Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey (AgMkts), 518-457-0752,
Jon Sorensen (EFC), 518-402-6924,

April 15, 2014

New York State Will Broaden Search for New Management of the State Fair and Conduct a Comprehensive Review of Year-Round Operations

Troy Waffner to Serve as Acting Director of the Fair through 2014

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets announced today that the search for a new director of the New York State Fair will be extended and a new timeline developed as part of a comprehensive review of the fairgrounds and its year-round operations.

Matthew J. Driscoll, president and CEO of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corp., who led the initial search at the behest of Governor Cuomo, said, “While our efforts resulted in a number of potential candidates to lead the State Fair, it became apparent to the search committee and the Department that the future of the Fair, as well as the development and management of the year-round fairgrounds, may require a broader set of skills and management approaches. Concurrent with an expanded search, the Department will have the opportunity to explore business opportunities with a variety of vendors related to the Fair, its year-round operations, and its grounds. Job candidates identified by the search committee will remain under consideration.”

In conjunction with this revised approach, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced today the appointment of Troy Waffner as Acting Director, who will lead the Fair’s management team through 2014.

Troy Waffner has served as Assistant Director of the Fair since 2010.  Prior to that, he served for 17 years in a variety of state government positions focused on agricultural-related issues, including stints in both the State Assembly and Senate.

Richard Ball, Acting Commissioner for the Department of Agriculture and Markets, said, “Troy Waffner has done a phenomenal job over the past few months in keeping the Fair on track for 2014.  Leading a great team of officials in both Albany and at the Fairgrounds, exciting new programs and new management initiatives have been developed that will make the 2014 Great New York State Fair better than ever. These efforts have already resulted in the booking of several nationally-acclaimed musical acts; new rides and a new operator for the Fair’s popular midway; improvements to the Taste NY Wine Village; and a number of other new initiatives that will soon be announced.”

“The development of these new programs and features, as well as the announcement of plans to construct the Lakehouse Concert Pavilion and Performing Arts Center in Geddes are among the factors to consider as the state formulates a long-term vision for the success of the Fair as a year-round destination for tourism, entertainment, large meetings, and agri-business that benefit the State and the region.”

“Summer’s Best in Show” is the theme of this year’s Fair, which will run from Aug. 21-Sept. 1. Last year’s attendance was 851,157, up more than 5,500 from the year before.

2014 Press Releases