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September 17, 2019 - 11:26am

Press release:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 6, 2019 - 10:33am
posted by Billie Owens in news, steve hawley, dairy, agriculture, Dairy Day.

Submitted photo and press release from Assemblyman Steve Hawley:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) proudly celebrated Dairy Day on Wednesday, June 5, in Albany, along with colleagues from both sides of the aisle, activists, advocates and farmers from around the state.

Hawley, a longtime member of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, is the former owner and operator of Hawley Farms located in Batavia.

“This marks one of my favorite days of the year in Albany as we come together, putting party and differences aside, to celebrate New York’s spectacular dairy industry,” Hawley said.

“I believe we have one of the premier dairy operations in the entire country as our milk is used in yogurt, cheese and ice cream and eventually shipped and sold across the United States.

"I take pride in being a strong advocate for dairy farmers and will continue to support their efforts in our state.”

May 16, 2019 - 2:36pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, agriculture, chris collins, business, dairy.

Press release:

On Wednesday, Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) introduced legislation that would provide a short-term, one-time fix, to help the nonseasonal agriculture workforce.

"The Helping Labor Personnel (HELP) Farms Act" provides a solution for farmers across the nation, especially in the dairy industry, while Congress and the Department of Labor continue to modernize the H-2A program and allow visas be granted on an annual basis instead of seasonally.

“Under current law, the H-2A visa program does not help our struggling dairy farms, who live in constant fear of losing their workforce,” Congressman Collins said. “This legislation provides a temporary solution while Congress and the Department of Labor work together to find a bipartisan solution.”

This legislation requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Secretary of State and Secretary of Labor, to collect applications for temporary work authorization for nonseasonal agriculture workers. This nonseasonal agriculture workforce must be sponsored by a United States employer who he/she has worked with for at least two years.

Upon approval of the application, the alien worker will be granted work authorization for two years along with his/her spouse and children. Additionally, protections are included for the sponsoring employer to ensure there are no consequences for employing an alien workforce due to an outdated and flawed H-2A visa program.

“There is not a single person representing dairy that does not understand we have a true crisis with the current system we have in place,” Collins added.

An alien worker who currently works in a nonseasonal agriculture occupation may be permitted to apply to this temporary work authorization program so long as they have not been convicted on felony charges of rape, kidnapping violent assault, sexual assault, or suspected of terrorism.

Alien workers who are currently being detained may also be given the opportunity to apply for this program.

A copy of the bill can be found here.

June 5, 2018 - 1:21pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, cheesemakers, agriculture, dairy, trade, news.

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today joined their Senate colleagues in urging United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to continue to ensure Mexico honors its existing trade commitments.

They want Lighthizer to fight back against the EU’s recent proposal to exclusively use common cheese names, like “parmesan,” “feta,” and “asiago” in Mexico.

According to the senators, through a recent trade agreement with Mexico, the EU is seeking to prevent cheese producers from exporting their products using common cheese names or geographical indications.

Schumer and Gillibrand argued that this would be a huge hit to Upstate dairy farmers as they look to continue to export cheese and compete for new markets.

“No matter how you slice it, Upstate New York’s cheese producers could lose a big chunk of their business if the EU successfully convinces Mexico to place geographic restrictions on cheese labeling,” Senator Schumer said.

"From Western New York to the Hudson Valley, cheese production is an important industry in Upstate New York, which is why I'm urging Ambassador Lighthizer to hold nothing back and use every tool in his disposal to protect U.S. cheese producers and ensure that Mexico continues to honor their existing trade commitments."

“This harmful proposed trade agreement between the EU and Mexico could hurt our farmers and rural communities by taking away export opportunities for New York cheese producers,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

“We need to do everything possible to protect and promote New York’s dairy industry, which is already struggling in the face of historically low milk prices and other challenges, and I’m urging U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer to fight against any proposal that would hurt local cheese producers.”

Schumer and Gillibrand pointed out that Mexico is the largest export destination for American cheese, accounting for virtually one-third of the $1.3 billion in dairy products the United States exported to Mexico last year and that implementing geographic indications on cheeses could devastate New York’s cheese industry.

The senators explained that this is not the first time the EU has tried to claim cheese names based on geographic locations, in the same way, that the EU has argued that champagne can only be sold as "champagne" if produced in the Champagne region of France.

Among the labels sought by EU are muenster, feta, parmesan, fontina, gorgonzola and others. Schumer warned that if the EU succeeds in claiming those names, New York producers will no longer be able to export cheeses with their current names. They would have to export the cheese under a different name, meaning that producers could lose market share they have spent years fighting for.

