment of uncertainty and hope that this administration will facilitate opening the doorway to global opportunities in a way that is good for our country and its farmers,” said Colleen Klein, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association’s executive director.

“Since the end of May, following Mexico’s announcement of 25 percent retaliatory tariffs on U.S. cheeses, the price we receive for our milk has dropped by 14 percent. To put that into realistic terms for our dairy farm, that is a loss of more than $3,000 a day. Farm families like mine and our dairy farming friends across New York State are asking for a quick end to the trade war affecting our families’ livelihoods and our country’s backbone, the American farmer,” said Johanna Fox-Bossard, Barbland Dairy in Fabius.

“New York maple producers are concerned about trade from two fronts. The tariffs in both Asia and Canada mean a potential loss of markets for American made maple syrup as cheaper Canadian maple syrup moves in to fill the void. In addition, the steel and aluminum tariffs have resulted in price hikes for equipment we need to produce maple syrup. My company alone was forced to increase prices 10 percent, prices that eventually will be passed down to consumers. We need a fix now before there are long-lasting repercussions on New York’s maple industry,” said Dwayne Hill, Shaver-Hill Maple Farm.

August 29, 2018 - 11:03am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, news, notify.

Press release:

Late blight was detected in Genesee County on Aug. 28th. Late blight is a devastating, airborne disease of tomatoes and potatoes best known for causing the Irish Potato famine. Late blight is caused by a fungus-like organism that spreads dozens of miles on storm fronts.

Late blight can kill plants in just one week. Disease spots are often dark gray to brown in color and may or may not have a ring of pale green tissue around them. They are often irregular in shape and size, and often become as large as a quarter. Leaf spots will often have small fuzzy white spores on the underside of the leaf in wet and humid conditions.

Late blight will put dark brown to black smears on plant stems. Tomato fruit may also develop large, firm, greasy-looking, brown, gray, or black smears on the upper part of the fruit. Potato leaves show dark spots with fuzzy white spores on the underside during humid weather. Potato stems show similar lesions to those seen in tomato.

As this disease is aggressive and very damaging to area farmers, Cornell Cooperative Extension asks that anyone suspecting they have late blight please contact their local CCE office for assistance. In Genesee County, the CCE office can be reached at 585-343-3040. Commercial vegetable farmers should contact the Cornell Vegetable Program at 585-406-3419.

August 27, 2018 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in 4-H, dairy farming, agriculture, NYS Fair.

Photo, from left: Mason Werth, Mary Sweeney, Addison Norton, Caroline Luft, Georgia Luft, Chloe Lamb, Amelia Brewer, Bing Zuber, Carolyn Sybertz, Justin Deleo, Jillian Brewer, Otto Uberty and Maggie Winspear.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club competed in two 4-H contests at the New York State Fair. After two days of contests that included more than 200 4-Her’s from across New York State, the results for Genesee County participants are as follows.

New York 4-H Dairy Challenge Contest

Genesee Novice Team: 5th place

  • Team Members: Otto Uberty and Justin Deleo

Genesee Junior Team: 5th Place

  • Team Members: Amelia Brewer, Jillian Brewer, Maggie Winspear, and Renee Uberty     

New York 4-H Dairy Judging Contest

Genesee Novice Team: 2nd Place

  • Team Members: Caroline Luft 5th, Justin Deleo 9th, Otto Uberty 13th, Chloe Lamb 14th

Genesee Junior Team A: 10th Place

  • Team Members: Amelia Brewer 10th, Addison Norton 30th, Carolyn Sybertz 32nd, Bing Zuber 40th

Genesee Junior Team B: 5th Place

  • Team Members: Jillian Brewer 11th, Maggie Winspear 14th,  Mason Werth 34th, Georgia Luft 43rd

Congratulations to all of the 4-H’ers who competed! To learn more about 4-H in Genesee County contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension at 343-3040, ext. 101, or visit our website: http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/

August 6, 2018 - 2:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, maple industry, agriculture, news.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that they secured a $1 million increase in funding for the Acer Access and Development Program, for a total of $4 million in funding, in the just-passed Senate minibus Fiscal Year 2019 spending bill.

Schumer and Gillibrand explained that the Acer Access and Development Program provides opportunities for investment and research for maple syrup, helping producers across Upstate New York increase their production, strengthen conservation and drive efficiency in maple sugaring.

Maple sugaring provides income to an estimated 10,000 maple producers spread across the country, and the senators said that the increase in funding will allow U.S. producers to better compete in the global marketplace with countries like Canada, which are responsible for 85 percent of the world’s maple product.

The senators said they worked tirelessly for this funding to tap into New York’s burgeoning maple industry, and vowed to shepherd it through Congress and onto the president’s desk.

“This critical funding will bring a much-deserved boost to New York’s maple syrup producers, helping them tap into the state’s massive potential,” Senator Schumer said. “The increase in federal funds would be used to help Upstate producers increase their production, strengthen conservation, drive efficiency in maple sugaring, and increase global competitiveness.

"I’m proud of the role I played in securing this federal funding in the Senate, and will continue to fight to ensure this funding increase is signed into law as soon as possible.”

“New York is one of the leading maple-producing states in the nation, and these federal funds will help our state’s maple industry grow even more,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Our Upstate maple producers are working tirelessly to increase production and expand to new markets, and I was proud to fight for this funding that will allow the Acer Program to provide this critical support.

