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Influence of farm-to-table movement in Finger Lakes explored

Influence of farm-to-table movement in Finger Lakes explored
Chefs using locally sourced food to create menu offerings is a growing phenomenon in the Finger Lakes. It’s also the subject of a day-long program at two locations in Geneva. The Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the “al fresco” conference that will explore the influence of the farm-to-table movement and agritourism on the local culture and economy. It’s scheduled... more

Census of Agriculture: Number of farms across region declines again

Census of Agriculture: Number of farms across region declines again
The number of farms in New York dropped again, according to the latest Census of Agriculture released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 2017 census found there are 33,438 farms in New York, down from 35,537 in 2012. The state’s farms occupy 6,866,171 acres, which is lower than the 7,183,576 acres farms had five years ago. David Fisher, president... more

Republicans call for more public hearings on legislation that could hurt family farms

Republicans call for more public hearings on legislation that could hurt family farms
State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) and others members of the Senate Republican conference called for additional public hearings, including in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, on legislation they believe could drive many of New York’s family farms out of business and decimate local farm economies. The controversial legislation (S.2837/A.2750) is known as the “Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices... more

INSIDE THE FLX: Discussing rural development efforts locally with USDA (podcast)

Rural communities are at a clear disadvantage when it comes to winning economic development contests, like those we frequently see in the news. The Downtown Revitalization Initiative, while something that has proven to be positive for the Finger Lakes – leaves a lot of communities out. But, there’s plenty of funding available out there to help small, rural communities develop... more

Prompted by sheep deaths, Aurora leaders plan temporary fireworks ban to protect livestock

After sheep deaths, Aurora planning temporary fireworks ban to protect livestock
The village of Aurora Board of Trustees plans impose a moratorium on fireworks so it can conduct more research over the summer before adopting a new law aimed at protecting animals affected by loud noises. In a special meeting Thursday, the village approved a motion to consider a nine-month moratorium on fireworks displays. The decision followed a 45-minute discussion about... more

Newark greenhouse owner envisions cannabis-growing operation

Newark greenhouse owner envisions cannabis-growing operation
The 30-acre greenhouse complex on East Maple Avenue in Newark was where Jackson & Perkins grew its world-famous roses for decades. That company left Newark long ago for sunny California. The most recent tenant, ERP Environmental Fund, which grew trees on the site — although never in the numbers originally anticipated — departed in December following a settlement with the... more

O’Mara, Palmesano seek public hearings on Farmworker Labor Act

O’Mara, Palmesano seek public hearings on Farmworker Labor Act
State Sen. Tom O’Mara (R-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-Corning) are calling on the state’s Democratic legislative leaders to hold statewide public hearings on legislation that they believe could drive many family farms in New York State out of business and decimate local farm economies. The controversial legislation is known as the “Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act.” In a... more

Solar farm will be built on Middlesex farmland

Solar farm will be built on Middlesex farmland
Another community solar farm serving NYSEG customers broke ground March 15 in the heart of the Finger Lakes. The project, to be built on land owned by Jeanette Daum in Middlesex, will produce enough electricity for about 650 average sized homes. “We are proud to bring community solar to the Finger Lakes,” said Jeffrey Mayer, CEO of Solar Farms NY.... more

FARMING IN FEAR: Dairy farmers who rely on migrant workers concerned about detainment issues

FARMING IN FEAR: Dairy farmers who rely on migrant workers concerned about detainment issues
At McMahon’s EZ Acres in Cortland County, workers milk the dairy cows three times a day. They do the “dirty work,” as Mike McMahon puts it. For their labor, workers get a three-bedroom house — with utilities included — and a salary upwards of $35,000. “We really felt that we had turned a corner on labor turnover on the farm,”... more

Local federal parks benefit from reauthorized bill

Local federal parks benefit from reauthorized bill
Back on Feb. 18, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, stood outside the Women’s Rights National Historical Park amid snowflakes and urged Congress to reauthorize the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, said the LWCF provides valuable federal funding for the women’s rights park, the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Tyre and the Finger Lakes National Forest... more

Deputies investigating farm-related burglaries in Yates County

Deputies investigating farm-related burglaries in Yates County
Several long guns are still missing following farm-related burglaries in Yates County. According to The Chronicle Express, the burglaries are in the towns of Potter and Benton. The Rochester Police Department got involved in January, investigating leads on stolen equipment. Three more burglaries were reported in Potter in February. Sheriff Ronald Spike says they have persons of interest outside Yates... more

New York Farm Show underway at NYS Fairgrounds

New York Farm Show underway at NYS Fairgrounds
A big farm show is underway at the New York State Fairgrounds. There are more than 400 exhibitors at the New York Farm Show. They are showing the latest in farm equipment, supplies and services. The show will run: Friday, February 22nd: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, February 23d: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $5 at the... more

NY legislators renew push for farmworker labor rights

NY legislators renew push for farmworker labor rights
The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act isn’t a new bill, but with Democrats controlling both houses of the state Legislature there’s a greater likelihood it will become law this year. The legislation would grant farmworkers with employment rights available to workers in other industries, such as collective bargaining and the ability to unionize. The measure would establish an eight-hour workday... more

Cayuga County farm using research to improve production

Cayuga County farm using research to improve production
There are plenty of challenges facing agriculture, but Todd DuMond of DuMond Farms in the town of Fleming is hoping to find solutions to some of those problems. DuMond Farms may be best known in the Cayuga County area as a major grower and processor of soybeans, and in recent years, DuMond has been working on a major expansion plan... more

Owner discusses impact of migrant, domestic labor at Red Jacket Orchards

Owner discusses migrant, domestic labor at Red Jacket Orchards as annual need grows
“Statistics show that for every migrant farm position that we have out there on the farm, there are four additional full-time domestic jobs that are created to that business’ function,” said Mark Nicholson, co-owner of Red Jacket Orchards. Red Jacket Orchards, a 600-acre third generation family-owned farm has increased its participation in the H-2A visa worker program for this past... more

SUNY college offering cannabis industry minor for agricultural students

SUNY college offering cannabis industry minor for agricultural students
One of the State University of New York colleges is taking steps to be at the forefront of emerging agricultural and recreational industry. SUNY Morrisville will be developing a program for a cannabis industry minor for its agricultural school students, according to our ABC affiliate in Syracuse. The Morrisville college campus is located approximately 35 miles southeast of Syracuse. Recreational... more

Geneva non-profit looks to tackle fresh produce all year

Geneva non-profit looks to tackle fresh produce all year
The city is fortunate to have organizations that glean fresh produce each summer and fall for distribution to people of modest means. However, the need doesn’t end with the fall harvest. A Geneva-based non-profit is looking to address that need. Thanks to a $100,000 grant secured from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Blueprint Geneva has opened a 2,800-square-foot greenhouse... more
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