New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is partnering with the New York State Agricultural Society, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the NY Corn and Soybean Growers Association to sponsor the Society’s 187th Annual Meeting and Agricultural Forum. 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 food industry to discuss topics that are crucial to the future of New York agriculture and to recognize the contributions of its many stakeholders. Commissioner Ball will also deliver the annual State of Agriculture address during the Forum, which takes place on January 10, 2019 at The Holiday Inn in Liverpool, New York.
Commissioner Ball said, “As we start to think about the year ahead, the Agricultural Society’s annual meeting provides us the right platform to assess this past year and to discuss new ideas, strategies and opportunities to grow our industry for the future generation. I thank the Society for their partnership and its continued contributions to our shared community.”
President of the NYS Agricultural Society Elizabeth Claypoole, said, “The Forum provides a great venue for agricultural stakeholders to network, discuss critical issues and set a course for action between partners. We are pleased to bring together New York’s agricultural colleges, agri-businesses, farms, and governmental agencies in 2019 to all learn more about trade and how it impacts our industry on a global and local level.”
The focus of the Forum this year is “the shifting winds of trade.” Agricultural trade policy can be complex and difficult to predict, and this year, the potential for lost markets and retaliatory challenges has impacted nearly every agricultural commodity group across the US. Several speakers will explore the issue of addressing trade without disrupting markets. The program will include presentations from:
- Bill Schreiber, CEO of O-AT-KA Milk Products Cooperative, Inc., who will discuss emerging dairy trade issues.
- Kathryn Bamberger, International Trade and Investment Specialist, from Empire State Development, who will speak about the State’s economic development efforts as it pertains to trade.
- Dr. Robert Thompson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois, will present on the “Overarching Issues & Global Perspective on Trade.”
- Thomas Sleight, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council, will provide his insight into the importance of trade to the U.S. agricultural industry.
On January 9, staff from Cornell AgriTech will provide a special pre-forum presentation focused on food and agricultural innovation. The panel will provide an inside look at the innovation taking place at Cornell AgriTech, from production and breeding of diverse crops, to the Cornell Food Venture Center, to developing a larger market share for agricultural products.
The Forum also includes an awards program recognizing individuals, producers, agribusinesses and members of the media for their contributions to the industry. Farms in continuous operation by the same families on the same land for 100 and 200 years will also be recognized with official proclamations by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In addition, the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation is again sponsoring 15 Ambassadors to attend the 2019 Forum through its scholarship program. Ambassadors are young adults, ages 18 to 25, who are either attending college or newly employed in the agricultural industry. This scholarship provides them with a unique opportunity to hear from and engage with industry decision-makers and participate in personal and professional growth training sessions. Each Ambassador is paired with a mentor with a similar interest and an extensive knowledge of New York agriculture. Ambassadors receive free overnight accommodations and meals, NYS Ag Society membership, and invitations to pre-Forum events sponsored by Cornell University and the Friends of the Witter Museum.
Early registration for the New York State Agricultural Society Forum and pre-Forum events are strongly encouraged. Discounted registration fees will be offered through December 17, 2018. For complete details on the Forum and information about the Society, visit: www.nysagsociety.org
The mission of the New York State Agricultural Society is to foster, promote, and improve the NYS food and agricultural industry through education, leadership development and recognition programs. Established in 1832, the Society played a vital role in the creation and development of the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Agricultural Experiment Station at Cornell and the Geneva Experiment Station.
The organization was also the original operator of the Great New York State Fair for 57 years until the operations were assumed by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets in 1899. In 1985, the Agricultural Society worked with Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to develop the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute (LEAD NY), which has trained hundreds of leaders in the field of New York agriculture since its inception. In 1997, the NYS Agricultural Society promoted the formation of “The Friends of the Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum,” which is located at the State Fairgrounds and showcases New York’s agricultural development. In 2011, the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation was formed to support industry recognition, education, and leadership development for future generations involved in the New York State food and agriculture industry.