A copy of the joint Senate letter to Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer appears below:

Dear Ambassador Lighthizer:

We write today expressing our concerns about Mexico’s recent trade negotiations with the European Union (EU) and the devastating impact these actions could have on American cheese exports to Mexico. On April 21, 2018, the EU and Mexico reached an agreement in principle to modernize their current trade agreement.

A summary of the agreement provided by the European Commission notes that Mexico agreed to protect 340 European geographical indications. While the final text of the agreement—and the full list of restricted names—has not been released, media reports indicate that Mexico has agreed to restrict food imports with names—most notably of cheeses—considered generic in the United States.

As you work to re-negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), we urge you to engage with your Mexican and Canadian counterparts to ensure that future trade policies do not limit export opportunities for American dairy farmers and processors. In light of Mexico’s proposed agreement with the EU, we are deeply concerned that American cheesemakers will be harmed by a reversal of their current access to the Mexican market, and will be denied the opportunity to sell products to Mexican consumers using common cheese product names that have been marketed for decades.

In addition, this threat to American dairy exports underscores and reaffirms the need for a renegotiated NAFTA that ensures strong market access for dairy exports to Mexico and Canada and addresses Canada’s trade-distorting Class 7 dairy pricing scheme.

Geographical indications link a product to a particular region, implying that the product possesses a certain quality or reputation associated with that locale. The EU has aggressively pursued restrictions for cheeses, such as feta (Greece), muenster (France), and parmesan (Italy), in their domestic and international trade policies. While these names are covered as geographic indications within the EU, they are generic in the United States and in numerous other countries around the world.

Mexico is the largest export destination for American cheese, accounting for roughly one-third of the $1.3 billion in dairy products the United States exported to Mexico last year. If Mexico grants European cheese producers exclusive rights to use common cheese names, as reports indicate it has agreed to do, American producers will lose market share they have spent years developing.

This policy change will have a detrimental impact on American cheese and dairy producers, who are already adversely impacted by Canada’s trade-distorting policies.

The 2015 Trade Promotion Authority statute—which is currently in force—included a principal negotiating objective on geographical indications:

“The principal negotiating objective of the United States with respect to agriculture is to obtain competitive opportunities for United States exports of agricultural commodities in foreign markets substantially equivalent to the competitive opportunities afforded foreign exports in United States markets and to achieve fairer and more open conditions of trade in bulk, specialty crop, and value-added commodities by [. . .] eliminating and preventing the undermining of market access for United States products through improper use of a country’s system for protecting or recognizing geographical indications, including failing to ensure transparency and procedural fairness and protecting generic terms.”

In order to meet this objective, the United States should engage with Mexico on geographic indication restrictions to ensure Mexico honors its existing trade commitments with the United States. American cheese exporters should be allowed to continue using common food names that Mexican consumers are familiar with.

Anything less would grant European producers access to the market share that American producers have developed over decades and unjustly award them the future growth opportunities of those products. We appreciate your attention to this matter and stand ready to work with you to protect American cheese exports.

August 27, 2017 - 5:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, 4-H, dairy, agriculture, state fair, Announcements.

Dairy Challenge Team (from left): Jillian Brewer, Renee Uberty, Maggie Winsper, Amelia Brewer.

Submitted photos and press release:

Several youth from the Genesee County 4-H Dairy Club competed at two dairy events held at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.

The Dairy Challenge contest was held on Aug. 23 and is a contest in which youth are quizzed at stations on different dairy topics such as: nutrition, anatomy, physiology, and product/equipment knowledge.

Genesee County 4-H Junior Team participants were: Amelia Brewer, Jillian Brewer, Maggie Winspear and Renee Uberty.

The Dairy Judging Contest was held on Aug. 24 and allowed youth to be the judge; scoring animals on dairy character and functionality and structural correctness of the animals.

The following youth represented Genesee County 4-H:

Novice Teams 

Genesee Team 1: Caroline Luft, Maggie Winspear, Bing Zuber -- Second Place

Genesee Team 2: Adison Norton, Renee Uberty -- Fifth Place

Novice Individuals

Bing Zuber -- Fourth Place

Adison Norton -- Sixth Place

Caroline Luft -- Seventh Place

Maggie Winspear – 12th Place

Renee Uberty – 14th Place

Junior Team

Amelia Brewer, Georgia Luft, Mason Werth, Claire Mathes, Jillian Brewer) – Eighth Place

Junior Individuals

Amelia Brewer -- 21st Place

Georgia Luft -- 24th Place

Mason Werth -- 34th Place

Claire Mathes -- 41st Place

Jillian Brewer -- 49th Place

Senior Individual

Mary Sweeney -- Sixth Place -- Individual and Fourth Place -- Reasons.

Mary will return with the top 25 contestants, for a second round of the contest on Sept. 1. She will be competing for a spot on the New York State 4-H Dairy Judging team to represent New York at a National Competition in Madison, Wis., World Dairy Expo.

