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Wednesday, January 21, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Post Dairy Farm named Genesee County Conservation Farm of the Year

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, elba

Press release:

The Genesee County Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors have announced the selection of Post Dairy Farm, LLC, as the 2014 Genesee County Conservation Farm of the Year. The Post family will be the honored guests of the District at the Celebrate Agriculture Dinner on March 21st at the Alexander Firemen’s Recreation Hall. They will be formally presented with their award at that time.

Post Dairy Farms LLC/ Dan and John Post – Town of Elba
The Posts have been working with the district since 1965. Their dairy consists of about 400 cows and they work about 500 acres. They just recently built a new barn with four robotic milkers; the district was involved with installing drip trenches around the perimeter. Some other conservation practices they have implemented include drain tile, diversion ditches, grassed waterways, covered heavy use area protection, and a wastewater lagoon. (Ken Post – father of Dan and John -- was named Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1973).

Previously: For five generations, farming has been all in the family for the Posts of Elba

File photo: Front row, Dan, John and Ken; and, Laurie and Jeff.

Friday, December 26, 2014 at 10:06 am

Photo: Wind-damaged silo in Elba

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, elba, weather

A reader sent in this picture of a wind-toppled silo on his property on Transit Road, Elba. He said it came down overnight.

Monday, December 22, 2014 at 10:15 pm

4-H Rustic Riders donate to Animal Shelter for Christmas

post by Howard B. Owens in animal shelter, batavia, 4-H, agriculture, Rustic Riders

Press release:

As part of a 4-H club community service project, the 4-H Rustic Riders horse club members chose to donate much needed items to the Genesee County Animal Shelter instead of exchanging gifts at their holiday club meeting on Tuesday December 16th at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County.  Community service is a key component of our 4-H Youth Development Program, and provides a great opportunity for young people to give back to Genesee County.

The Rustic Riders horse club along with the Mystic Riders horse club also participated in holiday bell ringing for the Salvation Army on Saturday, December 13th at Tractor Supply in Batavia.

Genesee County 4-H is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension that is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.  For more information about the 4-H Youth Development Program visit: http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/4-h-youth-development.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm

Photo: Irrigation system decorated for Christmas

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, My-T Acres

Batavia Farm Equipment has set up a holiday display using an irrigation system as a scaffolding for lights at MY-T Acres Farms on Lewiston Road.

Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Hawleys host WNY brewers at malthouse open house

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, agriculture, business, NY Craft Malt

Ted and Patricia Hawley hosted several dozen beer lovers at their malt house on the Hawley Farm on Bank Street Road today.

The open house was a chance to invite people to come in and try some of the craft beers that have started using malt from NY Craft Malt.

Breweries serving samples today included Fairport Brewing, Community Beer Works, Resurgence and Big Ditch. The brewers are all from WNY.

Ted Hawley said business is good. The company is selling all the malt it makes.

Previously:

Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 10:03 pm

Farm Bureau responds to Obama executive order on immigration

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, immigration, NY Farm Bureau

Press release: 

“President Obama’s executive action demonstrates there is a critical need to act on immigration reform, but it is not the long-term solution that New York’s farmers have called for to deal with the existing labor shortage. That action must come from Congress. Our farms must have both a flexible visa program to address the seasonal workforce needs that are required to pick fruits and vegetables, along with provisions that allow skilled workers already here to earn an adjustment in their status and remain working in New York.

This is a food security issue for our country. Without a legal, stable workforce willing to work in agriculture, our farms will continue to face a growing problem of being unable to provide enough healthy, safe food to our people. The alternative will be a greater reliance on foreign imports to feed ourselves,” said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Collins honored by Farm Bureau for effort to ditch new EPA waterway rule

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chris collins, EPA, NY-27

Rep. Chris Collins was honored today by the American Farm Bureau for his efforts on behalf of the agriculture community, not only in Genesee County and New York, but throughout the United States.

Collins spearheaded an effort to get the EPA to back off waterway rule changes that farmers -- and others -- say will drive up the cost of business, if not put them out of business.

It's a top legislative priority of the Farm Bureau, said New York bureau President Dean Norton, to convince the EPA to "ditch the rule," which he says would change the definition of navigable waterways to include small ditches and puddles, which are common on farms.

Norton presented Collins with an award from the Farm Bureau at a gathering at Post Farms in Elba.

Jeff Post thanked Collins for taking up the cause.

"If you look across the back of our farm, which we've been farming for 100 years, we have a lot of ground that would fall into the rule to be permitted," Post said. "It would have a large impact on a small producer like us."

At the urging of Norton, Collins took up the cause with the goal of getting 100 members of Congress to sign a letter urging the EPA to ditch the rule. Collins had 100 signers in a week. In another week, Norton said, he had 200. Eventually, 240 members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats signed the letter.

