Photos: NY Farm Bureau Foundation, Food and Farm Experience 2015

This past weekend I participated in the Food and Farm Experience, hosted by the NY Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education. The two-day seminar was a chance for members of the media to learn more about agriculture and some of the myths perpetuated in popular culture today about issues such as GMOs, chicken, beef and milk production and the impact those myths have on farmers, which means working families since 95 percent of all farms in the US are family owned.

Most, if not all, of the journalists participating either cover ag or come from a publication surrounded by a business community dominated by farmers and those industries dependent on or supporting farmers.

For me, in general terms, nothing I heard surprised me or contradicted what I already know to be true, but I do think the experience will help me be a better ag reporter when I come across stories involving some of these issues.

Rocky’s first portrait

For those who don’t know the story of Rocky: While in the care of his previous owner, he was scalded with boiling water, suffering second and third degree burns on his neck and shoulders. The owner and her boyfriend were charged with crimes and the owner agreed in court within days of her arrest to surrender ownership.

He then sat in the animal shelter a couple of weeks with nobody expressing any real interest in adopting him. I found this out when he walked with Volunteers for Animals in the Oakfield Labor Day Parade. I felt like he and I hit it off and made a few visits and Billie and I talked it over and decided to bring him into our family.

He’s been a great companion and willing learner with no apparent behavioral problems.

Stories from The Batavian:

Photos: Blue Ribbon Bastards, Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bastards at Mohawk Place, Buffalo, NY, Aug. 22, 2015

Photos: A night a Buddy Guy’s Legends night club in Chicago with the Kinsey Report

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In Chicago for the first-ever LION Publishers Conference at Columbia University and I realized that this was my seventh visit to Chicago (if I’m counting right) and I’ve never been to a blues club. What brought this to my attention is that Buddy Guy’s Legends club is near my hotel.  Last night, a group of us LIONs went out to dinner and and then to Legends.

Dinner was at Quartino Ristorante. Good food, but perhaps the highlight of the night was the bathroom attendant.  When I walked in the men’s room, the smartly dressed attended was dancing to the some blues music.  I told him that we were going to Buddy Guy’s place later.  He told me he grew up with Buddy Guy’s kids.  He told me he knew Greg Guy really well and said that if I told Greg I knew Theop, I wouldn’t have to pay the cover charge.

Naturally, I took that with a grain of salt.

But when I mentioned my little encounter with Theop to the security guy who was standing next to the mixing booth, he said, “this is Greg right here.”  So I met Greg Guy.  He is in fact long-time friends with Theop.   Greg was really nice — we spoke a little bit more through the course of the evening.  Near the end of the night, Greg jammed with the Kinsey Report.  (I didn’t ask to waive the cover charge — I was very happy that they let me bring my camera in with me.  The only restriction was, no long lens.  But by the end of the night, they were letting me use my 70-200mm lens).

The Kinsey Report was an outstanding band.  Super tight. Great chops all the way around.  The band is from Gary, Ind., and is comprised of Donald Kinsey, Ralph Kinsey, Kenneth Kinsey and Nic Byrd.

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Photos from our recent adventures in WNY


We’ve lived in Western New York about seven years now. Out time here hasn’t been without travel, but neither have we had as much time to explore as we might like, especially since The Batavian became our full time job.

People were always surprised when I told them, I’d never been to the City of Buffalo, nor to Niagara Falls, nor to Letchworth State Park. Now, in the space of just a couple of weeks, I’ve been to all three.

First, was Buffalo. A few Sunday mornings ago, I was asked to appear on a Sunday morning talking show on WGRZ. After the show, I took a little time to drive downtown. I was in a big city, but it was a Sunday. The streets were nearly deserted. I found myself before long driving around the McKinley Monument and impressed by the Gotham-city heft of Buffalo’s City Hall.

A week later Billie and I glided into our 20th Wedding Anniversary. We stayed at a Downtown Buffalo hotel (in the slide show, two more pictures of Buffalo City Hall and of an old car on the street below taken from our balcony) and the next day, visited the Martin House (a Frank Lloyd Wright design) and Niagara Falls.

Rounding out our WNY bucket list was a drive through Letchworth last week. This came about because I was hired to photograph a dairy farmer in Great Valley, which is about two hours south of here with Letchworth more or less on the same route. Time was short on the return trip, but we did manage to see the great falls and stop at a couple of lookout over “the Grand Canyon of the East.”