"New York has one of our country’s best agriculture traditions, and I will always do everything I can to make sure our producers have the resources they need to succeed.”

Maple syrup is an important agricultural product across 10 states in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. According to the USDA, in 2017, the United States produced more than 4.27 million gallons of syrup, worth approximately $147 million. Maple is also a critical conservation crop, which helps to keep our forests in production, conserves important lands, protects water quality, and provides a valuable economic benefit to rural communities.

The maple industry has seen significant growth in recent years. New York State ranks second in the nation for maple production, behind Vermont, with 806,000 gallons of maple syrup produced in 2018, according to New York State.

Schumer and Gillibrand have long fought on behalf of Upstate New York’s maple producers. Schumer’s legislation, the Maple Tapping Access Program, which later became the Acer Access and Development Program, was signed into law as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

Earlier this year, Schumer and Gillibrand worked to include language reauthorizing the Acer program as part of the 2018 Senate Farm Bill, and vowed to continue to fight to ensure that this provision is included in the final version of the Farm Bill.

August 1, 2018 - 1:26pm
posted by Genesee Chamber... in farmers market, agriculture, news, tourism.

Summer is the perfect time for fresh produce – juicy fruits and tasty veggies. And what better place to get them than farm-fresh from a local farmer’s market or farm stand? Get to know the names behind your food. Shopping local is good for you, and for your local farmers – it’s a win-win!

downtown_batavia_public_market_cmark_gutman_16.jpg

Our Farm Markets are colorful, creative and fresh. We’ve rounded up the best in the area – including:

Pully's Farm Market – carrying a huge selection of hanging baskets, annuals, perennials, and vegetable plants. Open from April through October, Pully’s has fresh produce, seasonal treats, and a market full of local items and everyday goods. Visit on the weekend in the fall and you can wind your way through the corn maze or catch their pumpkin-cannon in action!

Le Roy Farmers' Market – fun on a Saturday morning from June to mid-October. Located on Main Street, this farmer’s market is a local favorite with weekly offerings found on their Facebook page. The market also partners with the Genesee County Office for the Aging to offer coupons for seniors. Find baked goods, wines, flowers, cooking demonstrations, weekly entertainment, and organic vegetables.

Downtown Batavia Public Market – open every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from June through October, in collaboration with the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District. The market participates in a number of government assistance programs, ensuring that fresh and healthy foods are available to everyone. Browse their stalls and find growers, bakeries and craft vendors offering a variety of produce, baked goods, cheese, eggs, honey, BBQ, maple syrup, and flowers. More than just the veggies – you can go home with everything from dog treats to quilts, and find new favorites every time you visit.

Smaller than a market, Genesee County is also home to a multitude of farm stands. Shop produce straight off the farm, handcrafted goods, and local treats at these area favorites:

Elba
Torrey's Farm Market – food grown with pride. Load up on potatoes, onions, cabbage, lettuce, seasonal produce, and peaches. You'll even find some crafts!

Star Growers – keep an eye out around harvest time! This little roadside stand offers mid/late seasonal produce: potatoes, cabbage, onions, squash, and pumpkins.

Batavia
Harrington's Produce, Bakery & Market Cafe – it’s a one-stop shop for fresh baked breads, fruits, vegetables and everything in between. And if that wasn’t enough, you can also snag a sandwich at their Clinton Street café – food so fresh it was probably picked that day!

Fenton's Produce LLC – asparagus, sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, blueberries, herbs, flowers – and summer and winter squash are home-grown and offered here. Look for Fenton’s around harvest season at their little roadside setup on Pratt Road.

Le Roy
J&W Farm Fresh Produce – consistently fresh, wholesome and flavorful fruit and produce from a small, local family farm.

Mackenzie Brothers – right on Harris Road, this little stand is serving up fresh sweet corn, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash, cabbage, melons, and winter squash – everything from acorn to butternut to fiesta to hubbard.

Clear out the cupboard and the fridge, you’re going to need room for all the fresh food that awaits! We don’t “carrot” all which one you choose to try – so pick one or (taste) test them all. And find more great spots to shop, eat, stay and experience at www.visitgeneseeny.com.

July 31, 2018 - 5:19pm

Press release:

The Genesee County 4-H Office would like to congratulate all of the 4-H members who exhibited animals at the 2018 Genesee County Fair.

Special thanks to our club leaders, volunteers, family members and friends who volunteered their time; the 4-H program would not be possible without your help!

Below are some highlights from the 2018 Genesee County Fair Livestock Shows.