"This goes to show you just how flawed the rule is," Norton said. "Then when you have other organizations like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce coming out and saying, 'ditch the rule,' and when you have the small business administration telling their partner agency, 'you need to rewrite this thing, it's really flawed,' it tells you it is flawed."

Collins also said the fact the letter would garner such bipartisan support shows how seriously off track the EPA has gotten on the proposed rule change.

"I was able to get majority of Congress, which is very hard to do today, Republicans and Democrats alike, over 240 members, to send a letter to the administrator to the EPA asking, demanding, that they withdraw the rule and start over," Collins said. "There was too much ambiguity, too much worry in a rule that was out for comment."

In a hearing, Collins said, a deputy at the EPA "effectively admitted" that the proposed rule is flawed. The official said the comment period, which has been extended again, to Nov. 15, is designed to give the EPA information to fix any flaws in the rule.

"They said, we can fix it after the comments are done," Collins said. "My comment to them was, 'we don't trust you. No one trusts you. The public doesn't trust you. Farmers don't trust you. Congress doesn't trust you not to overreach yet again.' "

Collins, left, Post and Norton.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:29 am

Local dairy farm fined as result of contamination to six water wells

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, business, Lamb Farms, Oakfield

Lamb Farms agreed to pay a $15,000 fine to the Department of Environmental Conservation for liquid manure that seeped into six residential water wells in the Lewiston/Oakfield Batavia Townline roads area of Oakfield in March, according to documents released by the DEC.

The 4,000-cow dairy farm was also given a suspended fine of $44,000 that it can avoid by complying with DEC instructions in what's known as a "consent order."

Word of the contaminated wells spread after the county mistakenly sent -- and quickly retracted -- a boil water alert to all county residents around March 18. The alert was only meant for a small population area around Lewiston Road and Oakfield Batavia Townline Road.

In all, six wells eventually tested positive for E. coli.

The DEC investigated and determined, according to the documents, that Lamb Farms was responsible for manure runoff from Field 367 on March 7 into a tributary of Upper Oak Orchard Creek, and that the manure spread on Field 386 on March 6 and 7 likely contributed to the wells' contamination.

As part of the consent order, Lamb Farms agreed to a number of technical stipulations: developing a new nutrient management plan; creating a plan for dealing with the different soil types of its field; how it handles winter and spring manure spreading; properly designating springs that might be affected by runoff; and providing more details in records for manure spreading.

Attempts to reach Lamb Farms co-owner Jim Veazy, who handled the matter with the DEC, according to the documents, were unsuccessful. It's harvest time and he's been busy in the fields.

Monday, September 29, 2014 at 3:00 pm

4-H hold annual dinner to honor member achievements

post by Howard B. Owens in 4-H, agriculture

Press release:

This past Saturday, Sept. 27th, approximately 100 Genesee County 4-H members and their families gathered for the 2014 Achievement Night celebration. This marked the end of the 2014 4-H calendar year. It is a time to honor the work and accomplishments of the 4-H youth, marking their progress and growth in their given project areas. This night of recognition is used to motivate 4-H members to participate, create, and achieve in 4-H, to encourage and support the learning efforts of young people, and to foster a sense of belonging.

The event began at 5 p.m. with a host of games designed and run by our 4-H volunteers, followed by dinner and presentation of honors and awards. We would like to extend a thank you to everyone who came out and made this year’s 4-H Achievement Night a success!

Interested in joining Genesee County 4-H? The new member enrollment deadline for the 2014-2015 program year is Nov. 3, 2014 (Oct. 24th for Market Auction Program). Call the 4-H Office at 585-343-3040, ext. 101, to request an enrollment packet or for more information.

Photo: Ben K., Caleb C., Emily M., Samantha W., Tim Adams- Swine Club leader, Dillon W., and Melissa K.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 11:03 am

Photos: Chamber conducts annual ag tour

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, chamber of commerce, Oakfield

The Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual ag tour this morning, starting with a visit to BCA Ag Technologies in Oakfield (that visit was co-hosted by Z&M Ag and Turf).

During the first visit, tour participants learned about all the high-tech ways farmers more precisely and efficiently put seeds in the ground, using GPS and computer-programed seeding mechanisms.

After BCA, the group moved onto the Cargill facility in Batavia, which produces nutrients for dairy cattle throughout the Northeast, and finally they visited M&M Meats to learn about beef processing.

"For those of who are involved in it, it's pretty easy to lose track of and forget how big ag is and the fact that it is the number-one industry in the county, so it's great to get the folks who make decisions and impact what we do to understand what we do," said Keith Conway, chairman of the chamber's ag committee and store manager for Z&M in Oakfield.

Benjamin Flansburg, BCA.

Keith Conway

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