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Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm

Assembly passes yogurt bill

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Mike Ranzenhofer

Statement from Senator Micheal Ranzenhofer:

The New York State Assembly has passed legislation, S.6695, to designating yogurt as the official snack for the State of New York.
 
State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has issued the following statement:
 
“I commend the New York State Assembly for passing my legislation to name yogurt the official snack of New York State although fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School deserve all of the credit. From initially suggesting the idea to traveling to the State Capitol this morning, these students deserve high marks for their efforts to get this legislation passed by both houses of the State Legislature. I am hopeful that the bill will be signed into law when it is delivered to the Governor’s desk.”
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 10:44 am

Byron-Bergen students to perform skits in Albany in support of yogurt bill

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, steve hawley

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) and State Sen. Michael Ranzenhofer (R,C,I-Amherst) will welcome the students of Byron Bergen Elementary School’s fourth-grade class to Albany to perform original skits to highlight the legislation suggested by them to make yogurt the official state snack. These students are learning important lessons about government and civic participation such as how laws are made and how citizens can make an impact on the process.

“This group of legislators in training from Byron Bergen Elementary School has, through their advocacy, helped the yogurt bill to pass the State Senate. The lessons that these students are learning through this process are invaluable and will stick with them as they grow,” Hawley said. “I’m hopeful that we will be able to pass this in the Assembly and finish the work that these youngsters started. This process has been one of the most enjoyable moments during my time in the Assembly, and I’m thankful for the contribution these students have made.”

The students chose yogurt as the official state snack because of its importance to the state’s economy. New York produces 692 million pounds of yogurt every year, making New York the leading producer of yogurt in the country. The yogurt industry is part of New York’s dairy industry, which is the fourth-largest in the nation. The dairy industry in New York generates $2.4 billion in sales, providing economic benefits and employment for all Upstate New York farmers.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm

Byron-Bergen students get visit from local veterans

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, education, schools, veterans

Press release:

On May 27, Byron-Bergen first-graders learned about the history and meaning of the United States' flag from people who proudly fought for it – prominent members of the Genesee County American Legion and Auxiliary. The students welcomed Genesee County American Legion Commander Dave Henry, Chaplain Don Nagle, Post & County Adjutant Jim Neider, and Auxiliary President Jane Fox, and listened intently to their presentation.

Neider, who was recently named to the New York State Veterans' Hall of Fame in honor of gallantry in the Armed Forces and service to the community, made history come alive with stories of Betsy Ross and the first flag. He explained that Flag Day – June 14 – celebrates the birthday of our national symbol. He described the meaning of the flag’s stars and stripes, and the significance of the red, white, and blue. He also encouraged the young patriots to remind their parents and other adults of the many ways to honor the flag.

“As vets, we enjoy helping children connect with history, and get an understanding for the importance of our flag and our country,” says Neider, who also taught elementary school for 30 years at Alexander Central School. “The kids at Byron-Bergen are especially knowledgeable and enthusiastic. They make doing this a lot of fun.”

Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 2:23 pm

Photos: Students drive tractors to school at Byron-Bergen for ag appreciation day

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, byron-bergen, schools

It was Agricultural Appreciation Day at Byron-Bergen High School. Senior students drove their tractors to school.

Photos submitted by Gayla Starowitz.

Connor Nesbitt

Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

Photo: Byron-Bergen baseball team in Cooperstown

post by Howard B. Owens in baseball, byron-bergen, sports

Roxanne sent in this picture of the Byron-Bergen baseball team with the Wheatland-Chili team in Cooperstown today. She said, "A beautiful Mothers Day in Cooperstown! Sunshine and baseball!"

Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

The Daily Show mocks Senate's yogurt debate

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Mike Ranzenhofer
Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 10:36 pm

State Senate passes Byron-Bergen students' yogurt bill

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, Mike Ranzenhofer

Press release:

The New York State Senate has passed legislation, sponsored by State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, to name yogurt as the official snack for the State of New York. The bill, S.6695, passed by a 52 to 8 vote.   

“Yogurt is not only a delicious, healthy treat; it is also an economic driver for many communities in New York, with yogurt manufacturers located all across the State – from Western New York to Long Island. That is why yogurt is such a suitable choice to be New York’s State snack,” Ranzenhofer said. “I am pleased that the State Senate has approved this bill, and I encourage the State Assembly to pass it.” 

A Byron-Bergen fourth-grade class, while studying the history and government of New York State, wrote to Senator Ranzenhofer to suggest the idea for the bill.

“The idea for this legislation started in a Genesee County classroom, not at the State Capitol. A lot of credit goes to Craig Schroth and his fourth-grade class at Byron-Bergen Central School District for all of their hard work, research and study that went into proposing this bill,” Ranzenhofer said. “Today’s vote to designate yogurt as the State snack is an example of democracy in action.”

New York is the number one processor of yogurt in the United States. Increasing demand for milk, the primary component in yogurt, has helped to support and grow the State’s dairy industry. New York is now fifth in the nation in milk production, producing over 13 billion pounds in 2012, in part fueled by the demand from yogurt processors.

Assemblyman William Magee has introduced the bill in the New York State Assembly. Assemblyman Stephen Hawley is a co-sponsor of the legislation. The bill has been sent to the State Assembly.  

New York State has many other official state symbols, including a beverage, milk; a muffin, apple muffin; a fruit, apple; a tree, sugar maple; a flower, rose; a shell, bay scallop; a fish, brook trout; a bird, bluebird; an animal, beaver; a gem, wine-red garnet; and an insect, ladybug.