4-H Beef Cattle Show

Novice Showmanship – Audrey Dorman

Junior Showmanship – Cody Carlson

Senior Showmanship – Caleb Carlson 

Master Showman – Caleb Carlson

Supreme Champion Female – Shianne Foss

Grand Champion Beef Steer – Shianne Foss

Grand Champion Dairy Steer – Cody Ehrmentraut

4-H Dairy Cattle Show

Novice Showmanship – Chloe Lamb

Junior Showmanship – Mason Werth

Intermediate Showmanship – Georgia Luft

Senior Showmanship – Mary Sweeney 

Master Showman – Mary Sweeney

Reserve Master Showman – Emily Mikel

Master Fitter – Emily Mikel

Reserve Master Fitter – Amelia Brewer

Grand Champion Ayrshire – Justin Deleo

Grand Champion Lineback – Jillian Brewer

Grand Champion Guernsey – Colton Slattery

Grand Champion Holstein – Emily Mikel

Grand Champion Brown Swiss – Emily Mikel

Grand Champion Jersey – Caroline Luft

Grand Champion Milking Shorthorn – Mary Sweeney

Supreme Champion – Mary Sweeney

Reserve Supreme Champion – Emily Mikel

4-H Dairy Goat Show

Novice Showmanship – Gabe Winn

Junior Showmanship – Jade Winn

Senior Showmanship – Melissa Keller

Master Showman – Melissa Keller

Best in Show Doe – Melissa Keller

4-H Meat Goat Show

Novice Showmanship – Brooke Frega

Junior Showmanship – John Riley

Senior Showmanship – Melissa Keller

Master Showman – John Riley

Best in Show Doe – John Riley

4-H Sheep Show

Junior Showmanship – Brendan Pimm

Senior Showmanship – Becky Kron

Master Showman – Maisy Ross

Reserve Master Showman – Ashley Ehrmentraut

Champion Halter Showman – Mya Grant

Supreme Champion Ram – Becky Kron

Supreme Champion Ewe – Brendan Pimm

Champion Market Lamb – Becky Kron

4-H Hog Show

Novice Showmanship – Brendan Pimm

Junior Showmanship – Cody Carlson

Senior Showmanship – Melissa Keller

Master Showman – Melissa Keller

Supreme Gilt – Melissa Keller

Champion Market Hog – Alianna Baris

4-H Market Animal Auction Goat Show

Junior Showmanship – Lily Haacke

Senior Showmanship – Melissa Keller

Master Showman – Melissa Keller

Grand Champion Market Goat – Melissa Keller

Reserve Champion Market Goat – Tyler Jirovec

4-H Market Animal Auction Hog Show

Junior Showmanship – Brendan Pimm

Senior Showmanship – Ben Kron

Master Showman – Ben Kron

Grand Champion Market Hog – Melissa Keller

Reserve Champion Market Hog – Camden Baris

4-H Market Animal Auction Dairy Steer Show

Senior Showmanship – Carolyn Sybertz

Master Showman – Carolyn Sybertz

Grand Champion Dairy Steer – Carolyn Sybertz

Reserve Champion Dairy Steer – Cody Ehrmentraut

4-H Market Animal Auction Beef Steer Show

Junior Showmanship – Kaidan Hofheins

Senior Showmanship – Becky Kron

Master Showman – Becky Kron

Grand Champion Beef Steer – Caleb Carlson

Reserve Champion Beef Steer – Cole Carlson

4-H Market Animal Auction Lamb Show

Junior Showmanship – Brendan Pimm

Senior Showmanship – Becky Kron

Master Showman – Brendan Pimm

Grand Champion Market Lamb – Becky Kron

Reserve Champion Market Lamb – Melissa Keller

4-H Market Animal Auction Poultry Show

Junior Showmanship – Georgia Luft

Senior Showmanship – Clare Mathes

Master Showman – Clare Mathes

Grand Champion Pen of Market Chickens – Jillian Brewer

Reserve Champion Pen of Market Chickens – Jillian Brewer

4-H Market Animal Master Showmanship Contest

Overall Master Showman – Shianne Foss

July 23, 2018 - 3:27pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in photos, batavia, news, agriculture.

haybalejuly222018.jpg

A hay bale in a farm field off of Bank Street Road, Batavia, this afternoon.

July 23, 2018 - 10:02am
posted by Howard B. Owens in New York Craft Malt, batavia, agriculture, news, notify.

pintpourjuly2018.jpg

When Ted and Patricia Hawley launched New York Craft Malt in 2013, it could have been characterized as an experiment. It was certainly speculative.

The State Legislature had recently passed a law that opened the door to commercial craft brewing and distilling, but it required 90 percent of the ingredients of any craft brew to come from New York.

Malt, created from barley, is a critical ingredient in beer but what legislators apparently didn't realize was that malting barley hadn't been grown in New York for nearly 100 years.

The Hawleys recognized an opportunity and they opened New York Craft Malt in Batavia.

"It was very experimental," Ted Hawley said after giving a tour of his malthouse to about 100 people on Wednesday, including beer enthusiasts, farmers, other malters, and brewers. "I had to educate myself on how to malt. I had to learn how to malt with this equipment. I had to learn the equipment and learn the trade, so I've come a long way in a short time."

Today, New York Craft Malt offers more than 40 varieties of malt with an emphasis on flavor and color, the unique attributes of craft malts. Brewers from throughout New York buy Hawley's malts and he now has customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Oregon and California.

"The circle is growing," Hawley said.

New York Craft Malt is also no longer the only malthouse in New York. There are 12 now, and each is unique, according to Gary C. Bergstrom, chair of Cornell University's Plant Pathology Department.

"I’ve seen every one of them and I can tell you, every one of them does things a little differently," Bergstrom said. "The word craft really applies here."

