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Seneca Chamber August Business of the Month

Split Pine Farms, which began in November of 1971 and has been a family owned business ever since, has been selected as the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce August Business of the Month. Today, Kevin and Melody Swartley own and operate the family business which is located at 4685 Mcgrane Rd. in Romulus, NY.Kevin’s father, Robert Swartley, started the family tradition in the 1970’s by owning a grain farm and grain brokering business. In the late 1970’s, his father sold off the brokerage operation to concentrate on their core business — which was the grain farm. Kevin and Melody would later join their father in the endeavor. By 1995, Kevin and Melody, having become experienced, and farming cash crops on more than 2,000 acres (in addition to managing a sizeable hog operation) purchased the farming operation from Kevin’s parents. They also re-furbished the Swine livestock facility to handle weaned pigs for Keystone Mills — which had been managed by Melody for the first eight years. This part of the business still continues with additional management from Kevin’s brother, Gerald. Kevin has also worked hard to perfect an innovative drainage technique that was developed by his father. In early 2006, Kevin and Melody retired from the grain business and concentrated on growing a new business that developed from his father’s drainage invention. According to Kevin, “In 1973 my father designed a tile installation ‘Plow’ to be used with standard, larger tractors for installing drainage systems. “ The invention became an instant hit with agri-businesses and it would lead to growing requests for the fabricated drainage plows. Soon, regional farms and wineries (which did not have the larger tractors needed to use our drainage plows) began seeking Kevin out for the new technology and it eventually led to the development of another business enterprise – Drainage Solutions for Central New York. Their new business installs field drainage systems throughout the Finger Lakes and Central New York. Kevin and Melody are blessed with 4 children, Kyle now 30, Sally 29, Curtis 25, and Kenny Baker 22, a former foster child. All their children attended college and have their own careers outside of the Split Pine Farms business. Kevin has been actively involved in the New York agriculture community for over 30 years. He has served as Vice-Chairmen of Empire Biofuels LLC, President and Board Member of the New York Corn Growers Association, board member of the Varick Town Planning Board, and the Ag Enhancement Committee for Seneca County. He currently serves as President of the Seneca County Farm Bureau. Kevin also completed the Lead New York program, Class VIII, through Cornell University. For more information about Drainage Solutions for Central NY call 315-585-2225 or 315-729-5456. Email: kswar10462@yahoo.comFor this business’s success and growth, the Seneca County Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Split Pine Farms as its Business of the Month for August 2010. The Business of the Month is sponsored by the Finger Lakes Times.

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