We are very proud of all the our youth for competing at the state level and look forward to going back for next year’s competition. Thank you to our 4-H Dairy Club Volunteers who helped make this opportunity possible.

Dairy Judging Team -- back row: Amelia Brewer, Maggie Winspear, Renee Uberty, Jillian Brewer, Mason Werth, Adison Norton; Front row -- Georgia Luft, Bing Zuber, Caroline Luft.

April 26, 2017 - 2:24pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, dairy, NY-27, business.

Press release:

Representative Chris Collins (NY-27) today led a bipartisan letter sent to President Trump applauding the president’s acknowledgements of Canada’s protectionist trade policies related to dairy products and advocating for swift action to ensure Canada upholds its trade agreements.

“President Trump campaigned on putting America first, and protecting American jobs,” Collins said. “Today’s letter highlights how vital the U.S. dairy industry is to Western New York and dairy producing regions across the country. The U.S. dairy industry supports billions of dollars in exports and hundreds of thousands of U.S. jobs.

"Unfortunately, due to unfair competitive practices by Canada, we must take action to ensure our dairy products will be able to compete on a level playing field. I am glad President Trump has recognized how important this issue is to hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, and I will continue working with my colleagues to protect the U.S. dairy industry.”

The letter which 68 lawmakers signed on to was also co-led by Representatives Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Ron Kind (WI-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Suzan DelBene (WA-01), and Peter Welch (VT-AL).

The letter details Canadian trade practices that “may violate Canada’s existing trade commitments to the United States by effectively discouraging U.S. dairy exports to Canada.” It also reinforces that “our districts and states rely on the jobs the dairy industry provides and cannot afford further protectionist policies from our northern neighbor.”

Full text of the letter along with signatories can be seen here and full text can be read below.

October 3, 2016 - 1:42pm

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County will present a Cheese Tasting and Evaluation workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10 at the Extension Center at 420 E. Main St., Batavia. If you love cheese, then you won’t want to miss this two-hour class!

Learn all about the cheese making process while sampling a variety of cheeses, all made in New York State!

The cost to attend the class is $15 per person and class size is limited! The last class sold out quickly, so be sure and register today. To register and for payment information, please contact Samantha at 585-343-3040, ext. 123 or [email protected]. Registration deadline is Nov. 3.

All information about the workshop can be found by clicking here

The class (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) will be presented by Carl Moody, Dairy Processing Specialist with Harvest New York. Carl is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Science. Following graduation, he worked at the Friendship Dairy in Friendship, NY, and most recently held a position as a quality assurance manager for 13 years with Lactalis American Group Inc. (Sorrento Cheese) in Buffalo.

For more information about Harvest New York, visit http://harvestny.cce.cornell.edu/.

March 25, 2016 - 3:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, dairy, business, O-AT-KA, news.

(Photos by Jim Burns.)

A Canadian proposal to reduce the amount of milk products imported from the United States, and to impose a tariff, could have perilous financial consequences for Western New York dairy farmers and cooperatives such as O-AT-KA in Batavia, which exports 20 percent of its goods to Canada annually.

At a press conference this morning in the plant's cafeteria off Cedar Street, Sen. Charles Schumer vowed to bring all his clout -- built over 18 years in the Senate -- to bear to stop the limitations being put forth by the nation's trade ministry in conjuction with its agriculture department under new government leadership.

Last year, U.S. dairies produced 200 billion pounds of milk; 85 percent of that was consumed by Americans and 15 percent was exported, said O-AT-KA CEO Bill Schreiber.

"Canada's trying to put in a new rule that would be devastating to O-AT-KA and Western New York," Schumer told the media, union employees, dairy farmers and local officials in attendance. "That ultra-filtered milk came in duty-free. Now they're trying to change that. ...  and the Province of Ontario wants to keep out (U.S.) dairy sales."

For O-AT-KA, the restrictions would amount to a loss of 180 million pounds of annual milk production -- which is 20 percent of $95 million in yearly sales, or $19 million, according to Schreiber. 

WIth more than 350 employees, the facility is one of the largest employers in the Genesee County. Upstate Niagara Cooperative, made up of nearly 400 dairies, is the majority owner of O-AT-KA.

WNY dairies are poised for growth, despite recent declines in milk pricing -- from $25 per hundredweight (the name of the commodity pricing unit) to $15 currently.

In 2012, O-AT-KA invested $16 million to build a new two-story addition to allow "ultra-filtration" capabilities in order to expand its product line and boost sales to other producers in the United States and abroad, especially Canada. Products include non-fat dry milk powder, buttermilk powder, whey powder, canned evaporated milk, butter, fluid condensed milk, iced coffee, nutritional beverages and other drinks. Ultra-filtered milk is used in cheese making.