The tour of Hawley's operations started with Bergstrom and other members of Cornell's team in a farm field off of Assemblyman R. Stephen Hawley Drive in Batavia where Hawley and Cornell work together to grow experimental barley strains as they try to develop varieties that can not only thrive in New York but also provide what craft malters seek -- a choice of flavors and colors.

Malting in New York fell victim 100 years ago to market forces, the climate (it's not easy to grow barely in New York), and Prohibition. The effort to bring barley back has concentrated on developing strains that can grow well and be disease free in this climate.

"After the legislation passed, we quickly realized that we didn't grow what the whole industry depends on, which is malting barley," Bergstrom said. "We hadn't grown it since Prohibition. We had an immediate challenge and a positive challenge."

Cornell scientists swiftly started studying all of the varieties grown throughout the world to find which might best be adapted to New York.

"We started a breeding project to find our own unique variety of barley," Bergstrom said. "In the meantime, we learned about varieties that do well enough here to grow them and how to adapt them, how to reduce the risks and toxins on them, and how to harvest them to get the best quality we can produce right now."

Hawley has been an integral part of that barley trials, Bergstrom said.

"Ted has been a great partner with Cornell," Bergstrom said. "He's cooperated on trials; he's opened his facility to tours; at the state level he's been a good person to network and share his knowledge with others. He's helped on the education front as well as the research."

After the field tour and the malthouse tour, the group headed over to Eli Fish Brewing Company where master brewer Jon Mager gave a tour of his operation and guests could sample some locally brewed beers.

With a craft beer in hand, Jason Crossett, lead brewer for the New York Beer Project in Lockport, said coming on the tour was an important part of seeing how the whole value chain of craft beer works in New York. It was a chance to meet growers and even though he knows how malting works, he wanted to see how a craft malthouse did it.

"For me, I've done a few beers with Ted's malts but I always wanted to check out his facilities and see how a small malting operation works," Crossett said. "It was very important for me to see how the grain gets from the farmer to the malter to the brewer. To me, it's a cycle. Beer can't be made without the malters doing what they do and the farmers doing what they do and the brewers doing what we do. It takes all of us to make a good product for consumers."

Hawley also emphasized the importance of those cooperative relationships. They are, he said, what has enabled his business to grow and thrive. Early on, a few brewers trusted him enough to work with him and help him develop his product.

"In the beginning, I had bad supplies," Hawley said. "I was learning the trade and now those brewers trust me for quality malt because, without their feedback, I wouldn’t know if I was making something that was good or not. I needed their feedback, their honest, constructive criticism and it has made me where I am today."

pintpourjuly2018-2.jpg

pintpourjuly2018-3.jpg

pintpourjuly2018-4.jpg

pintpourjuly2018-5.jpg

pintpourjuly2018-6.jpg

pintpourjuly2018-7.jpg

pintpourjuly2018-8.jpg

July 22, 2018 - 4:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, agriculture, news, fair.

4hmastershow2018.jpg

Shianne Foss, of Alden, won the 4-H Club's annual Overall Master Showman competition at the Genesee County Fair on Saturday.

The competition is among the six members who won their respective showmanship awards for their animals but in the master showman contest they must demonstrate their ability at handling four different animals -- in this case, goats, lambs, chickens, and beef steer -- as well as their knowledge of those animals.

Pictured with Foss are judge Kirby Dygert and the 2017 winner Ben Kron.

4hmastershow2018-2.jpg

4hmastershow2018-3.jpg

4hmastershow2018-4.jpg

4hmastershow2018-5.jpg

July 20, 2018 - 6:03pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, animals, agriculture, news, Livestock Auction.

4hauctionjuly2018.jpg

Corinne Rhoads was a big hit with the crowd when it came time to auction off the chickens she had raised during the annual 4-H Club Livestock Auction at the Genesee County Fair.  Bidders purchased 112 animals during the charity auction, usually at prices well above market value, which included not just chickens, but goats, lambs, beef steers, dairy steers, and hogs.

William Kent Inc. conducted the auction.

4hauctionjuly2018-2.jpg

4hauctionjuly2018-3.jpg

4hauctionjuly2018-4.jpg

Clare Mathers

4hauctionjuly2018-5.jpg

Madelynn Pimm

4hauctionjuly2018-6.jpg

4hauctionjuly2018-7.jpg

Mya Grant

4hauctionjuly2018-8.jpg

Hunter McCabe

4hauctionjuly2018-9.jpg

Pete Broughton making a bid.

4hauctionjuly2018-11.jpg

Bob Bowen, Circle B Winery, holds up his bidder number so the auctioneer can record his winning bid on an animal.

4hauctionjuly2018-12.jpg

Audre Dorman

4hauctionjuly2018-13.jpg

July 19, 2018 - 3:57pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in 4-h swine club, 4-H, news, agriculture, fair.

dsc_6556swineshow.jpg

Wednesday evening the 4-H Swine Club held its annual competition at the Genesee County Fair, with members judged on their showmanship and the quality of their swine.

These pictures are from the showmanship contest, where members are judged on their ability to herd their hogs.

The awards went to: 

Senior Swine Showmanship

  • 1st place -- Mellisa Keller
  • 2nd place -- Ben Kron
  • 3rd place -- Becky Kron

Junior Swine Showmanship

  • 1st place -- Cody Carlson
  • 2nd place -- Hudson Weber

Novice Swine Showmanship

  • 1st place -- Brendan Pimm
  • 2nd place -- Chase Zuber

Melissa Keller won the Master Showman award.

