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February 24, 2020 - 5:56pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in farm labor, agriculture, batavia, business.

Press release:

New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon today announced she will convene a wage board for farm laborers that will hold hearings, review and make recommendations regarding overtime work for farm laborers in New York State.

Under the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law last year, farm laborers are entitled to overtime premium pay starting on January 1, 2020, for any work that they perform in excess of 60 hours per week, and for work performed on their designated day of rest. 

As part of that Act, the wage board will consider and make recommendations as to overtime work and, specifically, will hear testimony about reducing the threshold for overtime below 60 hours per week and whether to do so in phases.

“We worked hard to ensure this bill included the proper labor protections and benefits that our farm laborers are entitled to,” said Commissioner Reardon. “We have an opportunity to improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of farmworkers. Overtime is a key component and we need to get it right.”

Convening the Wage Board

As required by the Act, New York State Labor Commissioner Reardon will convene a wage board with the following members:

  • David Fisher, President of the New York Farm Bureau
  • Denis Hughes, former President of the New York State AFL-CIO
  • Brenda McDuffie, President of the Buffalo Urban League 

Under the Act, the wage board must hold at least three hearings at which the public will be afforded an opportunity to provide comments.  The board will hold five hearings in various parts of the state. The board will carefully consider the input it gathers from farmers and other stakeholders.

The board has until December 31, 2020 to make its recommendations, after which the Commissioner will have 45 days to take administrative action on those recommendations.

Public hearings are scheduled as follows:  

  • Friday  2/28 – 11am – Albany – New York State Museum Cultural Education Center, Clark Auditorium, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12230
  • Friday  3/13 – 11am – Syracuse – Onondaga Community College, Storer Auditorium,  4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY  13215
  • Monday  3/23 – 11am – Binghamton – Binghamton University, Symposium Hall, Center of Excellence Building Innovative Technology Complex, 45 Murray Hill Road, Vestal, NY 13850
  • Thursday  4/16 – 11am – Long Island – Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738
  • Thursday 4/23 – 11am – Batavia – Geneseo Community College, William Stuart Forum, 1 College Rd., Batavia, NY
February 24, 2020 - 3:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, business, GCEDC, HP Hood.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) has announced that HP Hood will receive the Economic Development Partner of the Year award at the agency’s annual business meeting on Friday, March 6 at Batavia Downs.

Approximately 250 business, government, community and economic developments leaders are expected to attend the annual meeting.

HP Hood is one of the country’s largest branded food and beverage companies with 13 manufacturing plants throughout the United States. More than 250 food and beverage professionals are now employed at HP Hood’s Batavia facility in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.

Theresa Bresten, vice president and treasurer for HP Hood, will be accepting the award on behalf of the company.

“Since opening its doors in Genesee County in 2017, HP Hood has been a model for success,” said GCEDC President and CEO Steve Hyde. “The company continues to create jobs and is the latest success story in Genesee County’s proud dairy industry.”

HP Hood has invested more than $200 million in expanding, improving and operating its world-class 448,000-square-foot facility at the Agri-Business Park. The facility occupies 82 acres there and it recently purchased 22 additional acres to accommodate future growth.

“HP Hood is honored to have been selected as the GCEDC 2020 Partner of the Year,” said Hood spokesperson Theresa Bresten. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done together to bring new jobs to the local community.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with GCEDC in enriching the economy of Genesee County and New York.”

The theme of the 2020 annual meeting is “Success Starts Here,” including the growth of Batavia’s food and beverage hub.

In the past 10 years, companies in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park and surrounding companies have invested more than $500 million into facilities that employ more than 700 professionals and operate over 1 million square feet of operations.

The event will focus on the GCEDC’s business accomplishments in 2019 and economic development goals and objectives for 2020.

Register to attend the GCEDC Annual Meeting and Luncheon by visiting GCEDC.com.

February 20, 2020 - 4:55pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Pandora's Boxxx, Brach Machine, inc., batavia, notify.

Machine shop owners Nancy and Bill Brach passed up the opportunity to buy the building next door to their business in the Town of Batavia nearly 20 years ago and the die was cast.

Nancy said they came to regret that.

Out-of-state businessman Jay W. Tuxford bought it instead, in November of 2000 when escrow closed on the $130,000 sale of 4816 Ellicott Street Road.

Brach's Machine, Inc., a 15,000-square-foot facility at 4814 Ellicott Street Road, soon had new neighbors -- Pandora's Boxxx, an erotica store that sold racy lingerie, adults toys and videos, and exotic gizmos.

"The porno people" as she refers to them, "weren't horrible neighbors" but the Brachs found the operation "unsavory" nonetheless.

