Business

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:19 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Attica, Business.

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Workmen installs new signage for the Attica Pharmacy located at 2 Market St., Attica.

Monday, May 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, Business.

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As a way to commemorate its 25 years in business, employees of Complete Payroll, 1 Lake St., Perry, planted 25 trees in and around the Village Friday afternoon.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 9:57 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Warsaw, announcements.

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The Gathering Quarters has brought the time-honored tradition of the quilting circle to Warsaw – with a twist. Located at 63 Perry Ave., it houses four bedrooms – enough for eight guests – one and one-half baths, a full kitchen, and many tables to gather around to work on quilting projects, crafts, scrapbooking and more.

During the early 1800s, members of rural communities frequently joined together to work on large projects, quilting was not an exception. The quilting bee, or quilting circle, was not only a social event, but also a way for women to complete several quilts in a single day instead of weeks or months.

The business is a “home away from home to visit with friends and create,” reads The Gathering Quarters website. 

For more information email owner Penny Muniak at pennymuniak@gmail.com or call (585) 356-0707.

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Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:03 am
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, news, Perry, dogs.

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Press release:

When Melissa Henchen opened Paws Perrydise in April 2015, even she didn’t know what kind of a reception the business would get. While she saw the need for dog training, daycare, boarding services, and supplies, she wasn’t sure the need alone would be enough to keep her doors open.

“A lot of people — even people with no dog experience — will try to do their own training to save money,” Henchen said. “They usually find themselves overwhelmed because of the lack of accurate, consistent and humane information available for free.

"There’s tons of bad advice available for free, and most people don’t know the difference. Professionals — like myself — tend protect their investment, because they pay for education and certifications to provide the most effective way to teach our dogs.”

Two years later, however, Paws Perrydise has amassed a pack of loyal customers. Daycare, which started out with a few dogs three days a week, is so consistently full that Henchen added a fourth day and has had to cap attendance. 

With three classes running at any given time, she has built a consistent following for puppy class, and basic obedience training. Additionally, she looks to offer more specialized classes such as introduction to agility, scent work, and gun dog training.

“I’m working with a great group of nationally recognized trainers who will be coming in to offer positive gun dog training in June at the Silver Lake Sportsman’s Club. I’m excited to offer that in our county, where hunting is such a big activity.

“I’m also hoping to add some staff, which would allow me more time to focus on those more specialized activities and classes.”

In addition to classes, Paws Perrydise also carries a large selection of high-quality treats, chews and toys. Her favorite products are the front-clip harnesses, citing the effectiveness of the product as well as the humane alternative to choke chains and prong collars for dogs that pull when leashed.

“It’s a great feeling to do the research on products so my clients don’t have to. I look for products that are made in the U.S. without recalls, ones that have excellent quality, guarantees, and of course, are safe to use on our companion pets.

“People who come in tend to have a lot of questions, and I can answer them without the corporate jargon. I’m hand-picking the products in my store, so I know exactly why they’re there and how they work.”

Getting any kind of business off the ground is no easy feat, and dog training is no exception – Henchen works 11-hour days and is open six-days-a-week. It may not always be the idyllic puppy playtime people tend to imagine, but Henchen wouldn’t trade it for anything. She said the things that surprise her can be the best aspect of the job.

“I’m wildly surprised by the number of people who want daycare for their dogs to avoid separation anxiety or boredom. The same goes for the amount of people who come in with enough empathy for their dogs’ needs that they want in-home boarding versus kennel boarding. I have people drive over an hour to board with me because I have a different level of compassion for dogs with anxiety or fear, or who may have special needs.”

To learn more about the services and products offered at Paws Perrydise, visit pawsperrydise.com.

Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Business, Warsaw, ice cream.

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Yummies wasn’t the first choice of business names for ice cream shop owner Valerie Hoffman, Creekside Treats was. However, after one of her first customers turned to her young daughter and said “Oh, this is so yummy,” Hoffman thought to herself “This is good.”

That was 10 years ago.

On Saturday, Yummies, 12 Center St., Warsaw, is hosting a celebration to mark its decade in business and its 11th season.

“My 8-year-old daughter at the time, picked out the name Yummies,” Hoffman said. “There were a couple of different names I was thinking about, but Yummies won.”

About a dozen years ago, the only ice cream shop in Warsaw closed down. Ten years ago she was working at Genesee Community College with the Upward Bound program and every day she would pass by the empty building on her way to work.

“When Wayne’s World (where Tim Hortons is now) closed, I kept thinking that the building would make a great ice cream shop. So I decided Warsaw needed an ice cream shop. Things started falling into place of what I thought God wanted me to do. So I bought the building.”

Prior to Yummies opening, the building was Shears Restaurant – back in the ’70s and ‘80s – a coffee shop, a taco place, and a health food shop.

“People come in and tell me they remember when it was Shears,” she said. “It looks very different from what it did then though. 

“I was very scared about the initial investment. When I first thought about opening an ice cream shop I thought ‘How hard can it be?’… The best advice I can give…work in that business first. I would not have made it through my first year if not for the two girls who started working for me then. Between the two, they had more than nine years experience in the ice cream business.”

To help celebrate Hoffman’s business milestone, three of Yummies original employees – Robin L’Wall, Hanna Ross, and Holden Case – will be scoopin’ ice cream from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Serving ice cream is a physically demanding job and does require thought, Hoffman says. Not only are employees “stoopin’ and scoopin’ for an entire shift,” and rotating stock – each 2-gallon container of ice cream weights approximately 10 pounds – there are certain tricks to the trade to give customers a proper order as well.

“There is a system for everything.”

From the rotation of the stock to the refrigeration of sorbet – it requires a different temperature than ice cream to keep cold – to carrying flavors and toppings the customers like.

“I have to carry what everyone likes,” Hoffman laughed. “Not just what I like. And I’m mindful about freshness.”

To learn more about owning her own business, Hoffman took an entrepreneurship course through the county. To learn more about ice cream, she became a member of the National Ice Cream Association. She even traveled to Cleveland to learn how to create her own custom flavors. While some of her flavors are originals – Muddy Frog ice cream is a concoction from the minds of her employees – the Cookie Monster variety came from Connecticut – with a slight tweak of her own.

“I turned it blue.”

