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Chamber Awards: Genesee County Chamber honors Offhaus Farms for its commitment to excellence, community ties

By Mike Pettinella
offhaus farms chamber awards
Travis Offhaus and Levi Offhaus.
Photo by Howard Owens.

NOTE: This week, The Batavian is highlighting the annual Chamber of Commerce Award winners with a story each day through Friday. The awards dinner is Saturday evening at Batavia Downs.

Carrying on and expanding the farm operation started by their grandfather a half-century ago, Travis and Levi Offhaus are proud of the team they have put together at Offhaus Farms, Inc., 7892 Oak Orchard Rd., in the Town of Batavia.

“It has been a team effort, not just the owners or managers,” said Levi, during a sit-down interview with The Batavian in light of the 2,000-acre dairy/crop farm being selected as Agricultural Business of the Year by the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an honor (to get this award). We all try to do our best day in and day out in every aspect.”

Offhaus Farms will be honored on March 2 at the chamber’s 52nd Annual Awards Ceremony at Batavia Downs Gaming on Park Road.

Other honorees are Alabama Hotel, LLC, Business of the Year: Volunteers for Animals, Special Anniversary Recognition of the Year; Holland Land Office Museum, Special Recognition of the Year; and Michelle Gillard, Geneseean of the Year.

Brothers Travis and Levi, along with their uncle, Scott, are partners in the business, which currently milks 1,400 cows per day – producing 110,000 pounds of milk each day – and farms 1,200 acres of corn and about 800 acres of hay.

The operation has come a long way since its beginning in the early 1970s by their grandpa, the late Gordon Offhaus, who was respected for his contributions to various causes throughout Genesee County. Gordon passed away in June 2022 at the age of 86.

“My grandpa was my hero from as long as I can remember,” said Travis, 34. “I was always trying to be like him. Later on, I realized the way he treated people. He gave everybody the time of day.”

Graduates of Royalton-Hartland Central School, Travis and Levi joined the family business in 2010 and 2012, respectively.

“Growing up in farming, I always enjoyed the ag business,” said Levi, 30, noting that Offhaus Farms has 25 full-time and five part-time employees in areas such as calf feeding, milking, herdsmen, nighttime managers and field crew.

Office Manager Annie Selapack is in her 20th year with the company.

While maintaining a large farm means “wearing many hats,” Travis primarily is in charge of overseeing the dairy portion, Levi coordinates the crop growing and harvesting and their sister, Liz, manages the calves and the milk culturing lab.

Travis said that the farm is affiliated with the Dairy Farmers of America and ships its milk to HP Hood and to a plant in Pennsylvania.

Nominated by Chamber’s Ag Committee
The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Committee, in nominating Offhaus Farms, recounted the farm’s history and credited its current success to the “dedicated people who come to work every day on the farm.”

“Throughout the years, Offhaus Farms has also developed strong relationships in the community and with area businesses that have been invaluable to the sustainability of the operation.”

It all started back in 1959 when Gordon Offhaus took out a loan for $1,800 and bought 18 cows, and rented a farm on West Blood Road in Erie County. By 1972, he had grown the farm to 45 cows, but he was still in the rented facility.

With a desire for a place of his own, Gordon and his brother, Bruce, started a joint venture and a new location. They found a good farm on Route 98 in Batavia and decided to buy it. Bruce and Gordon entered into a partnership with Ken Hall, whose father was the previous owner of the farm.

Together, Bruce and Gordon milked about 120 cows at the new locations. Things stayed that way until 1980, when Bruce decided to strike out on his own. This opened the door for Gordon’s youngest son, Scott, to join the farm in 1984. Working together, they increased the herd size to 800 cows by 1994.

In 2000, Gordon and Scott bought out Ken Hall’s estate, taking ownership on their own.

As indicated previously, Travis, Levi and Liz joined the operation and continue to chart its course today, along with their uncle, Scott.

Photos by Howard Owens.

offhaus farms chamber awards
offhaus farms chamber awards
offhaus farms chamber awards
offhaus farms chamber awards

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