"We wanted that place to be closed forever," Nancy said, with some exasperation, adding that the brass at O-AT-KA Milk Products across the street at Cedar Street and Ellicott Street Road, weren't sorry to see the adult business go away either, finding it a rather "unwholesome" sight.

So it was with great delight that they found that Tuxford wanted to unload the property.

He appears to be a South Carolina resident who has, or has had, several businesses, according to information in online databases. These include Panbox Enterprises LTD (Pandora's Boxxx locations) based in Inman, S.C., South Shore Distributing in Long Beach, Mass., The Love Boutique Inc. in Inman, S.C. and in Orlando, the Florida metropolis where he also has two units in a multiplex. He is also listed as owning Florida Video Control Inc.

The Oct. 22, 2010 issue of the Rochester Business Journal lists Tuxford as filing a legal notice to change the name of a business in Genesee County from Granny's Attic of WYN Inc. to Nicholé’s of NY Inc.

The Brachs closed escrow on the 1,700-square-foot property next door on Oct. 18, and the sale price was $160,000.

It was originally owned, according to county records, by Albert Scroger. Genesee Farms bought it in 1990 for $70,000 and Pavlos Panitsidis paid $80,000 for it five years later. Five years after that is when Tuxford bought it.

The Brach's primary interest in it was for "purely selfish reasons" -- to provide much needed additional parking space for their 19 employees and room for their trucks to safely back in and out.

Brach Machine and Design, DBA was founded in 1985, specializing in tool design and custom machine work, focusing on the die casting industry. It incorporated under the name Brach Machine, Inc. in 1993. In 2005, the husband and wife established legal co-ownership under Brachefeller, LLC ("as in Rockefeller," says Nancy) and that entity is the listed property owner of both parcels, according to Bill.

The business continues to serve the die casting industry, producing a wide variety of shot-end components for zinc and aluminum die casting machines.

The Brachs rent the former Pandora's Boxxx to Chuck Bucci, who owns Batavia Bargains, "for a song," Nancy said.

Bucci relocated from 198 Ellicott St. in the city, behind the Qwik Fill, and opened at his new space on Monday. 

Gone are the sun-faded pair of familiar burgundy awnings emblazoned with the words Pandora's Boxxx.

This afternoon, Bucci said the town site offers a bigger, more attractive space to display the goods he culls from estate sales, an occasional auction, etc.

He stocks a wide array of antiques, collectibles, primitives, all kinds of furniture, artwork, tools, signs, toys, and needful knickknacks and odd treasures.

"It's a nicer building ... there's more visibility and more drive-by traffic," Bucci said. "We were in the other building two years and nobody knew we were there."

Batavia Bargains' hours are the same for now: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday; closed Wednesdays and Sundays. Bucci said he'll probably expand or adjust the hours in the warmer months.

February 19, 2020 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Farmers Insurance Agency, batavia, business.


Jeff and Carolyn Houseknecht opened a new Farmers Insurance Agency office at 214 E. Main St., Batavia, with a ribbon cutting this afternoon.


February 18, 2020 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Fashion Program Speaker Series, GCC, business, sewing.

Submitted photos and press release:

The Fashion Program Speaker Series at Genesee Community College is pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in sewing, fashion and the garment industry that is being held on Wednesday, March 4, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in two rooms of the Conable Technology Building at GCC's Batavia Campus located at One College Road in Batavia.

With a long and rich history featuring a wide array of different professionals from the billion-dollar fashion industry, GCC's Fashion Speaker Series highlights many career opportunities in the industry for both students as well as community members.

GCC's fashion program faculty are excited to invite the public to attend this free event, and while it is not necessary to reserve a seat in advance, space will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Beginning at 9:30 a.m. in room T119, guests will be able to view concurrent demonstrations on four different sewing machines used in the fashion industry today. Specifically, a scan and cut machine, a serger machine, an embroidery machine, and a Sashiko embroidery machine will all be available. Each of these will be operated by members of the American Sewing Guild who will demonstrate popular techniques used around the world in garment production.

Then, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room T102, event attendees will hear from Kathy Healey (inset photo below left), creator and owner of Healey Wear, a custom window treatment design firm, and also Betsey Reigle (inset photo below right), owner of Seamless Designs. Both firms are located in Rochester.

These entrepreneurs will share their stories including how technology, industry changes, as well as passion and hard work have been the "interfacing" of their success.

Healey Wear was established in 1998 after Healey's two sons were born. She developed a business model that is beautifully simple but engaging.

She works closely with her clients to understand the nuances of their interests and likes to create and install window treatments that complete the look and feel of rooms in her clients' homes. In addition to windows, Healey Wear has expanded to cushions, pillows and quilts to accentuate home interiors.