Schumer said the recently proposed Canadian trade barriers could hinder plans for growth.

"We have good neighbors in Canada, but every so often something happens," the senator said. "This proposal would bring our mutual agreement to a screeching halt. It would put O-AT-KA and New York's dairy farmers in grave jeopardy. It would imperil the whole Upstate economy."

When asked "Is there really anything you can do?" if another nation, like Canada, implements a trade rule you don't like, Schumer replied: "Yes, a big leverage is tariffs. It's not a one-way street. It's not just exporting to Canada; we import from Canada, too."

It boils down to the fact that "we just have a stronger dairy industry and they're trying to build their's."

The rules, if implemented, would take effect in about six months.

"I'm here to go to bat for you," Schumer said. "I'm going to send a shot across the bough."

Schumer is calling on the U.S. Trade Representives and the USDA to work to protect U.S. dairy exports by ensuring that Canada doesn’t impose restrictive trade rules and honors its commitment to open borders to Upstate New York farmers.

The proposal to limit U.S. dairy imports comes on the heels of the "Trans-Pacific Partnership," referred to commonly as TPP, being signed in New Zealand last month after seven years of negotiations. Besides New Zealand, it is made up of Canada and 10 other Pacific Rim countries, including the United States, Australia, Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Ratification is anticipated over the next two years.

According to the Toronto Sun (Feb. 4. 2016), the pact could impact many industries in Canada, including agriculture, and some opponents fear it could hurt the economy and result in layoffs in some sectors. As part of the deal, Canadian dairy farms are slated to get $4.3 billion in subsidies from their government over a span of 15 years to offset losses from an increase in dairy imports from TPP trading partners.

Schumer made it clear that he opposes big trade agreements like TPP, just as he opposed and voted against NAFTA during the Clinton Administration.

Here's a copy of Schumer’s letter to both the USTR and USDA:

Dear Ambassador Froman and Secretary Vilsack:

I write to you with strong concerns about reports that Canada is weighing policy and regulatory shifts that would undermine one of New York’s most important export markets. Just a few years ago, two dairy companies made investments worth tens of millions of dollars in Upstate New York to produce ultra-filtered milk specifically for export to the Canadian cheese market. These sales are possible as a result of the duty-free access for this specific product that Canada agreed to under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Recent reports indicate that Canada is considering administrative actions to limit Canadian companies’ capacity to use this product in further processing and that Ontario is advancing a new, targeted pricing policy designed to crowd out New York’s dairy sales. Further restraints on dairy trade are unacceptable, particularly coming on the heels of Canada’s recent pledge to expand access to its tightly restricted dairy market under TPP. 

New York has made sizable investments in exporting into Canada under specific rules laid out by the Canadian government. Those sales now help support dairy farmers and rural communities across the state. New Canadian barriers to market access would have an outsized impact on New York’s dairy sector. As the country’s third largest milk producing state, a significant impact on New York’s ability to tap into key foreign markets also will impact farmers in surrounding states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Moreover, this latest example of dairy market-access restrictions appears to represent a continuation of persistent Canadian regulatory and policy shifts aimed directly at impeding dairy trade. 

We must hold Canada to its commitments and ensure that our exporters do not encounter barriers to the products they are already shipping to Canada. I urge you to strongly reject this and similar efforts to impair the value of concessions the U.S. previously secured under NAFTA. Thank you for your attention to this important priority with one of this country’s largest trading partners.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

February 3, 2016 - 4:31pm
posted by Billie Owens in Cornell Cooperative Extension, agriculture, dairy, Cheese.

Press release:

Cornell Cooperative Extension Genesee County will present a Cheese Tasting and Evaluation workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9. The workshop will take place at the Extension Building, located at 420 E. Main St., Batavia.

The cost to attend the class is $15 per person and class size is limited! Please register by March 2.

If you love cheese, then you won’t want to miss this class! Learn all about the cheese-making process while sampling mozzarella, provolone, cheddar, goat and feta cheeses, which are all made in New York State!

The class will be presented by Carl Moody, dairy processing specialist with Harvest New York. Carl is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in Food Science. Following graduation, he worked at the Friendship Dairy in Friendship and most recently held a position as a quality assurance manager for 13 years with Lactalis American Group, Inc. (Sorrento Cheese) in Buffalo.

For more information about Harvest New York, visit http://harvestny.cce.cornell.edu/.

To register and for payment information, please contact Samantha at 585-343-3040, ext. 123 or [email protected].

For more information about CCE Genesee County, visit our Web site at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/.

December 1, 2015 - 7:55am
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, business, beef production, dairy.

