NY Farm Bureau Kicks off Nat'l Ag Month

New York Farm Bureau kicked off National Ag Month, a first for New York, with a celebratory brunch today in Elbridge, NY. Agricultural leaders from across the state came together for the exciting event that recognizes all of agriculture and what it means to farm families, rural communities, and consumers across the state.

Since 1973, New York has traditionally recognized National Ag Day which is on March 20, 2018, but there are too many great things happening in food and farming in New York to limit the acknowledgement to just one day. New York Farm Bureau invited a diverse group of leaders representing different commodities and organizations to join in on the festivities at the Bailiwick Market and Café owned by the Hourigan family whose dairy farm is nearby. New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher welcomed everyone and highlighted the strength and diversity of agriculture in New York.

“It is exciting to have a full month to celebrate all that is great about New York agriculture. Our farms generate $5 billion in farm sales and create nearly 200,000 jobs on and off the farm in the state. At a time when many farm families are struggling with low commodity and milk prices, it is more important than ever for the agricultural community to come together to support each other in these tough times while recognizing there is still much to be proud of in New York agriculture. New York Farm Bureau salutes all of the hard working men and women who carry on the strong agricultural tradition in this state,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.

In addition, the Commissioner of New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball, and Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair, Bill Magee, took part in the program providing remarks to the dozens of attendees. Magee also read a resolution that he sponsored jointly in the legislature with the Senate Agriculture Committee Chair, Patty Ritchie. Senator John DeFrancisco also sent his regards to the attendees who came to his district for the event.

“Agriculture has a vibrant history in New York and continues to be a major contributor to our economy, the preservation of our natural landscapes and our food supply,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball. “One day each year is not enough to acknowledge the tremendous contributions of the industry.  I am thrilled to join New York Farm Bureau as we extend the celebration all month long and give our hardworking farmers the recognition they deserve.”

"Farmers across New York State have the important—and demanding—job of growing and producing the fresh foods countless consumers depend on, as well as supporting the success of New York State’s leading industry,” said Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie. “By making March 'Agriculture Month' , we can honor the efforts of our hardworking farmers, as well as raise awareness about how critical they are to New York State as a whole. As Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee—and someone who grew up on a family farm—I am proud of the efforts of our farmers, and look forward to continuing to work to help them succeed.”

“National Agriculture Month honors the men and women of our state who work long hours in the fields and barns, producing quality food and fiber. I’m grateful for all that farm families do to make our state a great place to live,” said Assemblyman Bill Magee, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee.

Senator John DeFrancisco said, “Agriculture is an integral part of our state’s economy and a major employer. It is fitting that we help recognize this important industry, and the people who work hard each day to provide New York with safe and nutritional products, by celebrating New York’s first-annual Agriculture Month Kickoff brunch.”

New York Farm Bureau’s Promotion and Education Chair, Phyllis Couture, emceed the brunch celebration and recognized her committee for their year round dedication to educating the public about farming.