Reigle has worked in the interior design field her entire professional career. Her mother taught her to sew at a young age and she fell in love with fabric.

With years of experience as well as a bachelor's degree in Interior Design from Mercyhurst College, Reigle opened her own business, Seamless Designs, a retail workroom for distinctive home furnishings.

Starting her career with creating custom clothing for women and altering formal wear, Reigle followed her passion and in 2010 she began focusing solely on beautiful handcrafted products for her clients' home interiors.

Both speakers will be available for photo opportunities and flier signings in Genesee Community College's Rosalie Steiner Theatre at 1 p.m. for all participants.

For interested individuals unable to attend in Batavia, the presentations made by Healey and Reigle in room T102 will be live-streamed with a link from GCC's homepage (click on Live Stream button) or here.

February 18, 2020 - 12:39pm

Submitted photo and press release:

Ariana and Tom Sylvester (photo above) are the quintessential entrepreneurs: Creative; funny; hard working; authors; speakers; designers; open to change; jugglers of life encounters; self-employed; parents; husband and wife; college sweethearts; athletes; and maybe just a little crazy -- proudly so. They are also the perfect pair to kick off Genesee Community College's third annual Business Idea Pitch Competition.

They will make their presentation on Thursday, March 19, at 11 a.m. at the Batavia Campus in the Conable Technology Building room T102.

With a program entitled, "Becoming a Lifestyle Builder: Your Guide to Creating an Aligned and Amazing Life," Tom and Ariana will cover the first three sections of their successful book, "Life Builders, Build Your Business, Quit Your Job and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle."

In a one-hour program, they intend to cover the basics of their inspirational message, and give the flavor of chapter one -- "Planning with Purpose"; chapter two -- "Finding Your Freedom"; and chapter three -- "Concept to Cash."

Their program is free and open to the public. Limited seating is first-come, first-served and a book signing opportunity will follow their program.

The Sylvesters currently live in Gates and have two young children. They met at Oswego State College where they earned degrees in Computer Science and Zoology, respectively, and both played on the college's soccer teams.

They graduated in 2006, married in 2008, started their family in 2012, and have gone on to establish three different businesses all while still in their 30s.

Sylvester Enterprises is a residential and commercial real estate firm is based in Warsaw and Perry, and they owned a retail liquor store in Warsaw for approximately seven years.

Since 2015 however, they have been living their dream come true with Lifestyle Builders, a firm they founded to help others secure their dream careers by building upon individual passions while also balancing life's competing priorities. Their 285-page book also includes chapters on "Setup and Scale Your Systems," "Quit Your Cubicle" and "Stop Self Sabotage."

As self-described "family entrepreneurs," the couple has many speaking engagements, and a robust variety of podcasts available on their website, under seven different headings: Lifestyle; Start A Business; Grow A Business; Marketing; Sales; Operations; and Finance.

The diverse selection of podcast titles include: "Organic Marketing Before Paid Marketing"; "Automate Before You Delegate"; "The Hiccups with Hiring -- How to Build Your Team"; and the "FIRE Movement -- Financial Independence"; "Retire with Entrepreneurship:; and let's not overlook "The Danger of Mom-Guilt."

From their podcasts to their book, their website and their speaking engagements, Lifestyle Builders look beyond the financial details of starting a business by helping entrepreneurs consider and prepare their personal lives and goals as well.

"It rarely is a straight and narrow path," Ariana said. "And we wouldn't want it any other way."

Genesee Community College offers both degree and certificate programs in Entrepreneurship preparing emerging business owners and investors for success. The Sylvesters' presentation will help expand the learning opportunity and kick off GCC's third annual Business Idea Pitch Competition, which is cosponsored by Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC).

The Business Idea Pitch Competition will be held Thursday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (check-in starting at 8:15 a.m.) in room T102 of the Conable Technology Building at the Genesee Community College's Batavia Campus.

To support participants' efforts and help prepare their first entrepreneurial steps, GCC is hosting the following preparation workshops all held in room T121:

  • Tuesday, March 31, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. -- "Starting a Business" presented by Sam Campanella
  • Tuesday, April 14, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. -- "Writing a Business Plan" presented by Sam Campanella
  • Tuesday, April 21, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. -- "Developing Your Pitch" presented by Lina LaMattina, Ph.D.

The workshops are free and open to anyone participating in the Business Idea Pitch Competition. To sign up for a workshop, please contact LaMattina at [email protected].

February 13, 2020 - 4:51pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, annual ag dinner, agriculture, alexander.

Press release:

This spring come and celebrate Genesee County’s No. 1 industry -- agriculture!