Hoffman didn’t start making her own Yummies creations until about three years ago. 

“I found that people like stuff in their ice cream, so when I make everything, the added ‘stuff’ has to be hand stirred in. I get the ideas (for flavors) from anything.”

And her energy and imagination are boundless. 

For April Fools' Day, Yummies has served up flavors like wasabi, wingin’ it, and pickle-flavored ice cream to her customers. To wit, the pickle variety inspired the children’s book “Yummies Ice Cream Surprise” by author Valerie Putney and illustrator Stephanie Russell, both of whom will be on hand at the shop from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

“The ice cream was good…until you got to the pickle pieces or chicken in it, then it was a bit funky. We gave away samples to people. It was just for fun, not to sell.”

Not only does she make her own flavors, she also makes the waffle cones every day and had developed a flavor just for her vegan customers.

“Vegan ice cream has zero animal product in it. Customers wanted something creamy, but vegan. It took me a few tries to get it right, but…It’s made with coconut milk, Oreos, and peanut butter. I had to be conscientious that no animal products are used.”

Patrons of Yummies are not only greeted by the 15 employees that cover the various shifts throughout the day, they follow an ice cream path, of sorts, to the patio and are then “greeted” by Yum E. Bear – a 3-foot metal sculpture situated near the side entrance. Students in Warsaw’s technology class at the BOCES in Mt. Morris made ice cream patterned stamps for the shop. When the concrete was poured, the stamps were used to create the imprints in the freshly poured walkway.

“When I was at a United Way fundraiser three years ago, I bought the bear. I have him secured to the patio as a detour for a tripping hazard.”

Although she says the bear may appear scary to her younger patrons, she likes to dress him up to make him a bit more friendly. But Yum E. Bear has not exactly diminished her business. Last Sunday alone the shop went through approximately 60 gallons of ice cream, not including soft serve, sorbet or the vegan variety, and approximately 1,500 customers were served.

“I like to have fun. I’m very social. I like to talk to people. I like interacting with my employees. We even have a custom-made corn hole game for our customers to play.”

Hoffman is community minded outside of her business as well. At the end of the season she donates the remaining ice cream to the Warsaw Fire Department. Firemen take over the shop for a day and scoop for donations.

“You can’t keep ice cream. Ten years ago, my brother-in-law, who was chief at the time, had the idea and we made it happen. We’ve been doing it ever since and try to make it a fun day for the kids.”

And, it just so happens to coincide with Fire Safety Week at the school.

While Hoffman enjoys the challenges and rewards with owning her own business, she does wish there were two of her.

“There’s just so many things I’d like to do. I would like to open another location, but I feel I need to be present…and you can’t be present in two locations.”

But for now, Hoffman is satisfied with scoopin’ and selling Yummies T-shirts.

“If I were to own any business, this would be the one I’d own.”

Yummies is open seven-days-a-week – from noon to 9 p.m. in the dining area and until 9:30 at the drive-thru – through the Friday after Columbus Day (October).

For more information visit http://www.yummiesicecream.com/ or call (585) 786-0430.

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Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Press release:

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program (ESAP) aims to help lower youth unemployment, close the middle-skills gap, provide trained workers for expanding and emerging workforces and generally develop a more competitive New York State workforce.  

On Tuesday, Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma) joined Assemblyman Harry B. Bronson (D-Rochester/Chili/Henrietta) and Kevin Stump, Northeast regional director of Young Invincibles, in support of the program. Both Bronson and Gallivan championed the ESAP in the 2017-18 state budget.

“One of the challenges facing today’s employers is finding skilled workers, especially in advanced manufacturing and information technology fields,” Gallivan said. “By incentivizing manufacturers and other businesses to establish apprenticeship programs, we can create opportunities, close the skills gap, train workers for successful careers, reduce unemployment and help businesses grow. This program wisely invests in the future of New York’s economy and workforce.”

The Empire State Apprenticeship Program will help employers tap into more than 300,000 young people ages 16 to 24 years old across the state who are not in school or employed. It connects businesses with apprentices who can become skilled workers in fields including but not limited to nursing, agriculture, advanced manufacturing, photonics, health care, and information technology.

The cost of training these new employees will be offset through tax credits, which increase in value for each year of training an apprentice completes. Additional tax credits are available for employers who also mentor their apprentices in ways to overcome barriers to gainful employment.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 9:19 pm
posted by Howard Owens in Public Notices, Business, Perry.

Public Notice:

Mobilitie, LLC is proposing to construct a new telecommunications tower facility located at Camp Road & S. Main St (Route 39), Perry, Wyoming County, NY 14530.  The new facility will consist of a 123-foot pole supporting a telecommunications facility within a public ROW on the north side of Camp Road, approximately 150 feet west of S Main St.  Any interested party wishing to submit comments regarding the potential effects the proposed facility may have on any historic property may do so by sending comments to: Project 6117000267-SLG c/o EBI Consulting, 21 B Street, Burlington, MA 01803, or via telephone at 207-210-2535.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, Business, Warsaw, health.

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Hypno-psychotherapist Daniel Nightingale, who earned a doctorate in psychotherapy in the United Kingdom, can’t control a person’s mind through hypnosis. He can’t make a person cluck like a chicken. As a matter of fact, he can’t make you do anything you don’t want to do, because in clinical hypnosis, the patient is always in control.

Nightingale, and his wife Kathleen, recently opened Nightingale Hypnosis at 4 W. Buffalo St., Warsaw. While Kathleen is a native Western New Yorker, Daniel’s homeland is England. The couple moved to Wyoming County in September after a four-year stint in Arizona. Daniel first opened his practice in Orchard Park, but the long trek from their home in Portageville during the Western New York winter prompted the move closer.

Although both use hypnosis to help heal a multitude of symptoms – it will also help with smoking cessation and weight loss – Daniel’s speciality is in dementia.

“My drive here is to cut the risk of dementia,” he said, “and smokers have got three times the risk of getting dementia than anyone else.”

Daniel trained for four years in the U.K. in hypno-psychology. However, he said one really doesn’t start learning until you begin to gain experience.

“I qualified in practice in 2002 and was U.K.’s first clinical dementia specialist. While I was there I was involved in its National Dementia Strategy and I was responsible for the dementia care for 800 care homes in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales.”

