New Center of Excellence designated at Geneva’s agricultural station

agriculture-basket-beets-533360Geneva’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station is being designated a state Center of Excellence, bringing additional funding and attention for research and development aimed at job creation in  agriculture and food production.

State Sen. Pam Helming announced on Wednesday that she had secured $1 million to fund the new Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture Innovation, one of 11 Centers of Excellence in the state. She said funding was being moved away from a former center in Canandaigua – formerly the home of an infotonics center – to other parts of the state but she intervened to retain the funding for Ontario County.

These centers typically pair industry and higher education institutions to develop and commercialize new products and stimulate jobs. In this instance, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will take the lead, and Wegmans is a partner in the first-ever center focusing on agriculture and food.

“New York’s food manufacturing sector is the nation’s second largest, behind only California in terms of the number of food-based businesses, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture,” said Kathryn Boor, dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “Thanks to Senator Helming, the Center of Excellence will leverage the strengths of our local food and farm communities and help create new businesses that will push growth even farther. We can’t wait to get to work with our partners.”

Other partners include Kreher Family Farms, the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park next door to the Ag station and others.

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State money funds agriculture programs

Finger Lakes area agricultural programs will receive nearly $600,000 in state money to promote research, marketing and development of agriculture, it was announced last week (March 29) by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Programs submitted applications for the funding that were reviewed and approved by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority.

Funded projects include:

  • New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva will get a total of $300,000 to support ongoing research. Of that amount, $260,000 will be aimed at research on malting barley to support the craft brewing industry, and $40,000 will be for food safety research.
  • New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s NY Drinks NY program will receive $200,000. The program promotes consumption of New York wines in the state’s—especially New York City’s—hospitality industry. The Finger Lakes region is the largest of the state’s wine-producing regions.
  • New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua will receive $15,000 for its annual craft beer festival.
  • Finger Lakes Wine Alliance will receive $15,000 to promote New York-produced Riesling wines in the Rochester, Albany and Buffalo markets.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County will receive $15,000 to support the county’s farmers to develop agri-tourism.
  • Bishop Kearney High School will receive $15,000 for a vegetable garden greenhouse.
  • Homesteads for Hope, an Ogden farm and program for young adults with autism, will receive $15,000 for a cost study of a potential agri-enterprise center.
  • City of Geneva will receive $11,800 for kitchen equipment for its shared culinary incubator space.
  • Irondequoit Farmers’ Market will get $5,700 to create a nutrition fact book and promotional materials.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County will get $4,599 for an LED sign at the 4-H county fairgrounds.

Kathryn J. Boor, dean of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said, “New York State is making smart investments that will assist producers in opening new markets and point the way to a more profitable and sustainable future for the entire industry.”

Added Richard Ball, state commissioner of agriculture, ““These investments in research, promotion, and business development are critical to sustaining and growing a wide range of projects that benefit the agricultural community.”

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UR, RIT business schools make Businessweek list

The business schools of two local universities – and three others in Central and Western New York – have made the Bloomberg Businessweek list of the best business schools in the country.

The list of the top 85 programs offering full-time masters of business administration programs includes University of Rochester’s Simon Business School  (No. 33), and Rochester Institute of Technology’s Saunders College of Business (No. 79).

Raters considered interviews with thousands of students, alumni and employers, as well as job placement percentages and compensation.

Other schools in the region on the list are Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business (No. 13), State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Management (No. 46) and Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management (No. 64).

Harvard University was ranked first for the third year in a row. President Donald J. Trump’s alma mater, Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, jumped four spots from 2016 to take second place.

RIT’s Saunders College appeared on the list for the first time.

Israeli technical institute representative visits Rochester

A representative of the Israeli technical institute partnering with Cornell University on a graduate school in New York City for high-tech studies will make a presentation in Rochester Nov. 15.

Tova Kantrowitz, American Technion Society senior advisor for strategic partnerships and special initiatives, will make her presentation at 7 p.m. that day at Irondequoit Country Club, 4045 East Ave.

The Technion, in Haifa, Israel, is described as Israel’s premier engineering and applied science institution, having played a major role in the technological and economic development of the state of Israel.  The institution partnered with Cornell University on Cornell Tech, a 12-acre campus on Roosevelt Island on New York’s East River. The campus opened this fall, but the college had been in housed in space at Google in Manhattan for four years previously.

Kantrowitz’ presentation will outline Technion’s history and its contemporary work in nanotechnology, life sciences and engineering, defensive technology and other topics.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by Friday, Nov. 10. Questions can be directed by email to [email protected]