The Advisory Council on Agriculture was formed in 1971 by the passage of the Agricultural Protection Law. The Council provides advice and recommendations to the Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets and other state leaders on matters affecting agricultural districts and farmland protection, as well as any other issue of importance to agriculture in the state.

The Council’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, oversight over:

  • the creation and review of Agricultural Districts;
  • right to farm law cases;
  • farmland protection grant applications;
  • agricultural assessment values;
  • eminent domain and other public acquisitions;
  • notice of intent cases; and
  • sound agricultural practice opinions.


The Council meets a minimum of once per year and provides and annual report of its activities to the Governor and legislature. Department staff assist the Council in arranging meetings, setting agendas, researching matters of interest to its membership, and preparing its annual report.

The members are:

  • Neal Rea, Chair, Cambridge, New York 12816     
  • Frank Beyrodt, Jr., Vice ChairBaiting Hollow, New York 11933             
  • Jim BittnerAppleton, New York 14008
  • Samuel CasellaCanandaigua, New York 14424 
  • David HaightSaratoga Springs, New York 12866
  • Amy MachamerHolley, New York 14470              
  • Brian ReevesBaldwinsville, New York 13027
  • Lesa SobolewskiAvon, New York 14414
  • Kimberly Ann WagnerMarlboro, New York 12542

Meeting Materials

Information about the next meeting of the Advisory Council on Agriculture will be posted here when it is available.

The most recent meeting of the Advisory Council on Agriculture was held on July 28, 2022, at 10:00 am. The meeting agenda is available below. View a recording of the July meeting. If applicable, additional materials will be posted here when they are available.

Minutes from the December 2020 meeting are also available below.

Biennial Report