Tonight is the annual 4-H meat auction. This evening, the Original Red Osier Landmark Restaurant's food trailer will be offering a pulled-pork dinner for $12, with 20 percent of all sales going to the 4-H Swine Club's scholarship award. It is given to a member who has shown sportsmanship and leadership during fair week.

Click here for a schedule of fair events.

hogsfairjuly2018-2.jpg

Melissa Keller and Ben Kron competing for master showman by demonstrating for a judge their ability to herd their swine though a figure eight around a pair of chairs.

hogsfairjuly2018-3.jpg

hogsfairjuly2018-4.jpg

hogsfairjuly2018-5.jpg

hogsfairjuly2018-6.jpg

hogsfairjuly2018-7.jpg

hogsfairjuly2018-8.jpg 

July 18, 2018 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in horses, fair, news, agriculture, draft horses.

draughthorsesjuly2018.jpg

At the fair yesterday, we took in a couple of events at the Draft Horse Show.

Mark Barre (top photo and fourth photo), of Lor-Rob Dairy in East Bethany, won in the Unicorn Class and Doug Laurence, of Arkport, won the Farm Team Class (pictured below with his ribbon stuck in his hat and in the third photo).

Yesterday's classes also included Six-Hitch, Farm Single, Open Cart, Farm Obstacle, and Feed Team.

Steven Beardsley, one of the organizers of the event, said the teams are judged on how well they work as a unit, the horse animation (for example, how well and high their pick up their legs on a trot, their headsets (straight and high), and the uniformity and cleanliness of the whole hitch. Some classes have slightly different criteria, such as the Farm Team, where horses must also demonstrate their ability to perform commands.

For the fair schedule, click here.

draughthorsesjuly2018-2.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-3.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-4.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-5.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-6.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-7.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-8.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-9.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-10.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-11.jpg

draughthorsesjuly2018-12.jpg

July 18, 2018 - 2:12pm

Press release:

Last week, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer spoke directly to United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to urge him to secure a level playing field with Canadian producers during the renegotiation of the North American Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

According to Schumer, in recent years, Canada has established dairy pricing policies and has maintained high tariffs that have effectively created a “Dairy Wall” -- stopping most U.S. dairy products from accessing Canadian markets and distorting global trade. Dairy farmers and producers from across New York State have been severely hurt by Canada’s manipulative and protectionist dairy trade practices, and it will only get worse without action.

Schumer, in his call, urged USTR Representative Lighthizer to press forward during NAFTA negotiations to secure free and fair trade for dairy farmers and producers in New York State and beyond. While NAFTA negotiations have stalled and there have been no scheduled NAFTA rounds, new rounds of negotiations are anticipated.

“During my call with United States Trade Representative Lighthizer, I made it clear that our hardworking New York dairy farmers and producers across Upstate New York are the most competitive in the world, but they depend on stable and fair rules to compete fairly in the nearby Canadian market," Senator Schumer said. "But Canada has erected a de facto protectionist ‘dairy wall’ and is not playing by the rules, and the current NAFTA renegotiation must be used to rectify that.

"I urged Representative Lighthizer to do more and do it now, so that dairy farmers and producers can finally compete on a level playing field, and am calling on him again to use this opportunity to fix the unfair Canadian dairy trade barriers that have plagued dairy farmers and producers across Upstate New York.”

Schumer explained Canada has an unfair advantage over New York dairy farmers and producers. In addition to Canada’s 270-percent tariff on milk, a program called the “Class 7” pricing program, a market-distorting supply management system, has caused severe pain to New York dairy producers since it came into force last year.

In fact, Canada has used the Class 7 program to triple its milk powder exports in the past year, by creating excess milk production capacity within Canada then dumping the resulting milk powder onto world markets. To further prove this dumping exists, Schumer added that Canada’s dairy farmers are some of the highest paid in the world, yet Canadian dairy companies are still able to be among the lowest cost sellers of Class 7 products globally.

Schumer made clear in his call that as the United States, Canadian and Mexican trade officials are closing in on a deal to revamp NAFTA, dairy farmers must be protected, and that more must be done to finally dismantle Canada’s market-distorting policies and ensure a level playing field for Upstate New York ’s dairy farmers and producers.

Schumer said that he has directly stressed the importance of securing meaningful changes in our dairy trade relationship with Canada to past and current administration officials, including President Trump, current United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States David MacNaughton, and the U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft -- who have all committed to address this issue.

Recently, Schumer joined Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) to urge U.S. trade officials to do more to secure a level playing field with Canadian producers during NAFTA negotiations.

July 10, 2018 - 5:38pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, news, business, Farming, ROPS, Charles Schumer.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced that following his push, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has agreed to administratively provide funding for the work being done nationwide, including the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry And Fishing (NEC), on the national tractor rollover protection systems (ROPS) rebate program through the end of FY2019.

Schumer, who has long advocated for the ROPS program, said today’s announcement is welcomed news for thousands of Upstate farmers. Schumer lauded the CDC for funding the ROPS program and said it is a vital program, considering that farm-related deaths are up to 800 percent higher than many other major industries, with tractor overturns being their most frequent cause at a rate of 96 cases per year.

