Still need a tree? Support the Scouts
Tony Lafoutain

Penfield Post
Thursday, December 6, 2012

From the Supervisor

In the spirit of "thanksgiving," it has come to my attention that for the past several years local farmers Dave and Linda Woodward, owners of Woody Acres on Harris Road, have contributed their surplus winter squash (butternut, acorn, Hubard, etc.) to the hungry in Penfield and Rochester. At the end of the growing season, boxes of Dave's squash are brought to the Bethany House, Penfield Ecumenical Food Shelf, St. Joseph's Church, the Dmitri House, Mt. Carmel Food Cupboard, St. Andrew's Food Cupboard, Francis (Men's) Center and St. Peter's Kitchen. On behalf of the entire community of Penfield I send a very special salute to the Woodwards for their generosity as exemplary citizens of Penfield. Dave and Lind, your family makes a big difference in so many lives...thank you!

If you have not gotten your Christmas tree yet, or if you are thinking about a second or their tree for your home, deck, or patio, please consider supporting local Boy Scout Troops selling tees around town. Boy Scout Troop 260, chartered by St. Joseph's Church, is selling trees at County Way Nursery, 2755 Penfield Road, Mon. through Fri. from 5:30 to 8:30p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9p.m., and Sunday noon to 6 p.m. until all the trees are gone. Boy Scout Troop 312, chartered by Penfield Presbyterian Church, is selling trees at Bill Gray's through Dec. 23 (or until sold out). Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.

The Winter/Spring 2013 Recreation Brochure will be hitting mailboxes the week of Dec. 10; inside you will find many new recreation partnerships. There are 17 new lectures offered from January to May that include Spring into Laughter-Laughter Wellness, Healthy Cooking with Super-foods, The American Civil War and  The Flower City. Additionally, there are new and expanded programs for floral arrangement, indoor tennis for youth and adult, youth math classes and classes for adults on how to help with homework. There are nature programs at the Barn Owl, adult high intensity interval training; adult all-out kettle ball training; and a prenatal yoga-aqua fusion class.

I would like to recognize several new partnerships between the Town of Penfield and local businesses for new or expanded recreation programs; they include Strebel Tennis Services, The Barn Owl, Eastside YMCA, and the Legacy at Willow Pond (sponsor of the Civil War Great Course Program).

My family will be participating in the NY-SERDA Home Performance with ENERGY STAR comprehensive home energy assessment program. The program is designed to provide a complete understanding of your home's energy efficiency performance to help you make informed decisions about energy upgrades. The audit contractor will assess our home from top to bottom and show us exactly how we are wasting energy and losing money. Recommendations for improvements will include suggestions for upgrades with detailed cost and payback periods for each energy savings investment. In most cases, home assessments are free with 100 percent of the costs covered by NY-SERDA. I will keep you posted on the experience and recommendations.


Penfield farmers among those enduring challenges to preserve agriculture

By Bethany Young, staff writer            

Posted Nov 26, 2012 @ 10:40 AM

Last update Nov 28, 2012 @ 09:00 AM


When it comes to choosing a profession, Dave Woodward says farming is not for the weak. “It's got to be a lifestyle you want,” he said.

He owns Woody Acres, a multi-generational family farm located on Harris Road, in Penfield. His grandfather bought the farm in 1915. Most of property was rented until Dave took it over in 1979.
He now owns 300 acres and works on more than twice that land, including rented property. Crops include pumpkins, gourds, squash, Christmas trees, wheat, hay, field corn, rye and red kidney beans.
Woodward said that this spring’s early buds and freeze, followed by the summer drought, are just a few challenges farmers regularly face.

Migrant labor, equipment costs, crop insurance. All are issues that many farmers run into.
“There's always a lot more planning people don't realize as far as preparing for the next season,” said Woodward. “A lot of times, people's perceptions are not necessarily a reality. There are neighbors who appreciate the farm for what it is and others who don’t. We do change and evolve.”
Many say the future of such family farm operations is uncertain.

A 1999 Monroe County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan showed that agriculture is on the decline  in Monroe County due to an increase in non-farm development. Woodward said he and others like him are constantly faced with the decision of whether to sell their property.
“How many of those guys are going to able to buy property and stay there? It's going to be a lot tougher — development pressure continues,” he said. “It's slowed down a lot with the economic environment we have, but there will always be that pressure.”

He said that several properties he works for are either openly for sale or the owners are “more than willing” to discuss selling or renting the property to make a profit.

Terry Rothfuss owns a neighboring farm on Salt Road, where he raises beef cattle and grows hay for horse farms and some crops like soybeans, corn and wheat.

In the past, he’s sold several building lots to generate extra income, but the biggest break came in 2002 when the town of Penfield agreed to purchase the property acquisition rights to more than half of the land.

This was a 20-year, $10 million bond payment that required a public vote because it meant an increase in taxes. Residents approved the motion by a 2-to-1 margin.Rothfuss said he’s still grateful for the support showed by the town and community.

“Penfield’s a great place to farm. People said they could add a little bit more to their taxes and give farmers a break on their assessments.”

This was an example of local government assisting farmers, but help from the federal government remains in limbo as Congress waits to vote on the farm bill next year.

Rothfuss said he received federal funding to add fencing around his property to keep cows away from ditches as part of an effort to improve water quality. He’s also received some crop subsidies, but says their minor compared to the overall cost of operation.

“We still take it, but it’s getting to be less all the time,” he said.

When it comes to supporting agriculture in general, Rothfuss said he hopes residents and the town will continue to preserve agriculture and open space.

“We’re lucky we’ve got the best neighbors,” he said, turning to look at the rolling green hillside as the crisp November air surrounds him. “It seems like you’re in the country, but you can still get to Wegmans in about five minutes.”

Woody Acres
1530 Harris Road, Penfield, NY 14526 / 585-872-2759
Conveniently located 20 min East of Rochester, NY - Easy access from I590, Exit 7 and NY-104E, Exit NY-250 towards Webster.