Just like the proverbial phoenix, local farm-equipment dealer Cazenovia Equipment Company has risen from the ashes of the fire that claimed its Route 20 headquarters in August. While owners Jim and Mike Frazee continue to oversee the construction of a new headquarters in the town of Cazenovia, they have also been busy spearheading green initiatives and donating to regional non-profit organizations.
At a Nov. 9 press conference in Nelson Farms Country Store, the Frazees presented representatives from the New York Agricultural Land Trust with a check totaling $13,811.79.
“Cazenovia Equipment has always been focused on community involvement, and encourages employees at each of our locations to get involved. This year, we decided to formalize it, pool our resources and channel our support through a single outlet — and we couldn’t think of any greater organization to support than the New York Agricultural Land Trust,” said Jim Frazee. “The goals of that organization are so directly aligned with the goals of Cazenovia Equipment. We need farmers, we need open spaces and we need a vibrant agricultural community for our business to thrive.”
Jim and Mike Frazee procured the donation by taking a percentage of their total sales over the past few months. For every agricultural tractor with 100 horsepower and above that Cazenovia Equipment Company sold, a fraction of the profits were put towards a donation to NYALT.
Entering its fifth year of operation, NYALT is a non-profit organizations focused on helping farmers and agrarian communities by conserving vital forests and farmlands. On hand to accept the contribution was NYALT Executive Director Tom Larson and Vice Chair Nancy Hourigan. Both were extremely pleased with the gesture, and thanked the Frazees for all that they do for farmers around Central New York.
“Farmers are aging and beginning to transition to the next generation. As well as their knowledge and tools, what they want to be able to pass along to their family members is the land,” Larson said. “Businesses like Cazenovia Equipment, who have been around for 50 years, are a blessing to farmers, and today, to the New York Agricultural Land Trust. We are very pleased to accept their donation.”
New York State Assemblyman Bill Magee, a long-time champion of agricultural causes, was also on hand for the check signing.
“This is a great thing that Cazenovia Equipment is doing, contributing to an organization that is so important to the state,” he said. “Agriculture is New York’s number-one industry, and the state has done a lot in that area by appropriating funds for the preservation of farmlands, so hopefully it will remain that way.”
On Oct. 14, the Frazees broke ground on the new site of Cazenovia Equipment Company’s headquarter location, which is located on Route 20, just west of the Trush Business Park. The 70-acre parcel will boast a 26,000-square-foot steel building, equipped with a repair facility, warehouse space, offices and the company’s main showroom.
“As long as the weather cooperates we’ll be able to complete laying the foundation this fall. Since the structure will be built from steel, we can continue to erect it during the winter season,” Jim Frazee said. “We’re hoping for an early spring completion, when we plan on holding a grand opening.”
The company, which celebrated 50 years of business just hours before losing its landmark location to a late-night fire, has grown to 10 locations in Central New York. Recently, additions were built on its Clinton and Oneonta stores, and construction on an addition to its Cortland location is scheduled to begin in 2012.
To learn more about NYALT’s statewide efforts, visit their website, nyalt.org. More information on Cazenovia Equipment’s history and numerous locations can be found at online at cazenoviaequipment.com or by calling 655-8620.
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.