“ROPS is a critical and cost-effective rebate program that provides important information to farmers across the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar for their machinery. The CDC’s decision to provide funding administratively for this lifesaving program is a great first step, but I won’t rest until I know for certain it will still be fully operational for years to come.

"I vow to continue working with the CDC to ensure our agricultural community has every available resource to succeed,” Senator Schumer said.

The ROPS program facilitates rebates in states with state-based funding to farmers to cover approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS roll bar retrofit kit on their tractor. According to Schumer, the original grant funding for this important program was slated to expire in September, but following a major push by Schumer, the program will be funded for at least another year.

“Keeping family farmers and farm workers who operate dangerous machinery safe must be a major priority, especially in Upstate New York, where the agricultural community is our lifeblood. That is why I laud the CDC for restoring funding for this critical farm safety program,” Schumer added. “The work done by organizations like the NEC is exactly the type of work the federal government should be investing in: it’s cost-effective, informed by real industry experts, and helps save farmers’ lives every day.

"Funding this program means that Upstate New York Farmers will have continued access to valuable critical resources including a 1-800 safety hotline number and on the ground experts in rural communities to help farmers access the ROPS Rebate Program, which helps them correctly install rollover bars on their tractors just in case the tractor flips over.

"I’m proud of the role I played in helping secure funding for the ROPS program to plow forward and will be doing everything possible to make sure this program, which puts farmers first, is protected for years to come.”

According to NEC Director, Julie Sorensen, Ph.D., the program has also been considerably cost effective with recent economic assessments pointing to a $5 million savings in NY State due to deaths and injuries averted through the program.

“Before this program, many NY farmers had neither the money nor the time to invest in these crucial lifesaving devices and unfortunately their only viable solution prior to the ROPS program was to routinely put their lives at risk hoping this wouldn’t be their day to die on the job," Sorensen said. "Senator Schumer’s advocacy sends a clear message to farmers -- you are important and valued members of the New York community.”

Schumer said the agricultural community is the lifeblood of Upstate New York, and that protecting the well-being and safety of farmers must be a major priority. In response to the hazardous environment of working on a farm, the Northeast Center For Occupational Safety And Health For Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing launched an effort to create the life-saving ROPS Rebate Program, which covers approximately 70 percent of the cost for a farmer to install a ROPS rollbar kit on their tractor.

In most cases, this means farmers only pay $500 or less for this life-saving equipment that can otherwise cost up to $1,200. NEC also provides information to farmers throughout the country on how to find and install the right rollover bar. Since its inception in 2006, the NEC reports that more than 2,150 tractors have been retrofitted with protective structures in seven states, with more than 1,500 of those retrofits occurring in New York State alone.

Farmers throughout the country benefit from the hotline and administrative support that is provided through CDC funding. Furthermore, Schumer said, participants in New York reported 221 close calls and 19 serious incidents in which death or injury was likely without the protective ROPS structures.

Schumer said now that the CDC has agreed to administratively fund the program, critical outreach and infrastructure surrounding the ROPS program can continue and grow. Schumer lauded the CDC and vowed to do everything possible to ensure that the CDC administratively funds the program now and in the future so that the inroads the ROPS program has made can continue beyond 2020.

July 9, 2018 - 1:38pm

Press release:

The  48th Annual Genesee County 4-H Market Animal Auction will be held Thursday, July 19, at the Genesee County Fair.

The auction begins at 7 p.m. in the main show ring.

New this year, 4-H members will be selling market chickens and dairy steers.

The auction will feature approximately 28 lots of market chickens, 10 goats, 19 lambs, 29 beef steers, two dairy steers and 44 hogs.

There will be a complementary buyers' dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds.

Auction supporters will receive buyer’s dinner meal tickets after registering for a buyer’s number.

Special thanks to William Kent and Family for providing 48 years of support of the 4-H Market Animal Auction Program.

For more information, contact the Genesee County 4-H Office at 585-343-3040, ext. 101.

July 2, 2018 - 4:42pm

Press release:

Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge will offer for bid 198 acres of grasslands for hay in three different fields ranging in size from 50 to 90 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.

Units will be allocated on a highest bid per field basis for each field. Sealed bids will be accepted until close-of-business (COB) on Wednesday, July 11. Bids will be opened on Thursday, July 12.

An official Bid Sheet and a Commercial Activities Special Use Permit Application, both available from the Refuge headquarters, are required to make a bid.

Completed Bid Sheets and Permit Applications can be mailed to or dropped off at 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 21, 2018 - 4:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in chis collins, NY-27, agriculture.

Press release:

Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) today voted for the 2018 Farm Bill that will strengthen and grow the Western New York dairy economy.

In recent years, the dairy industry has faced significant challenges, including an overall decline in milk consumption due to unfair trade practices with nations like Canada. Provisions in the Farm Bill make commonsense reforms to safety net programs put in place to help farmers during a downturn.

Collins has been a staunch advocate for expanding the current H-2A visa program that has not met the need of dairy farmers to find a legal, experienced workforce. Provisions to address issues with visas were not included, although Collins was assured by House Leadership that a separate bill to solve these problems will be considered in July.

