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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.  

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 Management, Cooperative Extension and PRO-DAIRY, have developed several tools to help New York farms manage through these changes.

This spreadsheet tool is designed to help farm managers estimate how much overtime they would have to pay under their current employee work schedules. The tool can also be used to estimate costs of new work schedules. To use the tool, you will need to know current compensation levels and work schedules. Worksheets are provided for collecting or calculating that information in advance, if it is not readily available.

A new extension bulletin on “Adapting Your Labor Strategies to New York’s Revised Farm Labor Employment Laws” discusses the pro and cons of various management strategies that farms may consider in response to the new overtime rules. The guide does not make recommendations, but details the positive and negative implications of changes to work schedules, employee policies and farm expenses.

Please visit https://agworkforce.cals.cornell.edu/overtime to download these tools. You can contact Jennifer Ifft (jifft@cornell.edu) or Richard Stup (rstup@cornell.edu) for more information.

Farm Donations to Food Pantries Credit

Beginning January 1, 2018, New York State farmers may claim a new refundable tax credit for qualified food donations made to a food pantry, food bank, or other emergency food program. The credit is equal to 25 percent of the fair market value of qualified donations, with a maximum benefit of $5,000 per year. Please refer to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance website to see if you qualify for this tax benefit. https://www.tax.ny.gov/bus/farm-donations-credit.htm

Covered Farm Vehicle

Effective July 11, 2016 Federal regulations and New York State law are amended to change the term ”farm vehicle” to “covered farm vehicle”, to define covered farm vehicles, and to include a new “Covered Farm Vehicle designation” requirement.  Click Here to learn more.


Microloans Available to Help Farmers Purchase Farmland and Improve Property

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property. The microloan program has provided more than 16,800 low-interest loans, totaling over $373 million to producers across the country. Microloans have helped farmers and ranchers with operating costs, such as feed, fertilizer, tools, fencing, equipment, and living expenses since 2013.

Now, microloans will be available to also help with farm land and building purchases, and soil and water conservation improvements. FSA designed the expanded program to simplify the application process, expand eligibility requirements and expedite smaller real estate loans to help farmers strengthen their operations. Microloans provide up to $50,000 to qualified producers, and can be issued to the applicant directly from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).

This microloan is another resource for America's farmers and ranchers to utilize, especially as new and beginning farmers and ranchers look for the assistance they need to get started. To learn more about the FSA microloan program visit www.fsa.usda.gov/microloans, or contact your local FSA office. To find your nearest office location, please visit http://offices.usda.gov

Last updated December 13, 2019