Tickets are still available for the 18th annual Celebrate Agriculture Dinner. It will take place Saturday, April 18, at 6 p.m. at the Alexander Firemen's Recreation Hall, located at 10708 Alexander Road in Alexander.

The highlight of the night is a delicious meal using locally produced foods impeccably prepared by Penna’s Catering. The farm-to-fork feast is open to the public.

Tickets can be purchased at the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce (8276 Park Road, Batavia) for $30 each or a table of 10 for $275.

Sponsorships are also available which help support agricultural educational events in Genesee County, such as Kinderfarmin’. Order your tickets now as they will not be available at the door.

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

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

February 13, 2020 - 1:30pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Walk to End Alzheimer's, batavia.

Photo: Kim Arnold, left, and her daughter Brooke.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds forcare and support for all impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and research to find ways to prevent, treat and end the disease.

On Oct. 3, 2020, the Genesee/Wyoming Walk to End Alzheimer’s will bring more than 600 people to Batavia who have touched in some way by dementia, and leading the effort is an executive with The Manor House in Batavia.

The Manor House Sales and Marketing Director Kim Arnold will chair this year’s event in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association Western New York Chapter, which oversees five other Walks across the region.

In 2019, the Batavia Walk raised more than $64,000. Corporate sponsorship and peer-to-peer fundraising for the Walk fund the Chapter’s local outreach, which includes free education and supportive services, as well as critical research.

“I am honored to be leading the volunteer team for the Batavia Walk," Arnold said. "Our committee is very dedicated to organizing a fun and inspiring event and raising the funds that will help us end this terrible disease.

"One of the things I am most proud about is that our Walk is one of the leaders across the nation for returning Walk teams, and I think that is a reflection of the wonderful community we have here across Genesee and Wyoming counties."

Individual, family and friend and corporate teams raise funds for the Walk through various means, including yard sales, raffles, dress down days and the sales of various purple items such as bracelets and paper flowers. 

Alzheimer’s Association WNY Chapter Executive Director Jill Horner welcomes Arnold to the Walk leadership group.

“I am delighted that Kim hasthis critical leadership role to support families in her community and across Western New York," Horner said. "Her dedication and ongoing support of chapter work is never ending and I can’t thank Kim enough for her commitment."

Other Walks set for this year are set for: Buffalo on Sept. 12; the Southern Tier and Orleans County on Sept. 26; Niagara County on Oct. 3; and Chautauqua County on Oct. 10.

All Walk locations are currently recruiting volunteers to serve on organizing committees. Roles include marketing, recruitment, sponsorship and logistics.

To volunteer, call the WNY Chapter office at (716) 626-0600. To learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s and to start a fundraising team, visit alz.org/Walk.

About Kim Arnold

She joined The Manor House in 2016 after working in sales and marketing in Monroe County, including serve as the chair of Development for Camp HACCAMO for developmentally disabled children in Penfield. Her affiliation with the Alzheimer’s Association began seven years ago when she volunteered to work as a community educator.

Arnold has been volunteering with the Association and the Walk since she began working in Batavia. She and her husband, Tom, reside in Avon with their daughter Brooke, who also volunteers at the Walk.

About the Alzheimer’s Association

It is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

About the Western New York Chapter

The local Chapter provides programs, services and other resources for those living with dementia, their care partners, healthcare professionals and others across eight counties: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.

You can learn more by calling (716) 626-0600 during traditional business hours, or 24/7 at 800-272-3900 or alz.org/WNY.

February 11, 2020 - 3:52pm
posted by Virginia Kropf in bergen, business, Bergen Business and Civic Association.

Above, Mickey Hyde, left, and Charlie Cook, of Liberty Pumps.

BERGEN – The Bergen Business and Civic Association has put forth great effort to improve the quality of life within the Bergen community for many years. They also take the time and trouble to recognize those citizens of Bergen who donate their time and efforts to make Bergen a better place to live and work.

On Saturday, the BBCA sponsored a community recognition dinner at Batavia Country Club to honor those individuals who give above and beyond for the betterment of their community.

Honorees were Joe MacConnell, Marian Partridge, Sandy Partridge, Jennie Starowicz, Tom Williamson, Marty Dilcher, of Dilcher’s Excavating and Contracting, and Charlie Cook, of Liberty Pumps.

Mayor Anna Marie Barclay, president of BBCA, said it has been at least five years since the organization has publicly recognized its outstanding citizens. At a recent meeting, the membership decided it was time they paid tribute to those people who volunteer or do community service – sometimes quietly and other times when people are aware.

The committee accepted nominations and the honorees were selected.