“Our nation’s dairy farmers are struggling and we have to do everything we can to keep this industry alive in Western New York,” Collins said. “I’ve met with local farmers who have told me on numerous occasions that the Margin Protection Program was simply not working and was based on flawed logic.

"The reforms passed in today’s bill are going to help these farmers better utilize this program as we continue to make reforms that will boost this industry.”

This legislation would provide greater coverage to dairy farmers through the Margin Protection Program (MPP) and will allow a farmer to participate in both the livestock and dairy protection programs. Additionally, the program will be relabeled the Dairy Risk Management Program (DRMP).

The newly created DRMP eliminates the current 25-percent minimum coverage level and allows producers to elect levels in 5-percent increments. It will also add higher coverage levels of $8.50 and $9 per CWT, a provision Collins advocated for in a 2017 letter to House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (TX-11).

The legislation will also require the United States Department of Agriculture to study the accuracy of milk and feed costs used to determine the margin. This was implemented in response to the large number of farmers that were unable to utilize the program because of ineffective calculations.

Collins added: “Since I have gotten elected to Congress, our region’s agriculture industry has been a main priority and I’m committed to continuing to do what is best for our farmers. While we still have work to do to turn this industry around, I’m pleased with the reforms we passed today.”

For more information on H.R. 2, Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, click here.

June 18, 2018 - 10:05am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, news.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today revealed the details of the newly released Senate Farm Bill. The senators said the bill could benefit key Upstate New York industries, and urged their colleagues in the Senate to pass the bill as quickly as possible.

Senators Schumer and Gillibrand detailed several major areas in which the Farm Bill will be a major boost to Upstate farmers, growers, and producers, as well as other New York businesses, like Hickey Freeman. 

Schumer and Gillibrand said the newly announced bill reflects a variety of different priorities they pushed for on behalf of the New York agricultural community. Schumer said the bill will give New York's agricultural industry a shot in the arm, and vowed to preserve Upstate New York’s priorities as the bill goes through the legislative process.  

“The pending Senate Farm Bill is a major victory for Upstate New York and its large and vital agricultural community. It includes important positive provisions that should push this bill over the finish line,” Senator Schumer said. “Ensuring the passage of a Farm Bill focused on agricultural policy is vital for New York’s agricultural community and our economy as a whole.

"The bill makes further investments to help Upstate New York dairy farmers, boosts the rapidly growing organic sector, builds on New York’s burgeoning industrial hemp industry, and protects important New York jewels like Hickey Freeman from unfair foreign competition.

"While the bill does not contain everything that we fought for, it is ultimately a win for the farmers that are the heart of Upstate New York. Most importantly this bill will also help deliver immediate certainty for our farmers at a time when they need it the most."

“New York State’s farmers and producers are vital to our economy and they work day and night to feed millions of families across our country,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “After hearing from farmers and producers all across our state, I fought hard on the Senate Agriculture Committee from the very beginning to make sure this year’s Senate Farm Bill had New York’s best interests at its core.

"I will always fight to support New York’s agriculture community, and I was very proud to support this legislation in committee.”

New York Business Growth

Schumer fought to extend and fully fund the Wool Trust Fund program, which Rochester icon Hickey Freeman relies on for crucial import tax relief.  The program was created more than a decade ago to compensate the domestic suit industry for the competitive disadvantage that results from an unfair tariff inversion where the duty on the imported finished product is lower than the duty on the inputs used to make the product here at home.

Under the Wool Trust Fund program, U.S. manufacturers of wool clothing and fabric are eligible for a partial refund of duties paid on imports of wool inputs.  The Wool Trust Fund program also provides U.S. wool producers with funding for improvements in wool production methods and development of the wool market.

The conference report restores Wool Trust Fund payment levels for recent years when the program was underfunded and extends its authorization, through 2023. U.S. manufacturers and wool producers -- and their American workers -- would be hard hit by the elimination of the Wool Trust Fund program. Hickey Freeman has saved millions of dollars over the past few years through the program and this provision will ensure they receive the dollars they are owed. 

Conservation:

The Senators said the Senate Farm bill funds key environmental programs that are essential to farmers, like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).  These programs are voluntary conservation initiatives that farmers can utilize through the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) to help them continue to be good stewards of the land.    

Agriculture and Farming/Growing:

Organic Farming:

The newly introduced Senate Farm Bill established mandatory funding of $11.5 million for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program (NOCCSP), which helps support farmers who want to become involved in the organic market by providing reimbursements of some of their annual fees for United States Department of Agriculture USDA organic certification. It includes an increase in critical funding for organic research through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative from its current level of $20 million to $50 million by FY2022.

Finally, the Senate version of the Farm Bill increases the authorization for the National Organic Program (NOP). Both Senators have been major supporters of this program that helps USDA protect farmers from having to unfairly compete against fraudulent organic imports while also helping to maintain consumer confidence in the USDA certified organic brand. This bill increases the authorization for the NOP to $16.5 million in FY2019, $18 million in FY2020, $20 million in FY2021, $22 million in FY2022, and $24 million in FY2023.

Specialty Crops

The Senate Farm Bill contained a number of provisions beneficial to Upstate farmers, but especially to farmers of specialty crops. New York produces a wide range of specialty crops (fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, herbs and spices, maple syrup, Christmas trees, etc.) that rank highly nationwide in terms of both production and economic value.