When he first qualified, he worked in forensic medicine with offenders – serial killers, rapists and the like – in the U.K.. During that time, he was asked to cover geriatrics for six months. At first, he didn’t want the position, however, he said he was told he was going to be covering geriatrics.

“I didn’t want to do it at first, but what happened was I discovered how awful the care was for the elderly and people with dementia. After the six months were up, I was to go back to that really ‘sexy’ area of forensic medicine. However, I said no. I decided to retrain and specialize in dementia and start changing things.”

U.K.’s National Dementia Strategy is a nationwide effort to educate citizens on dementia and improve public spaces for those living with dementia. The strategy encompasses a community effort from a variety of organizations and the commitment of its residents. The effort extends from education to details like sign colors. Nightingale says people with dementia tend to lose the ability to see colors at the low end of the spectrum.

He also likens the treating of dementia with the fire triangle. Whereas fuel, oxygen and heat propel a fire, with dementia, anxiety and fear fuel memory loss.

“Just think about it. Every morning you wake up and look in the mirror and the fact you’re looking at is a face you don’t recognize anymore. The house that you live in, the one you’ve live in for 40 years and you’ve been married to the same person for 40 years, and all of the sudden it’s like ‘Who the hell are you?' and 'What is this stuff?’

“Every day I see it perpetuate. You’re in this constant state of fear and anxiety and throughout the course of the day this anxiety builds up and builds up. So, you’re symptoms of not being able to remember things or not being able to do something deteriorates throughout the day.”

Nightingale says hypnotherapy alleviates those symptoms. It relieves that anxiety so the person becomes more alive and empowered to start doing things again. Therefore, the anxiety and fear are what needs to be dealt with when working with people with dementia. While hypnotherapy is not a cure-all for the disease, it has been shown to slow down its progress and there are tools that can reverse some of the symptoms.

“Coconut oil has been shown to reverse some symptoms and repetitive muscular activity exercises, a form of Montessori therapy, is used to lay down new neuron pathways in the brain so the person relearns some of the skills they have lost.”

One of the research projects Nightingale was involved with was in a nursing home where none of the patients were able to feed themselves. About 45 minutes before the meal, repetitive muscular activity exercises were performed. On day four and day five and day six, the researchers noticed some of the patients started eating by themselves again.

“What you’ve done, because of the activity, you’ve laid down new neuron pathways in the brain. We also know the hippocampus – memory center of the brain – from the around the age of 40 shrinks every year. Walking and adult coloring stops that because people are using, and concentrating on using, their brain. There is so much people don’t know about dementia. I want to make Warsaw a dementia-friendly town.”

Hypnosis is a tool quite often used in forensic medicine to tap into issues that are deep-rooted at an emotional level. And while hypnosis is not meditation, it is a deep-seated state of relaxation.

“There are similarities with meditation as far as the state of relaxation is concerned and we take you to wherever your special place is – whether it’s in a forest, on a beach, a room, or on a ship or wherever that may be – and that’s where we start doing the work.”

He likened the deep state of relaxation to opening the door between the conscious and the subconscious mind.

“It’s kind of like a sliding glass door and you have to open that door to get into your subconscious mind. But always sitting on top of that door is what we call the critical factor – a hidden observer – so that if I were to take you to a deep state of relaxation and I were to say to you ‘What’s your bank account number?’ or ‘What is your PIN number to your credit card?’ The critical factor says ‘This is wrong’ and you come out of it.”

He says it’s the brain’s safety mechanism and that is why clinical hypnosis is safe. Not only can Nightingale not make you do anything you don’t want to, the brain also resists suggestibility. 

“I may get you raise your hand or touch your nose, but you know you are doing it. It’s a very safe form of treatment. In England we use it a lot. Every psychiatrist is trained to use it. I find that that’s not the case here in the U.S.”

Because the U.K. has socialized medicine, Nightingale says physicians have to be careful about the cost of treatments. The first line of defense for many illnesses is hypnotherapy – depression is first treated with six vouchers to go to the gym once a week, not an antidepressant. There are many illnesses where the first-line treatment is not pharmacological.

If the hypnosis is done correctly, the patient should be able to float in and out of consciousness and at any time be able to get up and walk out the door.

“When we work with smokers, we do put a suggestion in the subconscious mind. In big, bold, red letters we put the word ‘stop.’ When you get the urge to smoke, this word will flash in your mind and as soon as that word flashes into your mind, the craving will go away. There is only 10 percent that you think, feel, see, and do at the conscious level, 90 percent is done at the subconscious level – Kathleen would say 95 percent.”

When working with someone with a profound psychological problem, they may have been experiencing some issues but not know why. Hypnotherapy opens the subconscious mind and brings forward the negative experiences which have manifested into daily complications for the patient. Yet, even with hypnosis the subconscious mind will only bring forward what the person is ready to handle, but this type of therapy can help the client begin to recognize where the issues lie and then begin to work through it.

What hypnotherapy does is treat the issue quickly and for the long term with no side effects.

“Well, there is one. If you come out of hypnosis too quickly, you may experience a bit of dizziness but it goes away quickly.”

Like any kind of therapy, the patient has to find some inner strength to get through the underlying reasons for the feelings. Nightingale can get a person to a certain place where they actually have to deal with the issue. That’s the most difficult part. Some people just can’t deal with the issue and stop therapy. It’s a typical thing to happen, which is why he also uses cognitive behavior therapy, reiki, and a dementia risk assessment as a part of treatment.

Although his Warsaw office recently opened, he is already working with the Office for the Aging, teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Caregivers Partnership, and has joined the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about Nightingale Hypnosis visit docdan.us, email him at info@docdan.us or call (585) 416-2032.

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Friday, April 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, news, Warsaw.

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“There isn't a real process, it just sort of happens,” said Bonnie Floyd.

Like the way she named her shop – Penelope’s Pendants – “I liked the way the name sounded. Kind of whimsical, like my jewelry.”

Floyd, of Warsaw, creates custom-made necklaces, bracelets and rings using beads, metal and polymer clay. She says she’s made so many pieces, she has almost forgotten what she had made.

“It’s sometimes interesting rediscovering your own pieces. When I string, it’s a simple, mindless activity. It’s soothing, relaxing.”

