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genesee county farmers

April 3, 2020 - 6:15pm

Above: Byron-Bergen Central School District staff at food distribution site. Photo courtesy of Mickey Edwards.

Submitted photos and information from Byron-Bergen Central School District:

BERGEN -- In the wake of school closings, mandatory social distancing, and the economic downturn, food insecurity is a rising concern. Byron-Bergen Central School District has organized meal pickups to provide breakfast and lunch to school-aged children five days a week, but some local farmers decided to take it a step further.

On Thursday (April 2) a trailer piled with potatoes, onions, carrots, and cabbage pulled into the Byron-Bergen High School parking lot -- a gift to the community from five farms in Genesee County: Mortellaro Farms, Star Growers, Stymus Farms, Torrey Farms, and Triple G Farms.

The produce was distributed directly to community members during their regular school meal pickups for about 300 students at the High School bus loop.

The drop-off was organized with the help of Byron-Bergen Central School District's kitchen manager Rozanne Klycek, who got the idea from a family member at Star Growers in Elba, Barbara "Barbie" Starowitz.

The Byron-Bergen alumna has been in contact with other local farmers, eager to help in these uncertain times. Since the District was already distributing food, the farmers thought it was the perfect way to reach community members in need.

"It's just all of us farmers helping each other out," Starowitz told The Batavian this evening. "We always help out the community in times like this. It's not unusual. It's what we do."

In the space of a mere week, hundreds of pounds of produce has been donated by the farmers help people fight food insecurity -- at the giveways at Northgate Church in Batavia, to help stock Harrington's Market and local food pantries, which many seniors increasingly rely on. They plan on donating to Elba Central School on Monday.

“This community never ceases to amaze me,” said Byron-Bergen Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “I am truly humbled by the generosity of these farmers. It was an honor to help carry 10-pound bags of potatoes out to cars, knowing the relief it will provide to our families.”

Below, produce donated by local farmers being prepared for distribution. Photo courtesy of Susan Kuszlyk.

Bottom: Byron-Bergen kitchen manager Rozanne Klycek and Adam Starowitz from Star Growers during produce drop off. Photo courtesy of Susan Kuszlyk.

November 4, 2017 - 5:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, agriculture, genesee county farmers.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director John Mietz in Genesee County reminds producers to review available 2018 USDA crop risk protection options, including federal crop insurance and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) coverage, before the fall crop deadline of Nov. 20, 2017.

Federal crop insurance covers crop losses from natural adversities, such as drought, hail and excessive moisture. NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available, including forage and grazing crops, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, floriculture, ornamental nursery, aquaculture, turf grass, ginseng, honey, maple sap, bioenergy and industrial crops.

The following fruit tree, nut tree and perennial crops in New York have a NAP application deadline of Nov. 20, 2017: Apples, Apricots, Asparagus, Blueberries, Caneberries, Cherries, Chestnuts, Cranberries, Currants, Ginger, Grapes, Gooseberries, Elderberries, Horseradish, Juneberries, Kiwi, Mulberries, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Plums, Plumcots, Prunes, Quince, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Walnuts, and Willow.

Dec. 1, 2017 is the NAP application deadline for Honey and Maple Sap.

“NAP policies allow producers to protect their investment by purchasing coverage for noninsurable crops,” Mietz said. “Natural disasters are an unavoidable part of farming and ranching and FSA programs like NAP help producers recover when they experience a loss.”

USDA has partnered with Michigan State University and the University of Illinois to create an online tool at 32TUwww.fsa.usda.gov/napU32T that allows producers to determine whether their crops are eligible for federal crop insurance or NAP and to explore the best level of protection for their operation. NAP basic coverage is available at 55 percent of the average market price for crop losses that exceed 50 percent of expected production, with higher levels of coverage, up to 65 percent of their expected production at 100 percent of the average market price available, including coverage for organics and crops marketed directly to consumers.

Federal crop insurance coverage is sold and delivered solely through private insurance agents. Agent lists are available at all USDA service centers or at USDA’s online Agent Locator at 32Thttp://prodwebnlb.rma.usda.gov/apps/AgentLocator/#32T. Producers can use the USDA Cost

Contact: John Mietz [email protected] or phone (585) 343-9167. 

Estimator at 32Thttps://ewebapp.rma.usda.gov/apps/costestimator/Default.aspx32T to predict insurance premium costs.

For more information on NAP, service fees, premiums and sales deadlines, contact the Genesee County FSA office at (585) 343-9167 or visit 32Twww.fsa.usda.gov/nap32T

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