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

November 18, 2014

Commissioner Announces New Members of the Pride of New York Advisory Committee

New York State Commissioner of Agriculture Richard A. Ball today announced his appointments to the reestablished Pride of New York Advisory Committee.  The committee will provide advice and counsel to the Commissioner while supporting the Pride of New York program, which has supported New York State agricultural producers for nearly 20 years.

“My farm has been a proud member of the Pride of New York program since its inception, and I’ve seen firsthand how instrumental the program can be in linking consumers to locally-produced food and agricultural products.  The members of this committee will help strengthen that linkage, which is good for our economy and New York agriculture.  I am excited to begin working with this talented group of leaders and thinkers, and believe that Pride of New York has a bright future here in this state,” said Commissioner Ball.

More than 3,000 farmers and processors brand their products using the Pride of New York logo, and retailers and restaurants also highlight their use of New York ingredients and products by displaying the logo.  Pride of NY is an important component of Governor Cuomo’s Taste NY initiative, which is dedicated to bringing to New Yorkers the best products grown and made in the state.  Pride of NY helps consumers identify high-quality, local products where they shop.  Program members include growers, wineries, food processors, food service and retail outlets.

The 21 men and women on the committee represent a diverse mix of people from a number of industries.  They will examine the current state of the program and offer guidance in shaping the program to meet current industry needs and consumer trends.  The committee members are:

  • Jim Allen, President, New York Apple Association
  • Prof. Karin Bump, Ph.D., Cazenovia College
  • Eric Carlson, Executive Director, Empire State Forest Products Association
  • Ned Chapman, Owner, Sunnyside Gardens, Saratoga Springs
  • Larry Eckhardt, Kinderhook Creek Farm, Stephentown
  • Diane Eggert, Executive Director, Farmers’ Market Federation of New York
  • Todd Erling, Executive Director, Hudson Valley Hudson Valley Agri-Business Development Corporation
  • Tom Facer, President, Farm Fresh First, LLC
  • Melissa Fleischut, President, New York State Restaurant Association
  • David “Skip” Hardie, Owner of Hardie Farms, Groton
  • Dwayne Hill, President, New York State Maple Producers Association
  • Linda LaViolette, Empire State Development
  • Michele Ledoux, Executive Director, Lewis County Cooperative Extension
  • Bob Nolan, Deer Run Farms, Brookhaven
  • Jean O’Toole, Director of Public Relations, New York State Beef Industry Council
  • Mary Jeanne Packer, Executive Director, Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York
  • Gene Pierce, President, Glenora Wine Cellars, Dundee
  • Michael Rosen, President, Food Industry Alliance of New York State
  • Tom Urtz, Vice President of Operations, ShopRite Supermarkets, Inc.
  • Jim Vincent, President, L-Brooke Farms, Byron
  • Nicole Willis, New York Farm Bureau

The committee held its first meeting on November 5 in Albany. 

Michele Ledoux, Executive Director, Lewis County Cooperative Extension, said, “As a longtime supporter of Pride of New York, our organization has promoted this program with local agricultural producers, including maple and producers, and specialty crop farmers for many years.  Our local 4-H will soon attend a national 4-H conference in Louisville, KY and will be bringing Pride of New York memorabilia with them to showcase at the national level.  This committee will provide a forum for our organization to network and will help breathe new ideas into this program.”

Michael Rosen, President, Food Industry Alliance of New York State, said, “The need for customers to identify New York grown and produced products through the Pride of New York program makes perfect sense to us.  More and more people want to support local producers and Pride of New York is a great fit to help them identify and purchase these products.”

Todd Erling, Executive Director, Hudson Valley Hudson Valley Agri-Business Development Corporation, said, “Agribusinesses and producers rely on the Pride of New York program to increase their bottom line and develop new business relationships.  I look forward to working with Commissioner Ball and the rest of the committee to bolster this important initiative.”

To find out more about the “Pride of New York” program, call 1-800-554-4501 or visit To join the “Pride of New York” program, visit:

2014 Press Releases