Prior to opening Penelope’s Pendants March 22 in the Small Business Co-Op, Main Street, Warsaw, Floyd had been a health psychologist for the past 20 years and had lived in Chicago. While the job was stressful, she says, she also loved it. Yet, it also didn’t leave much time for her to pursue her artwork.

“I’ve had a lifelong interest in art. I remember being in first or second grade and wanted to name the Crayola Crayons. Coloring is so relaxing to me, but I draw and paint as well.”

She also began experimenting with jewelry and polymer clay; liking the different textures and colors of the clay.

“It’s a versatile and affordable medium to work in. I can cure the clay in an oven, so there’s no investment in a kiln. I’ve made some of the beads, but most are purchased.”

Although she’s made thousands of pendants, each is unique in its own way. Sometimes she creates the pendants first and then strings the necklace in complementary colors. Sometimes, it’s the reverse. Either way, one complements the other. 

“Even though I am working in a different medium (polymer clay) the color schemes are the same. Color evokes a certain mood, emotion and memory. Mixing the colors and creating…making the gemstones…it’s so fascinating to me.”

While she doesn’t add color to the clay itself, Floyd does mix them together to create unique blends of colors and uses rubber stamps to make the designs. Additionally, she sets the clay in a metal frame for the shape.

“I had training in color theory, but sometimes mixing the colors it’s organic and fluid. And sometimes I’ll put colors together that don’t necessarily match but work well together. Although I have shaped some pieces by hand, I like the crispness the bezel of the metal frame gives to the piece.”

Floyd says she enjoys mixing colors to create something custom that she hasn’t seen before. However, she also draws inspiration from paintings and drawings she has already done.

“It's so invigorating and enticing. It’s an extended play session for me. Five years from now I may be inspired by something else and the jewelry will be different.”

While this new venture and her old career may be vastly different, she couldn’t but help to tap into the science of psychology when setting up the artful displays inside the store.

“Everything is separated by color to make it easier for customers to find something in the color they want. There’s a wide assortment of jewelry and it’s reasonably priced. When people pick something up, I don’t want them to find it cost prohibitive. And if they mention this article, I will give them 10 percent off their purchase.

Store hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Floyd can be reached at (309) 213-6345.

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Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 3:37 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Food, Business.

Press release:

Looking for “great food and warm hospitality” close to home? Get ready for the second annual Wyoming County Restaurant Week starting April 30 and running through May 6. Hosted by the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism Office and local media, the event is countywide.

Participating restaurants will be offering a unique dish or dishes throughout the week at the special price of $20.17. Each restaurant will create its own restaurant week menu, which could include anything from a single entrée to a multi-course meal.

“We’re very excited to be partnering again on this fun event and thank the restaurants for being involved. What better way for our restaurants to showcase all of the great menu items that they have available,” said Chamber President Scott Gardner.

“We have some of the best restaurants in Western New York right here in our backyard, and this is a great way to celebrate all that they have to offer and encourage diners to try something new. Thanks to all the event partners and everyone who works to makes this event a success.”

More information, weekly specials, and the full list of participating restaurants can be found at www.wyomingcountyrestaurantweek.com or www.gowyomingcountyny.com or by calling the Chamber at (585) 786-0307.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, Business.
Event Date and Time: 
April 29, 2017 -
8:00am to 12:00pm

Shane and Tara Harding of Harding’s Plumbing and Heating Inc, 34 N. Main St., Perry, is celebrating their business expansion and relocation with an open house from noon to 4 p.m. April 28 and a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m., and an open house from 8 a.m. to noon April 29.

Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Perry, Business.
Event Date and Time: 
April 28, 2017 -
12:00pm to 4:00pm

Shane and Tara Harding of Harding’s Plumbing and Heating Inc, 34 N. Main St., Perry, is celebrating their business expansion and relocation with an open house from noon to 4 p.m. April 28 and a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m., and an open house from 8 a.m. to noon April 29.

Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 12:24 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, announcements, Business, Warsaw.

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Press release, photo submitted:

After several months of planning and design, the Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism launched its newly redesigned website today. The website is now fully responsive and mobile friendly, secure and easy to navigate, says Chamber President Scott Gardner.

Residents and consumers will be able to easily access the Chamber’s member directory, the latest news and events, access information and resources on economic development, and stay connected with the business community.

The site will also feature upcoming chamber-specific programs and events like Wyoming County Agri-palooza. Members will be able to easily navigate to benefits and access a special login section that allows them to change their own micro-listing Web pages. These and more a just a few of the many improvements to the website.

“This is the first time the site has been changed in almost 14 years. In this high-tech world, no one can afford to get behind the technology curve,” Gardner said. “The new website offers better access to information and improved connection and resources for both our membership and the community.”

The website upgrade project was part of a two-phase approach to recasting the two websites, in phase one, the tourism site – www.gowyomingcountyny.com – was completely redesigned from the ground up. The second phase of updating the Chamber site was built on the technical foundation of tourism but given its own look and feel. This allowed the two sites to have a similar and complementary looks while maintaining their necessary differences. The user-friendly responsive design breathes life into the mobile presence for the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. Additionally, the administrative features and functionality of the new websites provide the organization with the ability to offer alternative online advertising opportunities to its members.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors I would like to thank the staff for their work and chamber member Corporate Communications for developing the new website,” said Board Chair Norb Fuest. “We look forward to continuing to serve the membership and community through this new website, both as a tool and great source of information and resources.”    

The website will also feature information on the county’s Rural Arts Initiative. This resource for travelers, residents, and artists, provides project updates and developments to the arts and cultural offerings in the county. Links will allow users to learn more and get direct access to organizations like the Arts Council for Wyoming County and new galleries.

The Wyoming County Chamber & Tourism is the leading membership organization for local and regional growth, advocacy, and connection for Wyoming County’s business community. The Chamber & Tourism’s mission is to serve the members and community, promote and grow the area’s economic and tourism assets, and work collaboratively to create an environment that leads to the success and economic prosperity of Wyoming County. For more information or to become a member call (585) 786-0307 or visit  www.wycochamber.org.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 12:39 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, news, agriculture, agribusiness, Business.

Press release:

The newly adopted state budget includes important financial support for New York’s agriculture industry. The Senate succeeded in restoring nearly $10 million in funding, for a total of $51 million toward agriculture.