Press release:

If you are thinking about adding a new profitable enterprise to your dairy or beef operation, dairy beef production could be a natural fit. If you would like to learn more about raising dairy beef, Cornell Cooperative Extension and JBS meat packers will be hosting this meeting at the Cooperative Extension Education Center in Albion to discuss the production and marketing of dairy beef.

Cornell University Beef Cattle Specialist, Dr. Mike Baker will discuss the beef cattle cycle, and rations that can be used when raising dairy beef. Livestock Specialist, Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program, Tom Gallagher, will discuss vaccination programs for dairy steers and dairy beef quality assurance. Vice President for Cattle Procurement at JBS, Larry Rose, from Greely, Colo., will give an overview of JBS, including a feedlot leased by JBS in Nicholville, marketing dairy beef and risk management in regard to raising beef.

Please register for one of these programs below by Dec. 2 to give us an accurate lunch count. There will be no charge to attend these educational events but your timely registration guarantees a lunch.

Dec. 7, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Office Orleans County

12690 NY-31, Albion, NY 14411

Contact Cathy Wallace to register at 585-343-3040, ext. 138 or e-mail[email protected]

 

Dec. 8, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Tally Ho Restaurant

14 Main St., Richfield Springs, NY 14411

Contact Cathy Wallace to register at 585-343-3040, ext. 138 or e-mail[email protected].

June 26, 2015 - 4:51pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Cornell Cooperative Extension, dairy, agriculture, Stafford.

pasturewalkjune262015.jpg

Area dairy farmers were invited to a pasture walk today at the farm of John and Sue Mikel, on East Bethany Le Roy Road, Stafford, by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. John and Sue own and operate Mikelholm Holsteins, a small grazing dairy they started on a 30-acre field they purchased seven years ago. They built a house and barn with a milking parlor.

They graze their 35 cows plus youngstock on the remaining land and supplement their diet with purchased feed. They also knew grazing would provide health benefits to the cows and reduce demands on labor. An added benefit was the reduced bedding costs while the cows are out to pasture.

The discussion included how John and Sue got started, fence and laneway layout, nutrition balance and summer rations as well has how to control parasites. 

pasturewalkjune262015-2.jpg

pasturewalkjune262015-3.jpg

pasturewalkjune262015-4.jpg

June 5, 2015 - 3:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, elba, Le Roy, agriculture, dairy.

Press release:

Thatcher Mowry, of Le Roy, and Kayla Wormuth, of Elba, are among the 29 New York Junior DAIRY LEADERs, representing 17 counties, that will graduate at Empire Farm Days on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. in the Dairy Profit Seminar Center at Empire Farm Days, the Northeast’s largest outdoor farm show at Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls.

Junior DAIRY LEADER Program coordinator Deborah Grusenmeyer and assistant coordinator Betsey Howland, both with the Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program, will welcome families and visitors to the graduation that includes a presentation of the program year by the 29 graduating members, and recognition of the 2015 Junior DAIRY LEADER class sponsors.

The Cornell PRO-DAIRY Junior DAIRY LEADER is a statewide program for youth between the ages of 16 and 19 with an interest in learning more about career opportunities in the dairy industry and gaining hands-on experience in the field.

The Junior DAIRY LEADER graduation ceremony at Empire Farm Days gives young people the opportunity to highlight their year-long experiences and demonstrate to visitors, family, friends, agribusiness professionals, and educators the dynamic aspect of dairy education and career options.

The Junior DAIRY LEADER Program begins in September with a seven day trip to Madison, Wis., to tour dairies and agribusinesses, followed by attending the annual National 4-H Dairy Conference. Throughout the year, class members participate in eight workshops, focusing on team building, personality styles, resume development, change, and leadership skills development, as well as facets of dairy production, tours, and exposure to numerous career options in the dairy field.

Hands-on workshops offer learning opportunities on specific facets of the dairy industry, including veterinary science, dairy nutrition, production management, and on-farm production analysis, plus interaction with dairy producers, industry professionals, and other dairy-interested young people. Building communication and leadership skills enhanced by a team approach to problem solving adds to the Junior DAIRY LEADERS’ personal and professional development.

The 2015 sponsors of the Junior DAIRY LEADERS program are PRO-DAIRY, the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, Professional Dairy Producers Association, DEHM Associates, SHUR-GAIN USA, Genex-CRI, Select Sire Power, Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Northeast Ag and Feed Alliance, New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association, and the Cornell University Department of Animal Science, and New York’s dairy producers.

