New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged members of the agricultural community to join the 192nd Annual Meeting and Agricultural Forum, hosted by the New York State Agricultural Society on Thursday, January 11, 2024. Held at the OnCenter in Syracuse, this year’s Forum offers an opportunity for farmers and other key partners to examine how regenerative agriculture is creating new opportunities for stakeholders at all levels. Commissioner Ball will also deliver the 2024 State of Agriculture Address and provide an update on New York State’s ongoing efforts to support New York farmers and agricultural businesses. Registration for the Forum is now open and those who register prior to December 21 will save $25. To register or learn more about the event, visit nysagsociety.org.
Commissioner Ball said, “The Forum is an annual chance for our farm community in New York State to come together, reflect on the past year, honor the contributions of our colleagues, and shape our priorities as we look forward to new opportunities in the year ahead. I look forward to this event every year and the chance to discuss new ideas and strategies to grow our industry and make it stronger for the next generation, and I thank the New York Agricultural Society for facilitating this great space for collaboration.”
Chris Kelder, President of the NYS Agricultural Society, said, “The number one reason stakeholders attend the Forum is networking. This historic event draws attendees from across the state and region, across professions, and interests. It is not a how-to meeting, but an opportunity to dive deep into issues like regenerative agriculture and learn from peers, decision-makers and thought-leaders on what lies ahead and opportunities that are developing to grow our businesses.”
2024 Agricultural Society Forum Program
The 2024 Agricultural Society Forum includes a full day of panels and guest speakers, which will be capped off with Commissioner Ball’s State of Agriculture Address. The theme for the upcoming year’s forum is “Harnessing Regenerative Business.” Keynote speakers and panelists will outline innovations and opportunities in the regenerative agriculture space, including its ability to combat climate change and provide numerous additional benefits, such as improving soil health, increasing biodiversity, aiding in carbon sequestration, incorporating the humane treatment of livestock and farmworkers, and improving the overall ecosystem.
First, Esha Chhabra and Whitney Kakos will kick off the Forum’s Morning Keynote session. Ms. Chhabra is a writer and journalist who focuses on sustainability, international development, and the rise of mission-driven brands. She will speak on going beyond sustainability into an era of regeneration. Ms. Kakos, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability at Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), will deliver a practical conversation about the role of companies like KDP in bringing regenerative agriculture to life in real-world supply chains, including their work with apple growers in New York. During lunch, Agency 29 Founder and CEO Maureen Ballatori will provide a glimpse into brands who are successfully leveraging regenerative agriculture in their marketing.
The afternoon session panel, moderated by Katherine Staiger of Carbon A List, will highlight collaborations between New York producers who are already forging powerful supply chain relationships that are focused on growing regenerative practices. Ms. Staiger manages farmer enrollment for the Transforming the Farmer to Consumer Supply Chain Grant, funded by the USDA. She will be joined by Chip Bailey of KC Baily Orchards; Rafaela Aguiar, Crops Team Specialist at Kreher Family Farms; and Meghan Hauser of Table Rock Farm in Castile, New York.
The Forum will also include exhibits and sampling from Taste NY producers and other state programs that benefit the agricultural community. The Taste NY program, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and is now in its tenth year, creates opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and helps participating farms and companies reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business.
Honorees in Eight Award Categories to be Recognized
Given the significant and diverse participation of attendees, the Annual Forum is an ideal platform to honor individuals and businesses who have lifted the state’s agricultural and food industries to new heights in terms of environmental stewardship, consumer outreach, farm safety, and the production of quality, safe foodstuffs. New York State Agricultural Society honors will be presented in eight categories throughout the day-long program, including farm safety, journalism, agricultural promotion, FFA Chapter of the Year, next generation farmers, business of the year, distinguished service, and century and bicentennial farms.
About the New York State Agricultural Society
Established in 1832, the mission of the New York State Agricultural Society is to build a robust future for New York’s food, agricultural, and natural resource industries by providing networking and educational opportunities for its strongest advocates, decision-makers, and aspiring leaders. Agriculture is a major economic driver in New York State, generating more than $5 billion worth of annual economic activity statewide and providing a livelihood for residents across all 62 counties. More than 700 members of the New York State Agricultural Society strive to build a better understanding and positive working relationships with neighbors, consumers, and government leaders.
Contact the Press Office
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
10B Airline Drive
Albany, New York 12235
The Great New York State Fair
581 State Fair Boulevard
Syracuse, New York 13209