"In the 59th Senate District and across the state, agriculture plays a vital role in New York’s economy,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “Once again this year, we are investing in our future by promoting the growth and success of our farmers, especially those just starting out. These programs not only support hardworking farm families, they ensure that agriculture will remain New York’s leading industry.”    

The state budget provides for almost $10 million in restorations and adds to agriculture programs as follows:

    • $1.5 million, for a total of $1.9 million, for the Farm Viability Institute
    • $1 million, for a total of $9.3 million, for Agribusiness Child Development
    • $1 million, for a total of $5.4 million, for the Cornell Diagnostic Lab
    • $544,000, for a total of $750,000, for the Apple Growers Association
    • $560,000, for a total of $610,000, for Cornell Rabies
    • $516,000, for a total of $1.2 million for FarmNet, Farm Family Assistance
    • $378,000, for a total of $l.2 million, for Pro-Dairy
    • $307,000, for a total of $l.5 million, for the Wine and Grape Foundation
    • $300,000, for a total of $842,000, for Future Farmers of America
    • $160,000, for a total of $160,000, for Local Fair Assistance
    • $500,000 for the Apple Research and Development Board
    • $600,000 for the Northern NY Agriculture Development Program
    • $260,000 for Cornell Berry Research
    • $250,000 for Tractor Rollover Prevention Program
    • $215,000 for Maple Producers Association
    • $200,000 for a “Seeds of Success” award to promote school gardens
    • $150,000 for Turfgrass Association
    • $125,000 for Christmas Tree Growers
    • $125,000 for Cornell Maple Research
    • $115,000 for Cornell Veterans to Farms
    • $100,000 for Cornell Vegetable Research
    • $50,000 for “Farm to Table Trail” development
    • $75,000 for Corn and Soybean Growers Association
    • $50,000 for Honeybee Research at Cornell
    • $50,000 for Cornell Onion Research
    • $100,000 for Wood Products Council
    • $25,000 for Low-Cost Vaccine Program
    • $20,000 for Island Harvest
    • $10,000 for NYS Brewers Association
    • $10,000 for NYS Cider Association
    • $10,000 for NYS Distillers Guild
    • $10,000 for Chautauqua County Beekeepers Association
    • $10,000 for Cornell Sheep Farming

The Senate succeeded in including Farm-to-Food-Bank in the final budget after last year's legislation was vetoed. More fresh, New York-grown produce will be available to help feed the hungry by allowing farmers to claim a tax credit for produce and other farm product donations to food banks or other emergency food programs.

The budget also includes $5 million in capital funding for local fairs across the state.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 8:56 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, Pike, Alexander.

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Like most emerging artists, when Andy Carter was first learning his craft, he experimented with materials he had available to him at the time – crayons, markers, paint, a pen, a Walkman, and a toothbrush. All the tools necessary for an artist?

But Carter doesn’t just put ink to paper or canvas, well, he does use a “canvas,” just of a different nature – skin. The Pike resident is the owner and tattoo artist of Revelation Ink. The new tattoo shop, located at 10594 Main St. (Route 98), Alexander, is the goal he has been working toward for more than 20 years.

Although Carter had been drawing since he was 7 years old, when he was around 15 or 16, a “buddy” of his “got out of jail” and showed him how to make a tattoo gun. And being the creative sort, he made one out of a Walkman motor, a pen, a toothbrush, and sewing needles. 

“I just started tattooing my friends with this thing. Some of them still have the tats and refuse to get them covered up – though I have covered-up some of them. Back then you had to order this stuff (tattooing equipment) but I didn’t know where to get it and I didn’t have the money. So, I did what I always do, figured out how to make one.” 

It would be called a “rotary machine,” and he would wrap string around the needle to hold the ink for the tattoo that way. 

“I can’t even believe I did it. I did some pretty good ones for not knowing anything about it. Now I have professional equipment and am much better at it. 

“When I was in first grade, my mom’s friends babysat me and I would draw on their kids' arms with markers or Sharpies or whatever I could get my hands on. I just thought it was cool. I never thought about tattooing. One day my buddy’s dad came home and asked if I had ever thought about tattooing. I didn’t even know what it was. He brought me a tattoo (magazine) or Easy Rider magazine, I can’t remember what it was, but it had tattoos in it and I thought it was the coolest.”

When he was in school, he “loved evil things,” like “bones and skulls and blood.” He said he teachers would ask “Why do you draw stuff like that? Why not draw a pretty flower or something?” But, he didn’t want to draw flowers, until he met his high school Art teacher, Parry Ryan.

“She’s still the Art teacher there, at the Attica school, she would take my pictures and look at them and be like ‘Andy, that’s a beautiful skull, you should add a few more and put some more blood in there.’ She was just awesome. She didn’t judge you. She was just a great person.

“A few years ago, a friend of mine’s daughter texted me a picture she got from Art class, she took a picture…Miss Ryan still has my artwork up and she puts it on an easel when she is doing certain projects. That’s pretty cool, since the work was done 20 years ago. That’s pretty cool knowing that not everyone is judgmental about your artwork.”

When he was a child, his mom would buy him coloring books. He would spend hours coloring the pictures and tracing them out. 

“We didn’t have video games then, well…we had Atari, but who wanted to play Atari? That’s the only thing I had was my art. That was the only thing I was interested in.”

While tattoo artists consider the skin their “canvas,” Carter says the biggest difference is “You hurt people this way.” Getting a tattoo is not a painless process.

“It’s really no different for me, there are just different techniques that you have to use. It’s just like any other artwork when you go from watercolors, to acrylics, to oils, to colored pencils – to skin – it’s all different art. Tattoo ink is more like a water-based ink and it’s FDA approved, because it has to be sterile.”

While Carter had the desire to take the plunge and become his own business owner, he “had to wait” until his wife got out of college.

“I wanted to do something that I truly wanted to do and my wife has been incredibly supportive of me. She just wants me to be happy. I paint still and still draw, but I can make more money this way. You can’t make money as an artist unless you’re dead or have the right connections. Out here…I don’t have the right connections living out here, so tattooing is the only way that I can actually make a living doing my art.”

So he just decided to be an artist. 

