August 2016: Agribusiness

Come grow with us in the north country

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

If you are driving on Interstate 81 in the Watertown area, you may have noticed two very large Holstein dairy cows watching you drive by. Their faces are almost 11-feet tall and nearly 8-feet wide. That’s a large Holstein by any standard. [Read more…]

June 2016: Agri-Business

JeffersonCountyAgriculture.com goes live

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

Mark D. Waterhouse, president of Garnet Consulting Services, Pleasant Valley, Conn., spoke at the Jefferson County Economic Development Forum on May 18. Mr. Waterhouse is recognized within the economic development community for his success in helping communities attract new development and grow existing business. During Mr. Waterhouse’s commentary, he discussed effective marketing techniques to attract new business. His remarks and the data he presented demonstrated the needs for improved efforts and support for some of the actions we’ve taken to improve our presence. [Read more…]

May 2016: Agri-Business

What’s happening in our dairy industry?

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

As we approach the annual June Dairy Month celebration, it is important to recognize that Jefferson County’s dairy industry is by far its largest sector of agriculture. Dairy accounts for roughly 66 percent of product sales. Our 200 dairy farms produce 600 million pounds of milk annually. That’s about eight trillion 8-ounce glasses of milk. Jefferson County ranks fourth in the state in dairy production and in the top 50 counties nationwide. Unfortunately, our dairy farms are hurting nationwide due to horrible prices for the milk they produce. [Read more…]

Schumer urges USDA to help Watertown company with permit

Courtney Schermerhorn, site manager for Midway International Logistics, gives the Times a tour of the facility Friday. Bureaucratic red tape has caused the company to lose a $1.75 million contract to import meat from Canada. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

Courtney Schermerhorn, site manager for Midway International Logistics, gives the Times a tour of the facility Friday. Bureaucratic red tape has caused the company to lose a $1.75 million contract to import meat from Canada. Photo by Justin Sorensen, Watertown Daily Times.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer has stepped in to help a local company get through bureaucratic red tape to receive a federal permit to import meat from Canada. [Read more…]

Newton Falls rail project demands Jefferson, Lewis involvement

Rotten railroad ties lie along a rail line outside Natural Bridge, part of the line that would be repaired. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

Rotten railroad ties lie along a rail line outside Natural Bridge, part of the line that would be repaired. Photo by Stephen Swofford, Watertown Daily Times.

A St. Lawrence County project to rebuild the rail line between Newton Falls and Carthage requires the involvement of Jefferson and Lewis counties in order to proceed. [Read more…]

April 2016: Agri-business

Big business in high-quality ag products

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

The north country is very fortunate to be home to some of the highest quality agricultural products and businesses. Recently, one of our newest agricultural businesses, Aviagen, was recognized for its excellence as a global poultry genetics company. Aviagen begins operation this spring in the Jefferson County Industrial Park. It purchased the former Morris Northstar Hatchery that operated successfully for several years. Morris Northstar hatched approximately 300,000 chicks a week for export to broiler chicken farms in Canada. Aviagen indicates it is a higher-end hatchery. It will hatch out chicks that instead of growing directly into meat chickens will be used as parent stock to meet other poultry company demands. Aviagen provides the parents for many different poultry operations around the world. Officials indicate many of the chicks born in Jefferson County will be exported around the world. Aviagen is noted as one of the world’s leading poultry genetics companies. [Read more…]

March 2016: Agri-Business

Time again for the sweet taste of maple

Jay Matteson

Jay Matteson

Nothing is as great a harbinger of spring as the aroma of maple sap boiling down to make the golden nectar of the woods — maple syrup. It is a special delight to enjoy the sweet taste of maple syrup on a plate of your favorite pancakes, or a teaspoon of syrup in your coffee or tea, or maple syrup slathered over barbecued chicken just before you take it off the grill. But if you’ve only enjoyed these wonderful tastes from a jug of maple syrup you purchased at the store, you are missing out on a fun and tasty opportunity. [Read more…]

January 2016: Agribusiness

Orleans needs a new clean water supply

Matteson_JayWPeople’s lives and businesses in Orleans near Collins Landing are suffering because of a water pollution problem. An underground salt contamination plume is affecting many local residents. They are using water contaminated with salt, and possibly arsenic and other metals, to bathe in and clean with. No one should consume it or use it to cook. Our largest farm winery, Thousand Islands Winery on Seaway Avenue, is in the middle of the contamination plume. It does not use the groundwater for wine-making. Instead, it uses 5-gallon jugs of clean water paid for by the New York State Department of Transportation, to make wine. This is a very labor intensive problem. [Read more…]

September 2015: Agribusiness

Tough choices to grow our economy

Columnist Jay Matteson

Columnist Jay Matteson

The past few months have been interesting here in Northern New York. We heard from our elected county officials about tax revenue difficulties and future challenges to maintain services. We saw news about unemployment rates remaining some of the highest across the state. St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties had their own versions of meat-processing plant issues. A planned farm distillery faced stiff opposition from some of its potential neighbors and two planned manure storage structures made the news. [Read more…]

July 2015: Agri-Business

Meat plant builds local ag capacity

Columnist Jay Matteson

Columnist Jay Matteson

It is exciting to possibly have a USDA-certified meat-processing facility coming to Jefferson County. Since the 2002 Jefferson County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan was completed, several of the agencies serving the agricultural industry in Jefferson County have investigated the potential for a plant and proposals from developers. [Read more…]