Joe MacConnell was introduced by David Washburn. MacConnell has been a member of the Bergen Fire Department for more than 50 years and an avid supporter of all their functions. He is a school bus driver for Byron-Bergen Central School and is an advocate for the kids. He was overseer of Mount Rest Cemetery for many years. He is one of those people who, if you need a hand, he is there, Barclay said. She called him a good friend and a good neighbor.

Marian Partridge was introduced by former town supervisor Tom Cunningham. Partridge, 91, was a Home Economics teacher at Byron-Bergen. She is a member of the BBCA and the longest-standing member of the Triangle Club, having joined in the 1950s when it was formed as an offshoot of the YMCA. She started the library in Bergen and put the original monument in Hickory Park. She has been on the Village Planning Board for more than 20 years.

Sandy Partridge, who was presented her award by Anne Sapienza, works with Young Life, a youth organization from the Presbyterian Church. She regularly clears all the furniture out of her living room and makes dinner for up to 20 kids. She runs Food Link at her church, and arrives early to cook hot dogs for people as they wait in line.

Jennie Starowicz was recognized by Myrna List. Starowicz chaired Recycled Teens, a senior citizens group at the Catholic church. She was vice president of the Bergen Historical Society and has been involved in 4-H all her life. List, who like Starowicz comes from a farm family, said she has known Jennie all her life. Starowicz had eight sewing machines set up in her basement, where she invited girls to come in and work on their 4-H projects. She has been involved with the Genesee County Fair for 50 years. At one time she managed a 24-unit apartment house in Bergen, and although she only got paid for 15 hours a week, she spent much more time volunteering to do things for the residents.

Mayor Barclay chose to present Tom Williamson with his award. Several years ago when vandals stole or damaged all the bronze markers on veterans’ graves in Mount Rest Cemetery, Williamson replaced all the missing ones and cleaned and repaired the rest. While serving as the village’s code enforcement officer, if a resident had a problem, Williamson would go to their home after work and help them solve it. He has also been an active member of the American Legion.

Marty Dilcher, of Dilcher’s Excavating and Contracting, received his award from Karen Ely. Dilcher was honored for always helping people and businesses all over town. When a house next to the mayor’s home collapsed and dust covered the Barclay home, Dilcher came and gave them two books of car wash tickets. He loans golf carts free of charge for the Bergen Park Festival and other events.

Charlie Cook, of Liberty Pumps, was introduced by Mickey Hyde. Cook was praised for his community service and building a business that employs more than 250 people in Bergen. Cook stated, “I just do what I do.”

Sapienza, who is secretary of BBCA, said the recognition dinner was long overdue.

“We need to recognize people who contribute to our community,” she said.

Barclay said when she thinks of all the wonderful people in the community and all the wonderful things they do, she wishes they could honor them more often.

Each honored individual received a gift bag, and each one will have their name added to a plaque in the library building.

In addition to the recognition dinner, events which the BBCA supports in the community include the Bergen Park Festival for the past 26 years, and Children’s Easter Egg Hunt. They donate to community groups, such as Byron-Bergen Public Library, Mason’s Gift Basket Program, village Parks and Gillam Grant Community Center. They also publish the Bergen directory every two years.

There are three BBCA officers. In addition to Barclay and Sapienza, there's also Maria Rowland, who serves as treasurer.

The banquet committee for the recognition dinner was Maria Rowland, Myrna List, Connie Tiefel, Catherine Tater and Toby Cook.

Below, Tom Williamson and Bergen Mayor Anna Marie Barclay.

Below, Don Cunningham and Marian Partridge.

Below, Sandy Partridge, left, and Anne Sapienza.

Below, Karen Ely and Marty Dilcher, of Dilcher Excavating and Contracting.

Below, Myrna List, left, and Jennie Starowicz.

Below, Joe MacConnell, left, and David Washburn.

Below, Awards Dinner Committee, from left, Myrna List, Connie Tiefel, Katherine Tater, Maria Rowland and Toby Cook.

February 10, 2020 - 4:11pm
posted by Billie Owens in farmers, agriculture, business, disaster area.

Information from press releases.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated 43 New York counties, including Genesee County, as primary natural disaster areas.

This designation allows the Farm Service agencies in affected states to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

The deadline to apply for these emergency loans is Sept. 29.

Excessive Rain

Producers in Albany, Allegany, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Livingston, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Washington, Wyoming, and Yates counties, who suffered losses due to excessive rain that has occurred since April 1, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Producers in the contiguous New York counties of Broome, Cattaraugus, Cortland, Dutchess, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Orange, St. Lawrence, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, and Wayne, along with Berkshire County, Mass.; Bradford, Erie, McKean, Pike, Potter, Susquehanna, Tioga, Warren, and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania; and Addison, Bennington, Chittenden, Grand Isle, and Rutland counties in Vermont, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

"The farmers in Genesee County were certainly affected by excessive moisture in the spring," according to Molly Preston, the GC executive director of the local Farm Service Agency, which has an office on Liberty Street in Batavia.

