Single Cow

Genesee County Agriculture

Here you will find information about the number one industry in Genesee County - Agriculture. Whether you are looking for what to buy in season, careers in agriculture, events that are coming up or interested in starting your own farm operation, this is the place to be.


Follow Best Practices to Prevent the Spread of Bird Flu

Nancy Glazier and Amy Barkley, Regional Livestock Specialists, Cornell Cooperative Extension

A deadly strain of bird flu, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), has been identified in several states throughout the country, including New York. This strain can infect chickens, turkeys, game birds, waterfowl, ratites (emus, etc.), and a wide variety of wild birds. It can spread from bird to bird by direct contact as well as through farm equipment, clothing, and shoes.
Birds affected with HPAI may show one or more of the following clinical signs: sudden death without clinical signs; lack of energy and appetite; decreased egg production; soft-shelled or misshapen eggs; swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and hocks; purple discoloration of the wattles, combs, and legs; nasal discharge; coughing, sneezing; lack of coordination; and diarrhea. The Highly Pathogenic strain can spread and kill an entire flock within days, backyard flocks included. Many, if not all the birds in a flock will be affected.
HPAI has been found in small flocks in Suffolk, Dutchess, and Ulster counties in New York as of 2/28/22 Precautions are needed to prevent further spread. This virus is not known to be a public health concern.
If you are visiting a poultry farm, follow these procedures:
  • Do not enter any farm premise without permission from the owner.
  • Whenever possible, make an appointment prior to traveling to the farm.
  • Wear clean clothes and shoes on the day of the visit.
  • When you arrive, park your vehicle at the end of the farm drive or on the roadside and use your cell phone to notify the owners of your presence and to receive instructions for entry. Or, set up an appointment ahead of time
  • Let the farm owner know if in the previous five days you have been on another poultry farm or if you’ve had contact with wild birds. Also let them know if you personally own or care for birds or poultry.
  • Observe all of the farm’s instructions regarding biosecurity procedures.
  • Do not enter animal housing areas without express permission from farm owner.
  • Do not touch animals unless that is part of your tasks on the farm.
  • Immediately report anything unusual to farm owner, especially sick or dead birds.
  • New York and many other states have enacted emergency regulations that restrict interstate transport of poultry and add new, more stringent requirements for entry. If you are planning to move poultry across state lines, be sure to check with the state veterinarian’s office in the receiving state to be sure you’re meeting all the requirements.
    If you have death loss in your home flock or a flock you manage, call NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets at 518-457-3502. This number is available 24 hours a day. If after normal business hours, select State Watch Center option. More information can be found on the website, or by calling your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office. Your attention to these precautions is critical to protecting bird health and our state’s farm economy!
    The New York Extension Disaster Education Network (NY EDEN) is a collaborative educational network based at Cornell University and dedicated to educating New York residents about preventing, preparing for, and recovering from emergencies and disasters. NY EDEN is working with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to provide resources and updates to poultry producers.


    The Department is Now Accepting Grower Applications Under New Plan

    State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Hemp Program Plan was approved by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Following the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, all states interested in administering a state hemp program were required to submit a hemp program plan to the USDA. The Plan allows the Department to continue to administer a hemp grower licensing program, starting in 2022. The Department is now accepting applications for the program, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. Applications and additional information are available here.

    Commissioner Ball said, “New York State has been a leader in the hemp industry since the launch of its pilot program, with producers registered to grow industrial hemp on 30,000 acres. Under this new plan, our growers will have stability and consistency in regulations moving forward, with continued guidance and support from the Department. We look forward to continuing to administer this important program, which provides growers with an avenue to diversify crops and tap into new markets.”

    All currently licensed growers participating in New York State’s program need to reapply under this new program to grow hemp next year. The current Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program expires at the end of 2021.

    The new plan can be found here, and includes new guidelines for growers, including sampling and testing requirements. In addition, all growers will need to complete the FBI Identity History Summary Check, which can be found here. The FBI Identity History Summary Check must be submitted with the application for a grower license and must have been performed no more than 60 days prior to submitting the grower license application.

    New York State launched the Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program in 2015, recognizing its potential impact on manufacturing, job creation, and the profitability of farms across New York State. Since then, the State has joined with researchers, academics, businesses, and processors to develop strategies to advance research and grow the industry throughout the State. Over the duration of the program, the New York State Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program had nearly 800 authorized growers, and approximately 30,000 acres registered for growing industrial hemp. 


    Jola Szubielski | 518-457-0752 |

    Hanna Birkhead | 518-457-0752 |

    Field Crop Weed Identification and Control Series 2022

    Cornell University is offering a Field Crop Weed Identification and Control series.  Click here for information and registration. 

    COVID-19 Safety Plans Required for All Businesses in “New York Forward”

    New York Forward is the state’s plan to begin re-opening in phases as regions of the state achieve certain COVID-19 management metrics. An important part of New York Forward is for all businesses to have a customized, written safety plan that details specifically how each business will prevent and manage COVID-19.

    Tools Offered to Help New York Farms Manage Overtime Regulations

    On Jan. 1, 2020 New York farms will have to pay overtime wages (1.5 times the ‘regular rate of pay’) for nearly all employees that work more than 60 hours a week. Researchers and extension educators from Cornell University Agricultural Workforce Development , Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Managemen t, Cooperative Extension and PRO-DAIRY, have developed several tools to help New York farms manage through these changes.

    Please visit to download these tools. You can contact Jennifer Ifft ( or Richard Stup ( for more information.

    Updated Guide to USDA Programs Opens Door to Millions of Dollars of Available Funding

    It can be difficult for farmers and ranchers to navigate the wide range of USDA resources and stay up to date with program changes after each Farm Bill. Thanks to the newly updated Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities, producers, researchers, nonprofits and landowners can easily find USDA programs that can help them achieve their goals. Click here for more information.



    Janice Beglinger
    Agriculture Outreach Coordinator
    585-343-3040 x132

    Last updated March 1, 2022