While he says the jump was “scary” – going from a solid career to an uncertain one – the excitement of not really knowing what the next day will bring keeps the “creativity fresh.”

“I was put on this earth to make art and that’s what I’m going to do. I just wanted to be…I’ve always loved painting and drawing and once I discovered tattooing, I wanted to do that, too. I’ve been a woodworker for most of my life – the last 12 years. Now…I come here and hang out and draw on people all day. And I talk to people, that’s what I’m good at…talking.”

While Carter likes the process of coming up with a design, he does need to actually talk to a person about their ideas for him to come up with something unique. Chuckling, he had said it was “kinda hard” to draw something when he just gets a text with a picture that adds “I want this, but can you make it a little different?"

“I need a bit more than that. When someone comes into the shop with an idea…they give me a bit of background on the idea and why and I can take that and work up something that is meaningful to them. They give me ideas of what they like and such…it’s a fun process. It can be frustrating at times – getting it right – but when they walk out of here happy…I’m happy.”

His new venture allows him to meet a lot of different types of people and, depending on the tattoo, he can spend anywhere from a few minutes to several hours with one client. 

“I can spend five hours with one person, so I get to know the people and hear their stories and the things they have gone through or are going through. I get to meet some really awesome people and hear some really awesome stories.”

One customer had wanted a tattoo with butterflies and skulls, but the skulls she wanted “hidden” because she works at the school and didn’t want to “scare” anyone. And as an added challenge, it was a cover up. 

“Skulls are my specialty, but now that I’m 40 I really started getting into flowers and calligraphy and letters. I just love it. Flowers are awesome to do because they are so colorful, I hated them as a kid but now I like them.”

Although Carter views the skin as his canvas, the color of the “canvas” does make a difference with respect to the brightness of a color.

“Pasty white people are the best to tattoo because the colors just show up more vibrant.”

Then he began to tic off a multitude of other differences.

“Women have the best skin to tattoo because their skin is soft and the needle can penetrate the skin more easily. Men are tougher to tattoo because their skin is a bit rougher, but you can tell a difference in tattooing someone who does manual labor or works in an office. The darker you are…you’re not going to get the reds and yellows and whites in your skin, because it’s not really going to show up. So I’d generally use black.”

He also warns that just as tanned skin fades when it is exposed to less sunshine, a tattoo will fade if exposed to too much.

“Every time you are in the sun and don’t use something to protect your skin…it will fade over time. But, you also have to take care of them even for years after to maintain the color and quality of the tattoo.”

Additionally, because some colors, like yellows and whites, fade quicker than others, Carter tends to only use those colors for shading. Not only can he tell how colors will look on different skin tones, he can also tell how a session will go by looking at a person's skin. 

“Different parts of the body are more sensitive, like the ribs or elbows. I’ve had grown men in the fetal position getting their ribs done. Another guy fell asleep because it didn’t even hurt him. It also depends on your artist, too. You can have a ‘light hand’ or ‘heavy hand,’ most people say I have a ‘light hand.’ "

When clients told him he had a “heavy hand,” he would go home and tattoo himself to get back into the feel of a “light hand.” He also says it makes a difference as far as pain goes as well. 

“The one thing I don’t allow is drinking alcohol when I’m tattooing, other than the person may make a bad decision on the piece – it’s his body...it will make my job harder because you will bleed more.”

He also recommends having a full stomach before getting the tattoo, saying “on a full stomach, it’s probably not going to hurt as bad. And it may not bleed as bad.” In addition to his verbal recommendation, he also provides a handout with the “Do’s and Don’ts” before and after getting new ink.

“When they leave here I want them to be happy with what they have and I want their tattoo to last. And for those who have never gotten a tat, do not get a big one for your first one. And not on your ribs. While any place is a personal decision, I do offer suggestions. Be aware of what you are getting into before getting a tat.

“Women and men are so different, too. A woman will send me a picture of what she wants and come back and change it up like 20 times before she decides on what she wants. But once that’s done…them women are tough as nails. They are hardcore to the bone. 

“Now men, they know what they want, where they want it – everything. But when they come in…they are the biggest babies when they come in, it’s funny. Women just sit there and take it. I love it, they have great skin and they can take it. It must be something with their genes or something, they just can’t make up their minds with what they want.” 

Healing time is dependent on the size of the design and the amount of color in the piece or the total amount of ink that’s used. He stresses that the most important thing to remember is to keep it clean. 

“Outlines heal up quicker than those shaded in. Remember, it’s similar to an open wound. Cleanliness is the most important factor. You can fix a bad tattoo, but you can’t fix a disease.”

While Carter says when he first opened he was concerned about not getting a steady paycheck like the other job, he’s gotten so booked up, he had to quit the woodworking job to be at the shop full time.

And of course he’s not complaining.

Revelation Ink is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. In compliance with New York State Law, clients must be 18 years old. ID required. 

In addition to tattooing, long-time friend Jassica Connolly works alongside Carter, but as a piercer. Piercing includes intimate and dermal piercing. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome.

Check out Revelation Ink’s portfolio on Facebook or call (585) 689-2255 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Editor's note: The photos of Carter working on a client are by Autumn Raine Connolly.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Press release:

Tompkins Bank of Castile has introduced Lightning Loans, a fast turnaround business loan program. It features a streamlined online application process, which allows customers to quickly apply for a business loan and receive a decision in days or sooner.

All loans through the financial institution are subject to credit approval, bank officials say.

“The Lightning Loans online process offers borrowers the convenience of applying for a loan wherever they are, whenever they need it, saving them time and effort,” said Bank President and CEO John McKenna. “As a community bank, we’re committed to helping local businesses grow and prosper. Our Lightning Loans program provides a fast and easy way for small businesses to obtain a loan and help them achieve their dreams faster than ever.”

The online loan application process is simple and streamlined, and takes about 15 minutes to complete. Applicants who need help with the process or have questions can come into one of the local Tompkins Bank of Castile offices for assistance. 

For more information, or to apply for a Lightning Loan, visit www.bankofcastile.com.

Tompkins Bank of Castile is a community bank with 16 offices in the five-county Western New York region, including Warsaw, Arcade, Perry, Castile, and Gainesville. Services include complete lines of consumer deposit accounts and loans, business accounts and loans, and leasing. 