The 2015 Junior DAIRY LEADER class members are:
. Chautauqua County: Justin Dye, Trenton Meeder
. Columbia County: Benjamin Gardner, Courtney Dearnley, Emily Ooms
. Delaware County: Dylan Walley
. Erie County: Natalie Strub, Zane Hubbard
. Genesee County: Thatcher Mowry, Kayla Wormuth
. Jefferson County: Krystle Burger, Joshua Chisholm
. Lewis County: Harley Hancock
. Montgomery County: Justin Ryan
. Oneida County: Stephanie Finn, Andrew Smith
. Ontario County: Jacob Maslyn, Thomas Mueller, Alfredo Resendiz-Rojo,
  Robin Smithling
. Otsego County: Rachel Stone
. Rensselaer County: Lindsey McMahon
. Schoharie County: Eric Bates
. Tompkins County: Brian Lampman
. Washington County: Margaret Brownell, Kaylah Gulley
. Wayne County: Jessica Skellie
. Wyoming County: Emily Lampson, Katie Sondericker.
 
Empire Farm Days is the Northeast’s largest outdoor farm show, held on 300 acres at the Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls. Admission is free; parking is $10 car. Find a full schedule of activities and more information for the Aug. 11-13 show at www.empirefarmdays.com

May 26, 2015 - 4:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, Announcements, dairy.

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NWNY Team is planning a pasture walk at the farm of John and Sue Mikel Friday, June 26 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at 6321 East Bethany-Le Roy Road, Stafford. John and Sue own and operate Mikelholm Holsteins, a small grazing dairy they started on a 30-acre field they purchased seven years ago. They built a house and barn with a parlor. They graze their 35 cows plus youngstock on the remaining land and supplement with purchased feed. They also knew grazing would provide health benefits to the cows and reduce demands on labor. An added benefit was the reduced bedding costs while the cows are out on pasture.

Discussion will include how John and Sue got started, and fence and laneway layout. Come and hear how their nutritionist balances the summer ration, and how to control parasites on pasture, plus more. There will be ample time for open discussion during the walk.

Lunch will be provided and is sponsored by Select Sires and milk will be donated by Upstate Farms.

Registration is required by June 19 to get an accurate count for lunch. The cost of the pasture walk is $10 per person or $20 per farm/family.
 
To register contact Cathy Wallace at 585.343.3040, ext. 138 or [email protected].
For questions contact Nancy Glazier at 585.315.7746 or [email protected].
 
A check made out to CCE may be mailed to CCE, Attn: Cathy Wallace, 420 E. Main St., Batavia, NY  14020.

August 19, 2014 - 4:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, dairy.

Press release:

The New York Farm Viability Initiative strongly encourages dairy farmers to apply now for $2,500 grants to form dairy profit teams for their farm.

Ron Robbins, owner of North Harbor Dairy in Sackets Harbor and a NYFVI board member said “Right now, with milk prices so good, is the time to think about improvements. You want to maximize your yields, while continuing to manage your costs. The right team of experts, all chosen by you, can help you see where the opportunities are. Lining up your money now, while it’s available, is a smart move.”

Robbins went on to say “I understand that taking that first step can be challenging. It’s hard to step back from the daily priorities and share with others the big picture of your operations.”

Profit teams are a well-proven concept in New York. The state’s farmers have been using this approach, sometimes called advisory teams, successfully for the last 10 years.

NYFVI is honored to have been entrusted with a legislative appropriation through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to help dairy farmers who haven’t used profit teams get started.

NYFVI Managing Director David Grusenmeyer added “I hope more farms will enroll and utilize the funds available to them. Over the years I’ve seen such great results from this approach. In many cases the work from these teams has literally saved a business.

"The funds are directed solely by the farmer; some teams are improving herd health, others are focused on milk quantity. Some are even working with financial advisors to develop succession plans. It’s all up to the farmer to decide.”

The simple one-page application for a Dairy Profit Team grant can be found at www.nyfvi.org

June 6, 2014 - 3:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, dairy, UMMC.

Press release:

The Genesee County Dairy Princess honored the first baby born in Genesee County during the month of June 2014 as the Dairy Baby. Harper Grey Alexander, a baby girl, was born to Ashley and Ryan Alexander of Batavia on Tuesday, June 3, at 10:56 p.m. at United Memorial Medical Center. She weighed 8 pounds, 3 ounces and measured 20-inches long. She was delivered by Patricia Beverly, CNM. Harper is the first child for the new parents and her grandparents are Russell and Deette Alexander and Steve and Pam Foster.

June is National Dairy Month. It is an annual tradition celebrating the contributions of the dairy industry and promoting nutrient-rich dairy foods.

The Genesee County Dairy Princess, Elba High School junior Kayla Wormuth, and the 4H Dairy Program organizer Tess Zuber, presented the first baby born in June with a basket of dairy products including flavored milks, product coupons, cheeses from Yancey’s Fancy, and a number of other infant items.

