State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is partnering with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University (CALS) to sponsor the 188th Annual Meeting and Agricultural Forum of the NYS Agricultural Society.
The Forum is the oldest and largest meeting of its kind in the State, bringing together more than 500 representatives from all sectors of the agricultural industry to discuss topics that are crucial to the future of New York agriculture. The Forum, which will take place on Jan. 9, 2020 at The Holiday Inn in Liverpool, also recognizes the contributions of industry stakeholders in eight award categories.
Commissioner Ball said, “The Forum is an opportunity for our farm community in New York State to come together, reflect on the past year, recognize the contributions of our many partners and to shape our priorities as we look forward to new opportunities in the year ahead.”
The theme of the 188th annual Forum is “Taking the Pulse of Agriculture in NY.” Julie Suarez, Associate Dean of CALS at Cornell University, will kick off the day by providing an overview of the recently released 2017 Ag Census and then leading the first panel. Jean O’Toole of the New York Beef Council, Colleen Klein of the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association, and Corey Mosher of the New York Vegetable Growers Association will share their producer perspectives on the panel.
Commissioner Ball will deliver the annual State of Agriculture address after lunch, covering the State’s ongoing efforts to help New York’s farmers and agricultural businesses to weather marketplace challenges and the impact of federal policies. From continued marketing initiatives, to new procurement opportunities, to an expanded farmland protection program for dairy, Commissioner Ball will highlight New York’s strategic investments to ensure the viability of local farms while assisting their growth into new markets.
Forum programming in the afternoon will spotlight New York’s growing renewable energy space with Jordan Energy & Food Enterprises founder and CEO Bill Jordan. Afterward, representatives from three of New York’s leading advocacy organizations—Steve Ammerman of the NY Farm Bureau, Eileen Jensen of the NY Animal Agriculture Coalition, and Tonya Van Slyke of the Northeast Dairy Producers Association—will take part in a panel discussion on advocacy. Winners of the 2019 Grow-NY competition, sponsored by Empire State Development, Cornell University and the NYS Center of Excellence for Food & Agriculture, will also be featured. These agricultural and food business startups will share $3 million in prize money to help launch their products.
The Peterson Brothers, who have gained social media fame from their agricultural parody videos, will bring the Forum to a close. From Assaria, Kansas, they will discuss the unique advocacy strategy they employ while continuing to operate their family farm.
The annual gathering will also feature the presentation of awards in eight categories including: farm safety, agricultural promotion, FFA chapter, journalism, “Next Generation” farmers, business of the year, in addition to those for Distinguished Service, Century and Bicentennial farms.
President of the NYS Agricultural Society Judi Whittaker, said, “It’s a privilege for the New York State Agricultural Society to be presenting our 188th annual program to members and guests this January. Although agriculture has certainly changed since our organization was founded in the mid-1800s, the driving force behind the Forum is unchanged. This is a tremendous venue to reconnect with industry peers, to flesh out priority issues and ideas, to recognize key stakeholders and change-makers and recharge for the year ahead.”
Young adults, ages 18 to 25, are encouraged to participate in Pre-Forum and Forum activities as Ambassador Scholars. Two nights of overnight accommodations are provided, and registration fees are waived. Online applications should be submitted by November 15 and can be found here.
Registration for the event is now open. Find additional information and register online here.
About the NYS Ag Society
Established in 1832, the mission of the NYS Agricultural Society is to foster, promote, and improve the NYS food and agricultural industry through education, leadership development and recognition programs. 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.