"However, many of the farmers were able to get crops planted, even if it was a bit later than usual. 'The cows need to be fed' was the response from many farmers when asked if they were able to get all their crops in.

"In Genesee County there were approximately 12,500 acres reported as prevented (from being) planted. There are roughly 150,000 acres reported (as planted) annually in Genesee County.

The main crops affected locally were corn and soybeans, but some vegetable crops were also affected. In addition, some new seeded forages were delayed from being planted during the normal planting period, Preston says.

Excessive Rain, Flash Flooding, and Flooding

Producers in Cattaraugus, Jefferson, Lewis, and Madison counties, who suffered losses due to excessive rain, flash flooding, and flooding that has occurred since April 15, 2019, are eligible to apply for emergency loans.

Producers in the contiguous New York counties of Alleghany, Chautauqua, Chenango, Cortland, Erie, Herkimer, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Otsego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming, along with McKean and Warren counties in Pennsylvania, are also eligible to apply for emergency loans.

FSA will review the loan applications based on the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability.

FSA has a variety of additional programs to help farmers recover from the impacts of this disaster. FSA programs that do not require a disaster declaration include: Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish ProgramEmergency Conservation ProgramLivestock Forage Disaster ProgramLivestock Indemnity Program;Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; and the Tree Assistance Program.

Farmers may contact their local USDA service center for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at farmers.gov/recover.

February 10, 2020 - 1:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in east pembroke, business.

Submitted photo and press release:

FAIRPORT -- HR Works is pleased to announce that Kim Dorman, who lives in East Pembroke, has joined the company as director of Business Development.

Dorman will work with clients in a variety of industries to analyze HR and benefits processes, identify inefficiencies and exposures, and recommend solutions to streamline, eliminate profit leaks and ensure compliance.


She will be responsible for increasing HR Works’ presence in the Buffalo market.

“What attracted me to HR Works was that they are a locally based company positioned for growth, with strong leadership and solution-based offerings,” says Dorman.

Dorman brings more than 30 years of business development experience, and a strong background in building customer relationships with a consultative approach. Her previous role included leading a high performing team, while overseeing the entire Buffalo market.

Dorman’s expertise in designing customized solutions to fit client needs, coupled with her knowledge of the area, will help HR Works further penetrate the Buffalo market.

HR Works is a human resource consulting and outsourcing firm. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRMS technology consulting; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.

To learn more about HR Works, which is based in the Rochester suburb of Fairport, and their services visit www.hrworks-inc.com or call 1-877-219-9062.

February 9, 2020 - 10:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in major stash cigar, batavia, business, video.
Video Sponsor

On Saturday afternoon, Doug Palmer, owner of Major Stash Cigar, cut the red ribbon in front of his cigar lounge at Liberty and Ellicott (behind the Pok-A-Dot) to celebrate the grand opening of his business.

Support Local News. Support Local Business. Please click the supporter button below.

February 7, 2020 - 1:11pm

Press release:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of two programs that protect hemp producers’ crops from natural disasters.

A pilot hemp insurance program through Multi-Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) provides coverage against loss of yield because of insurable causes of loss for hemp grown for fiber, grain or Cannabidiol (CBD) oil and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage protects against losses associated with lower yields, destroyed crops or prevented planting where no permanent federal crop insurance program is available. Producers may apply now, and the deadline to sign up for both programs is March 16, 2020.

“We are pleased to offer these coverages to hemp producers. Hemp offers new economic opportunities for our farmers, and they are anxious for a way to protect their product in the event of a natural disaster,” said Farm Production and Conservation Undersecretary Bill Northey.

Multi-Peril Crop Insurance Pilot Insurance Program

The MPCI pilot insurance is a new crop insurance option for hemp producers in select counties of 21 states for the 2020 crop year. The program is available for eligible producers in certain counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Information on eligible counties is accessible through the USDA Risk Management Agency’s Actuarial Information Browser.

Among other requirements, to be eligible for the pilot program, a hemp producer must have at least one year of history producing the crop and have a contract for the sale of the insured hemp. In addition, the minimum acreage requirement is five acres for CBD and 20 acres for grain and fiber. Hemp will not qualify for replant payments or prevented plant payments under MPCI.

This pilot insurance coverage is available to hemp growers in addition to revenue protection for hemp offered under the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection plan of insurance. Also, beginning with the 2021 crop year, hemp will be insurable under the Nursery crop insurance program and the Nursery Value Select pilot crop insurance program. Under both nursery programs, hemp will be insurable if grown in containers and in accordance with federal regulations, any applicable state or tribal laws and terms of the crop insurance policy.

Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program

NAP provides coverage against loss for hemp grown for fiber, grain, seed or CBD for the 2020 crop year where no permanent federal crop insurance program is available.

NAP basic 50/55 coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production. Buy-up coverage is available in some cases. The 2018 Farm Bill allows for buy-up levels of NAP coverage from 50 to 65 percent of expected production in 5 percent increments, at 100 percent of the average market price. Premiums apply for buy-up coverage.

For all coverage levels, the NAP service fee is $325 per crop or $825 per producer per county, not to exceed $1,950 for a producer with farming interests in multiple counties.

Eligibility Requirements

Under a regulation authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill and issued in October 2019, all growers must have a license to grow hemp and must comply with applicable state, tribal or federal regulations or operate under a state or university research pilot, as authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill.

Producers must report hemp acreage to FSA after planting to comply with federal and state law enforcement. The Farm Bill defines hemp as containing 0.3 percent or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on a dry-weight basis. Hemp having THC above the federal statutory compliance level of 0.3 percent is an uninsurable or ineligible cause of loss and will result in the hemp production being ineligible for production history purposes.

For more information on USDA risk management programs for hemp producers, visit farmers.gov/hemp. For more information on the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program, visit USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Services’ website FAQs here.

February 7, 2020 - 12:15pm

Press release:

The Genesee Gateway Local Development Corporation (GGLDC) Board of Directors approved the sale of 28 acres of land parcels in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park at its Feb. 6 board meeting.

HP Hood is purchasing 22 acres and Upstate Niagara Cooperative is purchasing six acres. Both companies have plans to grow and expand their businesses in the Ag Park over the next several years. 

HP Hood and Upstate Niagara Cooperative are part of a food and beverage manufacturing hub that has invested more than $500 million into a food and beverage manufacturing hub that including the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park has more than 1 million square feet of facilities and more than 700 workers.

With the sale of the 28 acres, there are approximately 80 acres remaining in the Ag Park, including a 30-acre site with direct railroad access and a retail-friendly parcel at the park’s entrance on Route 5.

February 7, 2020 - 10:48am
posted by Billie Owens in Batavia Downs, business, Recycling.

Press release:

Batavia Downs Gaming is expanding, and with it are their internal initiatives to “go green.” A new comprehensive, company-wide recycling program called the “Green Initiative” is now being implemented at Batavia Downs.

With additional seating areas added to the Fortune’s and 34 Rush restaurants an increase in waste is expected. To ensure that as much is recycled as possible, Batavia Downs has established a “Green Team” to carry out the many proactive steps that are required for the program to thrive.

These staff members have gathered various perspectives on what a successful recycling program should look like for the company and will now be looking to implement those at the restaurants and office areas within the building.

“Green Team” members will be setting up recycling stations for waste, gather input from departments, work on signage to encourage participation and assist with collections.

“We as a company have a huge opportunity to make a significant impact on the amount of waste we produce annually,” said Henry Wojtaszek, president and CEO of Batavia Downs. “I want to compliment all the staff who will be overseeing the green initiatives as they come to fruition.

"Batavia Downs is looking forward to becoming more environmentally friendly and creating a more eco-conscious work environment.”

February 5, 2020 - 3:15pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in GCEDC, Gateway II, batavia, Mega Properties, business.

Press release:

The Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Board of Directors will consider accepting an application for assistance from Mega Properties at the GCEDC’s Feb. 6 board meeting.

Mega Properties is investing approximately $3 million to build a 60,000-square-foot distribution warehouse in the Town of Batavia at the Gateway II Corporate Park.

The project is the first phase of development on a 22.2-acre site purchased by Mega Properties in 2019. The site could accommodate approximately 120,000 square feet of additional facilities.

Mega Properties has long-standing ties to Batavia, having launched in Batavia’s Harvester Business Incubation Center more than 30 years ago. The business is currently based at the Gateway I Corporate Park in the Town of Batavia.

Mega Properties is seeking approximately $558,497 in assistance, including a property tax exemption of $400,497, a sales tax exemption of $128,000, and a mortgage tax exemption of $30,000.

Since the project is requesting more than $100,000 in incentives, public hearings will be scheduled for comment and feedback to the requests.

The Gateway II Corporate Park is located less than a mile from Interstate 90 Exit 48 in the Town of Batavia and is home to Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s regional distribution facility.

The Gateway II Corporate Park is also the site of Gallina Development’s manufacturing/distribution flex building -- the Gateway GS campus, which has immediate availability for lease tenants seeking 4,500- to 27,000-square-feet of space.