 

June 1, 2014 - 1:49pm
posted by Billie Owens in agriculture, elba, dairy.

Genesee County Dairy Maid for 2014 is 9-year-old Georgia Luft, of Elba. She wrote this article to kick off National Dairy Month.

June is National Dairy Month. What greater time to make sure your have at least three dairy products in your daily diet than now! Research recommends that everyone should consume three dairy products daily to be healthy.

Dairy products have many health benefits, especially for your bones and teeth. Dairy foods provide vital nutrients that include calcium, potassium, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin B12, magnesium, zinc, riboflavin and protein. Dairy products provide a powerhouse of nutrients!

Eating dairy products may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in older adults, while helping children and adolescence build bone mass. Dairy products have also been associated with reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lowering blood pressure in adults. Recently research has suggested that by enjoying three servings of dairy products a day, part of a nutrient-rich and balanced diet, dairy products may help in maintaining a healthy weight. Keep in mind that choosing low-fat or fat-free forms of dairy products provide little or no solid fat while providing many other health benefits.

Keep the “3-A-Day” theme in mind as you plan your daily meals. Experts recommend three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy food every day. Many of us could use to add one additional daily serving of nutrient-rich dairy products to help meet recommendations. One dairy serving is equal to: An 8-ounce glass of milk, a 6- or 8-ounce container of yogurt, or 1½ ounces of cheese.

It’s easy to get your 3-A-Day in when you start with some yogurt for breakfast with fruit, some cheese with lunch and a big glass of milk with dinner. Enjoy a cool glass of milk during the summer months, as it does the body good!

November 29, 2011 - 9:42pm

With the planned yogurt plants for Alpina and PepsiCo in Batavia, there's nothing but opportunity ahead for regional dairy farmers, according to Kim Pickard-Dudley, general manager of the membership division of Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

More yogurt means more milk and farmers are ready to meet the demand, Pickard-Dudley said.

"We're obviously excited for this opportunity for farmers," Pickard-Dudley said.

Upstate built its own yogurt plant in West Seneca in 2006 and a year ago purchased a 100-year-old plant in Watertown.

Alpina and PepsiCo have both broken ground on sites in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, though PepsiCo has yet to reach a purchase agreement with the GCEDC (negotiations are, we hear, currently going on at the Albany level) for the 81-acre parcel. 

Regional farmers will be able to adjust capacity to meet all the demand for milk to make yogurt, Pickard-Dudley said.

Whether that milk comes through Upstate or yogurt manufacturers go directly to farmers is unknown at this time, Pickard-Dudley.

"Farmers are always up for a challenge for meeting new demands on supply," Pickard-Dudley said.

Pickard-Dudley was in Batavia at the O-AT-KA offices on Monday to meet with Rep. Kathy Hochul, who discussed with Upstate representatives her bill to create a guest worker program to assist New York's agricultural industry.

November 23, 2011 - 2:32pm

Project Wave -- which we now know is being pursued by PepsiCo -- will be the largest yogurt plant in North America, according to an industry expert with more than 15 years in the field.

Jeff Stephen, a consultant with Productive Partners, said in an interview today that what Pepsi is planning is impressive and will be a huge benefit to the community and the local dairy industry.

"Pepsi isn't the kind of company that is going to go anywhere," Stephen said. "They're not going to cut back because of any shortage of money. This is everything you could ask for in a local community. They are going to be successful. Not everything will go to plan, but they will succeed. This is a major global commitment."

Based on industry reports, Pepsi wants to get into the yogurt business. The multinational firm is planning a merger of sorts with Theo Muller Group, a German company that makes seven different yogurt products.

Stephen said companies for years have been trying to crack the U.S. yogurt market in the belief that American consumers don't buy as much yogurt as they should. Europeans consume five or six times as much yogurt as Americans, Stephen said.

The key to the U.S. yogurt market, Stephen said, is to make yogurt with more body and texture, a yogurt that can be consumed as a meal or a key ingredient in a meal. Growth in the U.S. yogurt market has been thwarted, Stephen said, because too much of the product available in the U.S. is what Stephen called "crappy dessert yogurt."

The key to the U.S. market is Greek yogurt, which has more flavor, is more filling and has greater nutritional value.

That's the kind of yogurt that will be the basis of Alpina's product line. Alpina was the first big signing for Genesee County Economic Development Center in the new ag park. Alpina is building an initially 10,000-square-foot facility that will employ 50 people.

Pepsi's plans begin with a 300,000-square-foot facility that will employ 180 people, with a build out by 2033 of 16 production lines and 600 employees.

There is no yogurt plant in North America that's close to that size, Stephen said.