UPDATE: The New York TimesAnimated Debate in New York State Capital? It’s About Yogurt

One senator, Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat, suggested the designation might be inconsiderate to people who are lactose intolerant. Another, Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat, wondered if yogurt could count as a snack if it were consumed at breakfast time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Bill making yogurt official state snack advances in Senate

post by Howard B. Owens in byron-bergen, michael ranzenhofer

Press release:

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer has announced today that the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee has approved Senate Bill No. S6695. The legislation, authored by Senator Ranzenhofer, would designate yogurt as the official State snack.

A Byron-Bergen fourth-grade class, while studying the history and government of New York State, wrote to Senator Ranzenhofer to suggest the idea for the bill.

“I am pleased to report that this bill is on the move, and New York is one step closer to designating yogurt as its official State snack,” Ranzenhofer said. “It’s not just a nutritious, delicious food. It is also a major economic driver locally and all across the State. I am hopeful that we will be able to pass this legislation so that it may become law this year.”

New York is the number one processor of yogurt in the United States. Increasing demand for milk, the primary component in yogurt, has helped to support and grow the State’s dairy industry. New York is now fifth in the nation in milk production, producing over 13 billion pounds in 2012, in part fueled by the demand from yogurt processors.

Senator Ranzenhofer introduced the legislation on Feb. 28.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Byron-Bergen rallys support for bill to make Greek yogurt the state's official snack

post by Howard B. Owens in agriculture, bergen, business, byron, byron-bergen

Photos by Howard Owens / Story by Sloan Martin, WBTA.

New York has several State symbols: the sugar maple is the state tree and the state gem is a garnet. What it doesn’t have, though, is a state snack and the fourth-graders at Byron-Bergen Elementary School are doing something about it.

In a fun school assembly Thursday, the students marked their accomplishment of getting a bill to Albany.

With pop hits like ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and Lorde’s “Royals” reimagined to proclaim the benefits of yogurt, along with funny skits, the auditorium was filled with B-B fourth-graders who’re amped up and extremely knowledgeable about yogurt.

“It’s very healthy for you and it has lots of good vitamins and calcium,” Sadie said.

“We’ve learned that we’ve been producing the most yogurt in New York State, especially in this area,” Grace said.

Learning about its impact on their bodies, the economy and the government, it’s been an interactive and engaging learning experience.

Superintendent Casey Kosiorek says he’s proud of the kids and their teachers for taking what they learn and putting it into action.

“It really lines up with everything Genesee County’s about with dairy farming and additions to our yogurt companies as well,” he said. “It really aligns well. It’ll be memorable for the students, especially after it becomes a law.”

“Absolutely, this is interdisciplinary,” Kosiorek said. “They’ve had to work on their writing, they’ve had to utilize their math, they’ve had to learn about social studies, they’ve had to learn about government. As you can see, they were singing and writing songs, producing films – all the skills that we look for as our young people move up to the junior-senior high school and then college and careers."

State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says it’s government in action.

“They’re living it by writing us letters, by doing these skits today,” Ranzenhofer said. “We’re going to make this become a law.”

The bill to make yogurt the official state snack has been introduced in the Senate and once it passes both houses, it will find itself on the governor’s desk -- all because of the Byron-Bergen fourth-graders.

Mike Davis, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Kevin Williams, Muller Quaker Dairy, and Roger Parkhurst, Alpina Foods.

 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 11:19 am

Byron-Bergen students selected for National Junior Honor Society

Press release:

On March 19, a distinguished group of 23 students from Byron-Bergen Jr. High School was welcomed into the National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) by its President, Lauren Burke. Ms. Burke addressed the audience with a challenge: Continue to excel in the five qualities that members of National Junior Honor Society must represent – Scholarship, Citizenship, Service, Leadership, and Character. “While the recognition [of being a member of National Junior Honor Society] is great, the true reward is the satisfaction in knowing that you are working to be the best person you can be.”

The induction ceremony featured two guest speakers – English Teacher Diana Walther and Music Teacher Laurence Tallman. 

Mrs. Walther focused on the skills needed to be a successful citizen. She shared stories of witnessing the newest members of NJHS exhibiting those skills. “I see perseverance. Each of you has shown me, at one time or another this year that you finish what you start,” she said. “Your character is transparent through your choices. You do what’s necessary to be successful, and are beginning to realize that there is a distinct difference between the ‘easy path’ and the ‘successful path’ in life. Walking down the more challenging path has led you here.”

Mr. Tallman referenced the recent Byron-Bergen musical production “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” which is based on the writings of acclaimed author and philosopher, Robert Fulghum. He reminded the audience that some areas of wisdom, often learned at a young age, play a vital role throughout a lifetime. “We must be reminded of them from time to time, because these are the things that remind us to live not just for the self, but for the better of the whole. They remind us to practice civility, good character, kindness, and love. And, like anything, they must be practiced daily in order to become a regular part of your life.”

The National Junior Honor Society Vice President, Margaret Graney, concluded the ceremony by reading descriptions of the five defining qualities of NJHS members and lighting a candle to signify the importance of each quality in our lives. 

Congratulations to National Junior Honor Society 2014 Inductees.

7th Grade
Sarah Bleiler
Kolbi Brew
Lydia Campbell
Adam Drake
Mariah Fee
Jared Fregoe
Leah Gale
Emma Goodman
Annaliese Hersom
William Johnson
Oliver Kelley
Rayelle Merrell
MacKenzie Rosse
Brianna Shade
Emma Smith
Wade Thompson

8th Grade
Cameron Brumsted
Benjamin Chaback
Brionna DeMichel
Justin Hannan
Brendon Kendall
Adam Swapceinski
Esther Wilkins

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