Tucked away in an old car repair shop in Lyndonville is a surprising tenant - California born company Sierra Biological. The company, now based in Orleans County, provides an alternative to chemical and pesticide dependence. Pesticides and chemicals can have negative effects on soil and water supply. Nematodes, the main Sierra Biological product, can manage damaging insects and organisms in your soil without having the negative side-effects.
“We put the cats in the barn to keep the mice away,” said Casey Decker, president of Sierra Biological.
Through natural selection, Sierra Biological can produce naturally beneficial nematodes for farmers, greenhouses, growers, and even homeowners looking for a better alternative to salvage their lawn. Sierra Biological develops four species, including praying mantis and lady bugs.
Jim Whipple of Orleans EDA (left) with Casey Decker (right)
Sierra Biological moved to Buffalo from Sierra Nevada, California. The potential of the Canadian market is large, and different chemical and pesticide laws, compared to the United States, open opportunity. When based in Sierra Nevada, the company was shipping to Buffalo anyways as a means to enter Canada. The logistics and large gap in affordability made Buffalo Niagara an obvious decision for his new business.
In Buffalo Niagara, Sierra Biological has seven employees. The company is coming off its best month yet.
Passing through Medina
On our visit to Orleans County, we spent the early afternoon walking through the village, visiting a recently renovated historic building that is now home to a coffee shop and boutique hotel along with a meadery. Medina’s Main Street has also seen some aesthetic changes, with new restaurants and stores getting face lifts to their exteriors.
The Medina Business Park is Western New York’s largest NYS certified shovel-ready business park. With acreage available on both the north and south side, and early resident Pride Pak up-and-running, the park is an attractive location for companies looking to expand in the region.