When Stephen saw what was being planned for Project Wave, as first reported on The Batavian, he figured Pepsi, whose plans with Theo Muller had already been reported by the Wall Street Journal, was a likely prospect for the property. A project of that size would almost certainly be a plant for a large corporation moving into a new product line. 

The deal bringing Pepsi to Batavia hasn't been signed yet, but construction has begun on the facility and Pepsi is clearly eager to get its new product to market by 2013.

Stephen just hopes Pepsi is planning a yogurt line based on Greek yogurt and not "crappy dessert yogurt," which he doesn't think will help Pepsi or other yogurt makers expand the U.S. market.

Whatever Pepsi does, he doesn't see the Pepsi products competing directly with Alpina, which will be producing a slightly higher end yogurt and going after niche markets.

Pepsi's main competitors will be Dannon and Yoplait.

Dannon, based in White Planes, is a pure dairy company and between its two main brands, controls about 38 percent of the yogurt market. Yoplait, owned by General Mills, has another 6 percent. The rest of the market is shared by regional players and store brands, some of which, Stephen said, are very good.

Another potential local player in the yogurt market is O-AT-KA Milk Products, which is owned by Upstate Niagara Cooperative. 

The rumor is that a current expansion at O-AT-KA is for the local plant to start making yogurt ingredients.

It's unknown who the ingredients will be sold to, but Upstate purchased a 100-year-old, one-line yogurt plant in Watertown about a year ago.

Charitably, Stephen said, the Watertown plant is "historic," but it shows Upstate's intention to move into the yogurt business.

Whatever product Pepsi brings to market, Stephen said, will be thoroughly researched and well marketed.

"I have very high respect for Pepsi," Stephen said. "They are efficient in manufacturing and production and very good marketers. They are not the kind of company that gives up."

It's unknown whether Pepsi will purchase its dairy products through O-AT-KA or directly from farmers (those are discussions that probably haven't even taken place yet, Stephen said), but as for farmers, Stephen said they will be happy working with Pepsi.

Pepsi, he said, takes an approach that being easy to work with helps lower costs.

"I think the farmers will want to do business with them," he said.

As for milk supply, the market will probably be shaken up for awhile initially, but the big farmers have little trouble adding capacity (more cows) and there should be an ample milk supply in Western New York to meet the needs of Pepsi, Alpina and O-AT-KA, and any other players that enter the market at the ag park.

Perhaps the worst news for other dairy businesses, Stephen said, is that if Pepsi wants to hire an employee, they will hire that employee. They will spend what it takes, he said, to get the best employees, especially in key positions.

But it's a great pool of employees that is attracting Pepsi to Batavia, Stephen said.

For years, he's been telling dairy companies to stop manufacturing in places like Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia because the standard of living is so much better in smaller communities.

Employees can actually afford to buy a house in a place like Batavia. That isn't true in larger population centers. And, Stephen said, the schools are good, and that's attractive to a major employer.

"You have a pretty high quality of life," Stephen said. "It's a pretty attractive place to put people who are going to work for you for a long time."

May 23, 2011 - 2:25pm
posted by Sarah Noble Moag in technology, agriculture, dairy, local, teamwork, working with animals.
Company Name: 
Noblehurst Farms Inc.
Job Type: 
Full-Time

September 1, 2009 - 8:00pm

The best-tasting milk and dip in New York State comes from Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc.’s plants in Rochester and West Seneca, respectively. Genesee County milk suppliers participate in the co-op.

Cornell University’s Department of Food Science honored the cooperative’s Upstate Farms Milk and Bison Creamy Dill Dip products at the New York State Fair’s Dairy Day on Aug. 31.

Company representatives were invited to take home the Gold Medallion, accompanied by the Blue Ribbon. Ken Voelker, director of marketing at Upstate Niagara Cooperative pointed out that “Winning the gold reflects our member farmers’ commitment to produce the best milk and dairy products possible. We look forward to continually enhancing the quality of the products that we deliver throughout the U.S.” 

Bison Creamy Dill Dip, manufactured by Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc., is one of the company’s newest dip flavors, joining its popular flavor line-up. All Bison® dips are made with fresh sour cream and include flavors like French Onion, Southwestern Chipotle, Creamy Ranch, Roasted Garlic & Parmesan, and Reduced Fat French Onion.

Cornell University’s Department of Food and Science conducted the tests. Analysis focused on appearance, mouth feel and overall taste. The annual selection is a part of the New York State Quality Improvement and enjoys participation from nearly all commercial dairy producers in New York.   
   
Upstate Niagara Cooperative (formerly Upstate Farms) is owned and operated by a close-knit family of over 390 local dairy-farm families who care deeply about quality and freshness. The cooperative has been supplying a wide variety of fresh, high-quality dairy products under the Upstate Farms, Bison and Intense brands, for more than 40 years.

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