Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Joe Morrissey, 518-457-0752,
Dave Bullard, 315-487-7711 x 1377,

August 27, 2014

Commissioner Highlights the Outstanding Work Being Done by the Future of NY Agriculture at the Great New York State Fair

Free, Family-Friendly Educational and Entertainment Experience to be had at the 4-H Youth Exhibit Building and FFA Building at the Great New York State Fair

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today commended the outstanding work being done by youth and mentors to make the educational experience for fairgoers at the 2014 Great New York State Fair even better.

“There is a concerted effort at this year’s Fair to highlight the best of New York and this state has some of the most talented youth in the entire country,” said Commissioner Ball.  “I am extremely impressed with the amount of future farmers, as well as scientists, engineers, outdoorsmen and leaders we have in our midst here at the Fair and across the state.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again that farming has a bright future in New York and the example being set by future farmers here at the Fair makes me proud of my profession.”

4-H Youth Exhibit Building:

“4-H is an integral part of every county fair in the state, as well as the Great New York State Fair,” said Tom Davis, Program Coordinator for 4-H at the Fair.  “The State Fair is one of the best learning tools we have at 4-H, an experience that our youth remember for the rest of their lives.”

At the 4-H Youth Exhibit building, located on the west end of the fairgrounds, hundreds of youth are working to educate fairgoers about the great work they are doing in agriculture and science.  There are more than 100 baby chicks born in a professional incubator in the building throughout the 12-day Fair.  4-H’ers are available every day to talk to fairgoers and educate them about the process of raising chickens.

The building also features a number of opportunities for fairgoers to learn more about the outdoors through its laser arcade range, where they are given the opportunity to learn the basics and follow the rules of firearm safety.  Fairgoers learn eye dominance and valuable information about firearm safety, including “assume that every firearm is loaded,” “never point in an unsafe direction,” and “be certain of a target and what’s beyond it.”  Every fairgoer that learns firearm safety in the 4-H building is awarded a green ribbon.

Public presentations are a valuable component of the 4-H experience and in the 4-H Youth Exhibit Building at the Great New York State Fair, youth are providing fairgoers with presentations at every turn.  An interactive GIS exhibit manned completely by 4-H members provides fairgoers with the opportunity to find any location in the world with the click of a mouse.  4-H youth operate a solar powered blender in front of the main entranceway and show fairgoers how to roast marshmallows using solar energy.  Fairgoers are also given the opportunity to drive an actual robot made by 4-H youth who, through a mentoring program, learn about computer and mechanical engineering, as well as electronics.

In cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension, 4-H Clubs, camps, after-school programs, and trips help youth reach their fullest potential. Members have opportunities to connect to Cornell University, learn through hands-on activities, lead, be inspired, and inspire others.

Interested in volunteering or getting your youth involved with 4-H?  Please visit the 4-H website on its ‘ Join Us’ page.

FFA Exhibit Building:

“The FFA Exhibit Building looks better than ever this year with fresh paint and a complete rearrangement of exhibits,” said Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner.  “There will be different contests in the building almost every day, along with a multitude of interactive presentations that fairgoers of all ages will enjoy.”

The FFA Exhibit Building is home to youth contests, presentations, and exhibits for all fairgoers. Each day there will be different events. In the mornings, a variety of youth contests will take place, which will be judged by both FFA and 4-H judges.  Each afternoon, awards are presented to the winners in contests ranging from milk and cheese analysis, the grading of cuts of meat, nursery landscape, and tree identification.

There will be a lot more than just contests going on in the FFA Exhibit Building throughout the fair. The aquaculture tank will be running and there will be a number of wood and metal projects on display. There will also be an array of FFA projects made by the students, along with FFA displays from each chapter.  One of the more exciting displays will be the VVS maple production exhibit, an energy system utilizing willow trees to produce energy that in turn produces maple syrup.

FFA officers are on hand every day to answer questions from fairgoers. The FFA Exhibit Building is located next to the midway between gates 9 and 10.

2014 Press Releases