Additionally, insurance is offered through an affiliate company, Tompkins Insurance Agencies. Wealth management, trust and investment services are provided through Tompkins Financial Advisors. 

Monday, March 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm

Press release:

The Senate passed a comprehensive package of bills that would strengthen and preserve agriculture as New York’s leading industry March 22. The bipartisan measures help support farm workforce retention and expansion; create new tax credits for preserving farmland, transitioning to organic certification, and offering healthy options in communities; promote the use of local produce in schools; and help prepare new farmers for successful careers, among other initiatives.

"Agriculture is one the most important industries in New York and we need to do all we can to ensure its growth and success, especially for young farmers and those just starting out,” said Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C-I, Elma). “These initiatives will support hardworking farmers, their families and others who rely on a strong and vibrant agriculture industry.” 

The measures build upon the Senate’s ongoing commitment to agriculture, including its role as the undisputed leader in restoring more than $55 million in proposed state funding cuts since 2011. This funding has helped support investments in cutting-edge agricultural research, education for the next generation of family farmers, environmental stewardship, and protections for plant, animal and public health. 

The bill package would help further support the growth of agriculture in New York and create jobs by:
    • S2905, doubling the existing Farm Workforce Retention Credit: cosponsored by Gallivan, would help farmers meet consumer demands with a strong and steady workforce. The bill increases the credit to $500 per eligible employee this year, and $1,200 per employee when fully effective, saving farmers an estimated $60 million when fully implemented.
    • S1430, helping schools purchase local produce: would allow school districts offering bids for food services to include language that favors local or regional farm producers. This expands the market for local produce, encourages larger distributors to invest in smaller farms, and could help co-ops or farms without the resources to independently participate in a bidding process access local school procurement programs.
    • S4021, establishing a Young Farmer Advisory Board: cosponsored by Gallivan, establishes a young farmer agriculture advisory board designed to advise and make recommendations on policies and programs affecting agriculture. Young and beginning farmers play a fundamental role in preventing the threat posed by the gradual aging of famers and in the future success and growth of New York farms.
     • S4660, creating a Future Agriculture Readiness Marketing camp (F.A.R.M.): helps those new to the agriculture industry gain the valuable knowledge and tools needed to promote their businesses. Offered once yearly to a select group of successful farmer applicants, this camp will expose selectees to several of the best agriculture programs in the state. Each participant will have access to all that SUNY has to offer, allowing them to develop their business and themselves. An exclusive group of graduates from the program will also be granted additional aid in the form of grant funds to help them make their marketing plan a reality.
    • S4900, increasing new farmers’ access to land: directs the State Department of Agriculture and Markets to enhance access to viable agricultural land for new and beginning farmers. The agency would work with the Office of General Services to develop an inventory of state-owned real property that may be viable for farming. This would help younger farmers overcome frequent barriers that prevent them from gaining access to land and contribute to the aging of the farming population, such as the complex process of transferring ownership of farms and prohibitive capital costs.
    • S2479, conserving productive land: would create a statewide blueprint for conserving productive land and maintaining the vitality of agricultural production in New York State. The measure would require the state to propose programs that encourage the growth of emerging trends and practices that might benefit small- to mid-sized farms.
    • S3835, creating a farm savings account: establishes a tax-deferred savings account that will allow farmers to self-insure part of their risk to counteract strong cyclical downturns in the farm economy. Some of the methods used by farmers to help offset losses due to weather or other market forces include delaying the purchase of equipment and the repayment of loans. A farm savings account will offer farmers another management tool to help offset their costs.
    • S4721, providing tax credits for organic farm transitions: creates a tax credit to increase the profit margin for certain agricultural products that meet any one of several industry standards for crop quality during the three-year transitional period to USDA Organic Certification. This will reduce the uncertainty farmers face when attempting to achieve USDA Organic Certification by providing them with an expanded market for their products and greater financial security during the transition period.
    • S562, offering tax exemptions for organic farm transitions: creates a real property tax exemption for the lands of a farm operation that are transitioning to organic. In 2011, New York ranked third in the nation in the total amount of organic farms with 597, with the state’s certified organic farms selling a total of $107 million produced commodities. This credit would foster the growth of these farms and is similar to an existing tax exemption for the replanting of vineyards and orchards.
    • S4265, lifting size restrictions on wine ice cream: would lift the current minimum packaging requirements (at least one pint) for the sale of wine ice cream to meet consumer demand for smaller containers of wine ice cream for weddings, fundraisers, recreational tours and other events.
    • S943, creating the Healthy Options and Community Outreach program: would create the program to increase public awareness and address the issue of “food deserts.” It would create a new tax credit for small grocery and convenience stores that commit to selling healthy food and drinks at their shops. Up to 100 percent of an improvement project’s cost could become eligible for a credit if the owner expands, purchases coolers or shelving for the purposes of selling healthier food options.
    • S4535, preserving farmland: encourages farmers – particularly those located in areas of the state with greater development pressure – to participate in farmland preservation efforts and remain stewards of their land for future generations. It would change the maximum acreage for agricultural assessment of farm woodlands from 50 to 100 acres.
    • S368, helping timber harvesters: authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to execute contracts for timber or other forest products valued at under $50,000 without approval from the state comptroller. Currently, any contract to harvest more than $10,000 of timber on non-protected state lands must be approved by DEC and the State Comptroller's Office, which can be time consuming and jeopardize timber-harvesting timeframes.
    • S1078, promoting farm cideries: would expand products sold by farm cideries and authorizing such farms to sell cider to other licensees for resale.
    • S1240, reducing transportation costs: allows the New York State Thruway Authority to provide a discounted toll rate of half the normal toll to farmers transporting agricultural products. This measure would give farmers some relief from high transportation costs for shipping goods to markets throughout the state.
    • S1333, awarding Excellence in Agriculture: provides a mechanism for the state to develop an agriculture and food awards program. It would be provided to farmers, manufacturers and processors that produce exceptional products using locally sourced ingredients, and the businesses that make a special effort to market and promote them. These awards could also be presented to restaurants, food retailers, and schools and colleges that feature and promote New York farm foods.