The Senate Farm Bill, according to Schumer and Gillibrand, provides vital funding to key programs that aid specialty crop producers, such as the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. These programs help provide support to New York's specialty crop industry in the form of robust research funding. 

Maple:

The Senate Farm Bill reauthorizes Schumer’s original legislation known as The  Maple Tap Act, which Schumer said is now officially called the Acer Access and Development Program. This provision will continue to help maple producers in the Hudson Valley and across Upstate New York boost their production and become more competitive with places like Canada, which produces 85 percent of the world's maple product.

The senators said, specifically, this provision provides an authorization for USDA grants to states that create programs to encourage individual and private landowners to open up their trees to maple tapping. Schumer's legislation would also provide grants to states to support market promotion, maple industry research and development, and education through leading institutions, like Cornell University.

Hemp:

Another important provision Schumer and Gillibrand fought to include was the Hemp Farming Act of 2018. Schumer, a cosponsor of the Hemp Farming Act, said the provision could help unlock Industrial hemp’s full potential as an agricultural commodity across Upstate New York by removing hemp from a federal list of controlled substances.

The senators said the bill will do four important things for farmers nationwide including in New York State:

  • Remove industrial hemp from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act;
  • Empower states to be the principal regulators of hemp;
  • Allow hemp researchers to apply for competitive federal grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture;
  • Finally, it would make hemp farmers eligible to apply for crop insurance.

Most importantly, the senator’s said this important provision would allow for New York’s agricultural community to grow industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity if they so choose, allowing New York growers more flexibility. 

Barley:

The bill directs the National Agricultural Statistics Service of USDA to document barley production in New York State. This would ensure that producers have the information they need to decide on future plantings.

The information would be valuable for growers because it would provide sufficient data for crop insurance companies to expand insurance offerings and eventually offer a malting barley endorsement.

Dairy:
The newly introduced Senate Farm Bill also includes major victories for Upstate New York dairy farmers and producers. The newly introduced Farm Bill invests in programs to help give much-needed relief to Upstate New York dairy farmers and producers.

The Senate Version of the Farm Bill includes a variety of helpful reforms including: an investment of $100 million to help improve the Federal dairy insurance program to help make the program work better for small to medium dairy farms; a provision waiving administrative fees for beginning, veteran, and underserved farmers; a provision continuing the vital changes made in the Omnibus Budget bill that allowed for the creation of new dairy insurance tools in the future; legislation introduced by Senator Gillibrand, The Dairy Premium Refund Act, which would return $77.1 million in insurance premiums paid by farmers for insurance coverage that did not work, while also establishing a milk donation program to reimburse eligible dairy organizations costs incurred for donating their milk.

PAWS

The newly introduced Senate farm bill also includes a vital provision called the Pet and Women Safety Act (PAWS) Act, which both Senators are currently cosponsors of.  This bill would help give victims of domestic violence and their pets greater access to safe sheltering options, as well as provide stronger legal protections of pets. According to the Humane Society, up to one-third of domestic violence victims delay leaving a dangerous situation, because they fear for the safety of their pets, and up to one-fourth return to an abuser due to concern for their pets.

Local Food Programs

The Senate Farm Bill creates a new Local Agriculture Market Program (LAMP) by combining the Value Added Producer Grants Program and the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. The value-added producers grant program helps dairy farmers that start producing artisanal cheese or apple growers that enter the hard cider industry.

The grants administered through the new LAMP program will continue to support strengthening our local food systems from rural farmers to urban consumers.

Water, waste disposal, and wastewater facility grants

The Senate Farm bill provides funding to support and strengthen rural water infrastructure. Funding to Rural Development programs like the Water, Waste Disposal, and Wastewater Facility Grant program will help families and businesses across Upstate New York and nationwide continue to have access to clean drinking water.   

Community facility investments

The Senate Farm Bill supports Community Facility investments to continue to help provide resources to construct hospitals, improve schools, while also improving fire and police stations across small towns in New York State. 

Rural Broadband

This year’s Senate Farm Bill includes a provision, based on Senator Gillibrand’s bipartisan Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act (B-CROP Act), which would make grant funding available for rural broadband projects in high-need areas.

Gillibrand worked with her colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee to include this provision in the Senate Farm Bill, which would help encourage more high-speed broadband deployment to high-need areas by awarding grants in combination with the current loan funding available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service.

Federal funds would target the highest-need rural and tribal areas, allowing for grants of up to 50 percent of a project’s cost, and up to 75 percent for remote, high-need areas, to be awarded in combination with the current loan funding available through USDA. The Senate Farm Bill also increases the annual funding level of the USDA broadband program to $150 million.

REAP Zones

The Farm Bill would reauthorize the Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone designation for Sullivan County and the Town of Wawarsing in Ulster County. The REAP Zone program provides specialized technical assistance from USDA to assist in community development efforts, including rehabilitating rural housing, developing local and regional food systems, supporting rural entrepreneurs, small businesses, and infrastructure improvements to community facilities, water, and wastewater systems, and other similar projects that are critical to an area’s economic development. Senator Gillibrand worked with Senator Leahy (D-VT) and the Agriculture Committee to include this amendment in this year’s Farm Bill.

Pages

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 © 2008-2018 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button