February 4, 2020 - 4:32pm

Press release:

“How To Find Employees In A Challenging Labor Market” will be the subject of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s latest business workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

“Any business that is in need of more employees should attend this workshop,” said Tom Turnbull, president of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. “Unemployment is low and the pool of capable workers is shrinking.

"This informational session will show businesses how state and county programs can help attract and retain workers in today’s labor market.”

The Chamber is partnering with the Genesee County Job Development Bureau for this presentation. It will be held at the Genesee County Career Center, 587 E. Main St., Batavia.

The workshop is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. and should last approximately one hour.

This event is free for Chamber and Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District members. There is a $10 charge for non-members.

To register, contact Kelly Bermingham at the Chamber by phone at 585-343-7440 or by email at: [email protected].

January 31, 2020 - 12:59pm
posted by Billie Owens in tompkins financial corporation, business.

Press release:

ITHACA -- Tompkins Financial Corporation (NYSE American:TMP)

Tompkins Financial Corporation announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a new stock repurchase program of up to 400,000 shares of the company's outstanding common stock, par value $0.10 per share. This program replaces the company's existing 400,000 share repurchase program announced on July 20, 2018.

The new stock repurchase program is expected to be completed over the next 24 months.

The shares may be repurchased from time to time in open market transactions at prevailing market prices, in privately negotiated transactions, or by other means in accordance with federal securities laws. The actual timing, number and value of shares repurchased under the program will be determined by management at its discretion and will depend on a number of factors, including the market price of the Company's stock and general market and economic conditions, and applicable legal requirements.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform of 1995:

This press release may include forward-looking statements with respect to revenue sources, growth, market risk, and corporate objectives. The Company assumes no duty, and specifically disclaims any obligation, to update forward-looking statements, and cautions that these statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks, and uncertainties, all of which could change over time. Actual results could differ materially from forward-looking statements.

Tompkins Financial Corporation is a financial services company serving the Central, Western, and Hudson Valley regions of New York and the southeastern region of Pennsylvania.

Headquartered in Ithaca, Tompkins Financial is parent to Tompkins Trust Company, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Tompkins Mahopac Bank, Tompkins VIST Bank, Tompkins Insurance Agencies Inc., and offers wealth management services through Tompkins Financial Advisors.

For more information on Tompkins Financial, visit www.tompkinsfinancial.com.

January 30, 2020 - 11:54am

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team will be hosting its annual Soybean and Small Grains Congress for producers from across the region on Feb. 5 and 6.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m., presentations begin at 10 a.m. DEC Recertification points and Certified Crop Adviser credits will be available.

  • Wednesday, Feb. 5 – Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Road, Batavia
  • Thursday, Feb. 6 – Quality Inn, 2468 Route 414, Waterloo

Guest speaker Dennis Pennington, wheat extension specialist, Michigan State University Extension will present: "Managing Wheat for High Yield Potential." His current research program includes the wheat state performance trials, precision planting, high management BASF project and on farm research and demonstration. Pennington is committed to excellence and strives to fulfill the MSU Extension mission by bringing science-based information and knowledge to critical needs and issues.

Additional topics to be discussed by Cornell University researchers include:

  • Disease Management Issues in Small Grains and Soybeans
  • Effective Programs for Controlling Waterhemp in Soybeans
  • Building a Soybean Yield Potential Database in New York
  • Cereal Leaf Beetle: History, Biology, Management and Biocontrol
  • Managing Spray Drift
  • Assessing Pesticide Hazard vs. Risk: Glyphosate, a Case Study

Registration is $65 per person and includes proceeding book, morning refreshments and hot buffet lunch.

To register online, and choose your location: https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/events.php

To register by phone, 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.

January 30, 2020 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, alexander, National Grid.

Press release:

National Grid has approved an economic development grant totaling $127,000 to offset costs related to an upgrade to three-phase electricity power at McCormick Family Dairy Farm in Alexander.

As part of an upgrade, the owners of the farm are planning to install new equipment that will keep their 2,500 cows healthy, save the company money and add power to run fans, motors and improve product quality.

“We frequently work with small businesses and agribusiness customers that are looking to grow but may be limited due to lack of three-phase power at their site,” said National Grid Regional Director Ken Kujawa.

“McCormick Family Farms had examined other potential alternatives to meet their new and growing electricity needs. By working with them, it was determined that three-phase power is the appropriate solution to meet the farm’s electric load.”

The grant was made through National Grid’s Three-Phase Power Incentive program, which provides grants to fund the extension of three-phase electricity service to eligible National Grid customers.

More information about National Grid’s economic development programs is available at www.shovelready.com.

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