The bills acted upon on National Agriculture Day were among the latest efforts by the Senate to focus on growing New York agriculture from the ground up. Recently, the Senate passed a budget resolution that included extensive measures that invest in the state’s farm workforce, support the next generation of farmers, and help farmers connect to new markets, among other initiatives to support farming’s growth. 

Initiatives included:

    • $12 million in restored funding for important agricultural programs cut by the 2017-2018 Executive Budget;
    • $60 million in tax relief for farmers by doubling the existing Farm Workforce Retention Credit, as outlined above in S2905;
    • $10 million to help make additional investments in county fair facilities so that New Yorkers can continue to learn about agriculture and farms in their area.
    • Support for $3 million for drought relief in parts of Central and Western New York when lack of rain in 2016 caused severe crop losses;
    • $1.8 million to expand access for 120,000 seniors to get free, fresh produce at area farmers' markets;
    • An additional $200,000 for Farm-to-Schools, for a total of nearly $1 million;
    • Expand Future Farmers of America (FFA) by supporting and building upon the $542,000 in the Executive Budget;
    • $500,000 to help farmers with questions about employment laws and regulations by providing access to Cornell-based specialists;
    • $450,000 to help farmers expand to new markets, especially those needing assistance to achieve organic certification;
    • $250,000 for the Future Agriculture Readiness Marketing (FARM) Camps, also outlined above in S4660;
    • $200,000 for a "Seeds of Success" award to promote and recognize school gardens and gardening programs across the state;
    • $100,000 for "Farm to Table Trail" development that directs consumers to local food and beverage options; and
    • An expansion of Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) agriculture programs to create opportunities for high school students to achieve credits toward college study in Agriculture.

Monday, March 20, 2017 at 9:04 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, events, Eagle, maple weekend, agribusiness, Business.

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More than 20 years ago, 14 members of the Wyoming County Maple Association wanted a better way to market their maple products in a fun-filled way, hence the creation of Maple Sunday. When county maple producers realized there was a real disconnect between the producers and the consumers, the one-day event became a way to showcase one of Wyoming County’s largest agricultural commodities.

“We didn’t really have any idea what was going to happen,” said Gary Bray, owner of Bray Farms, Bray Road, Eagle, “but we wanted to give it a try.”

Now called Maple Weekend, the festivities comprise back-to-back weekends at the end of March. 

“We started out as one day, then two, and now…,” Bray said. “When we had people calling us asking if they can come to the farm another time, not only couldn’t we turn them down, we realized there was a real interest and had to add days.” 

According to Bray, New York State is number two in maple production – behind Canada, but ahead of Vermont. Additionally, maple syrup is only produced from Southeastern Canada, to the mountains of Virginia, west to Kansas, and north to Michigan and Wisconsin. Producers also tap in Ohio and Indiana.

“We are in the middle of maple country in the whole world. While you can tap red maples, the sugar density is different, thus not as flavorful.”

The flavor of maple syrup is derived from the soil where the tree grows, therefore, syrup from New York will have a different flavor than syrups from other areas. Yet syrup isn’t the only product sap is used for, it can also be processed into sugar, cream, candy, barbecue sauces, and other value-added products.

“Back in my grandparents' day, they would make blocks of maple sugar and take it to the market to trade. They would barter the maple sugar for groceries. The grocers would then turn around and sell the sugar to other consumers. During the war (World War II) sugar was in short supply, maple sugar was a way to sweeten things up. It can also be used in place of dry sugar in recipes, as can maple syrup; there is a conversion chart for that purpose.”

Not only has Bray opened his doors to residents of Western New York, other visitors to his farm hailed from Italy, France, Spain, Japan and England. 

“In other countries, maple syrup is a total luxury.”

The only thing in pure maple syrup is, well, syrup. For a Wyoming County producer to have their product labeled as pure New York State maple syrup, it must be accurately graded according to its color.

Part of the weekend also serves to educate the public on the nutritional value of syrup. Bray says, pure maple syrup has nutrients the body needs. 

Producers make the golden sweet liquid by concentrating the sap from the maple tree, which then produces a usable product. All the minerals and sugars in the sap are concentrated to 67-68 percent on the Brix scale (named after Adolf F. Brix (1798-1870)). The hydrometer scale is used for measuring the amount of sugar in a solution at a given temperature.

“Making syrup is entirely dependent on nature…the type of soil, the weather, the atmosphere. Even the barometric pressure affects the producer and when and if they can boil. The process of making syrup is to boil off the water, the more moisture in the air, the harder it will be to boil. Syrup boils at 7 degrees over the boiling point of water; depending on the day and barometric pressure, the boiling point can differ, even within the same county.

“The more educated we become, it actually becomes more complicated. However, new technology allows us to better come to our final product.”

In the 21 years Bray has been a part of Maple Weekend he has not only seen changes in how maple is produced – from buckets to vacuum lines, and from woodstove processing to using reverse osmosis – he has also seen the market for maple products grow.

“We want people to come and ask us questions and learn what syrup is, how it’s made and how it can be used. It’s more than just pancake syrup. Maple is versatile…and it’s good for you.”

Maple Weekend continues March 25 and 26. For more information click here.

See related: Maple Weekend kicks off Saturday

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Friday, March 17, 2017 at 8:11 pm
posted by Julia Ferrini in Wyoming County, Business, agribusiness.

Press release:

America’s farmers and ranchers will soon have the opportunity to strongly represent agriculture in their communities and industry by taking part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Conducted every five years by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the census is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. The census is expected to be mailed at the end of this year.

“The Census of Agriculture remains the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every county in the nation,” said NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer. “As such, census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.”

The census highlights land use and ownership, operator characteristics, production practices, income and expenditures, and other topics. The 2012 Census revealed that more than three million farmers operated more than two million farms, spanning over 914 million acres. This was a 4-percent decrease in the number of farms in the United States from the previous census in 2007. However, agriculture sales, income, and expenses increased between 2007 and 2012. This telling information and thousands of other agriculture statistics are a direct result of responses to the Census of Agriculture.

“Today, when data is so important, there is strength in numbers,” Hamer said. “For farmers and ranchers, participation in the 2017 Census of Agriculture is their voice, their future, and their opportunity to shape American agriculture – its policies, services, and assistance programs – for years to come.”

Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the "Make Sure You Are Counted" button through June. 

NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).

For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data is used, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (800) 727-9540.

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