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Sen. Helming announces signing of agricultural tourism bill

Senator Pam Helming today announced that a bill that she co-sponsored to reduce the cost of insurance for agritourism businesses was signed into law. The cost of liability insurance is becoming increasingly costly particularly for small farms that host agritourism activities, such as U-Pick produce, U-Cut Christmas trees, farm and winery tours, snowmobiling, hunting, and other forms of outdoor recreation.... more

Grape harvest at Shaw Vineyard on Seneca Lake (photos)

The annual grape harvest is now complete for most wineries and farms across the Finger Lakes. In these photos below, winemaker Steve Shaw and the team at Shaw Vineyard process the harvest late last week in Himrod on the western shore of Seneca Lake. Shaw Vineyard is a artisanal winery dedicated to gentle processing, cellar aging, and risk taking. Since... more

Region’s grape crop big in two ways

Hans Walter-Peterson has one word to describe this year’s grape crop in the Finger Lakes. Big. Big in two ways, specified Walter-Peterson, a viticulture extension specialist with Finger Lakes Grape Program, which is part of Cornell Cooperative Extension. The grapes are big. So are the bunches. As a whole, this year’s crop looks to be outstanding, Walter-Peterson said. “Some of... more

New state program helps vets become farmers

New York state has created a new program to help veterans become farmers. The new program provides financial assistance to former military service members turned farmers. The initiative is related to a broader $1 million grant program for new and early-stage farmers. Under the initiative, past service members can apply for state funds to help them buy new farm equipment,... more

‘Holy’ grain saved; barn raising starts

The fire that struck the Martens family farm recently could have been devastating to a family less optimistic than Klaas & Mary-Howell. Drawing inspiration from their faith, their family, the supportive community around them, and the mercy of Providence, they keep seeing the blessings in the midst of what could have been a disaster for them if they were alone.... more

Reed hears concerns of area dairy farmers

U.S. Congressman Tom Reed, (R-Corning) met with leaders in the dairy industry Friday, Sept. 22 to hear their concerns in Western New York. Reed came prepared to promote the Republican plan to overhaul the federal income tax code to “modernize” and “lower rates as much as possible across the board.” However, the topics that dominated the meeting with dairy farmers... more

Inside the FLX: Talking rural development in the Finger Lakes (podcast)

On Monday’s edition of the Inside the FLX podcast Josh Durso was joined by Jillian Kasow, Director and Counsel to the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, Christopher Stewart, Special Projects Coordinator with the USDA, and Jim Walfrand, Area Director for Rural Development with the USDA — who discussed shared efforts between regional, state, and federal officials to deliver valuable assets... more

20 years of apple touring in Wayne County

The annual Wayne County Apple Tour returns for the 20th year this fall. Since 1997, apple lovers throughout western and central New York have explored Wayne County to pick fresh apples, enjoy the fall colors, and enjoy a day of family fun. Wayne County is the largest apple-producing county in New York State. The tour runs throughout the month of... more

Gene-altered moth trial in Geneva raises hopes… and worries

It seems like the stuff of science fiction: Genetically engineering a species to die before it can reproduce. But field tests of a gene-altered type of moth are taking place now at Cornell University’s Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. It’s a pesticide-free attempt to control invasive diamondback moths — an insect that devours crops like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Cornell... more

FLX apple crop is bountiful, tasty

There was a time not so long ago when New York’s apple farms were struggling. Competing against cheap, imported apple juice from China, the market for its own juice varieties was drying up quickly, leaving many farms with bottom lines as red as the fruit on their trees. Partly out of necessity, the industry here changed. Some marginal operations left... more

SCHEDULE: Empire Farm Days this week in Seneca Falls

Empire Farm Days will be hosted by Rodman Lott & Sons Farms located along State Route 414 in Seneca Falls on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week. Tuesday and Wednesday hours of operation will run from 9 am through 5 pm, and the event will wrap up on Thursday running from 9 am until 4 pm. There will be shuttle... more

Big Apple media touts Wayne County pie

When Christine Worth was asked to find an apple pie to submit for a media contest, she immediately knew who to turn to — Lagoner Farms of Williamson. “When I drive by I think of her apple dumplings and when I bring them home I hide them from my husband,” said Worth, director of tourism at Wayne County Tourism. Mitzi... more

Solar farm planned for Seneca Falls

Plans for a 20 megawatt solar panel project were unveiled Tuesday to the Town Board. Developer Grant Cushing of Canandaigua is president of Brownfield Group LLC. He said his company has large, commercial solar farm projects in 13 states and Canada. “We are getting into western New York in a large scale with new solar projects, encouraged by the state,”... more

Barn fire at Peters Dairy Farm quickly extinguished in Cayuga Co.

Multiple fire departments in Cayuga County were called to Peters Dairy Farm for the report of a barn fire in Auburn. Scanner traffic indicates that Poplar Ridge, Scipio, and Aurora Fire Departments, as well as Aurelius RIT Team, and Southern Cayuga Ambulance were called to the area of Route 34 and Gary Rd. for a reported barn fire. When Poplar... more

8-year-old killed in Varick farm accident

Seneca County Sheriff Tim Luce says an 8-year-old was killed in a fatal farm accident that happened during the early-afternoon hours on Friday. Around 1:40 pm deputies were called to an address on McCulloch Rd. in the Town of Varick for the report that Wilmer Zimmerman, of Romulus was caught between a John Deere Gator utility vehicle and a loaded... more

Empire Farm Days set for Aug. 8, 9 and 10 in Seneca Falls

Yes, it’s still a month away. But you’ll need time to pump up your energy reserves to “Come see for yourself!” — the theme for the 2017 Empire Farm Days at Seneca Falls, N.Y. You’ll be hoisting hoods, climbing into cabs and taking tractors, trucks, applicators, UTVs or construction equipment for a test spin. You’ll be loading up on equipment... more
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