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

October 05, 2015

Agriculture Commissioner Announces New Marketing and Educational Initiatives to Grow the Forest Products Industry

Pride of New York Branding Program Expanded to Include Wood Products

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced new marketing and educational initiatives to further support and grow the forest products industry in the Central New York region and across the State.  The Department has expanded the Pride of New York branding program to include wood products following a successful listening session with forest product manufacturers during Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Capital for a Day in Syracuse. 

Capital for a Day was created by Governor Cuomo to bring state government directly to the people it serves.  The day-long event partnered state officials with residents, local leaders and stakeholders to examine first-hand the needs of a community and how New York State government can build upon its strengths and make a positive impact on its residents.

Commissioner Ball said, “Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s Capital for a Day event, we had a great opportunity to hear from industry members and talk about the important contributions they make to the economy.  We also discussed key workforce issues and doing a better job of telling their story.  We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to take steps to address these issues.”

As a result of the roundtable discussion, the Department announced it will expand eligibility in the Pride of New York program to include forest products producers.  Pride of New York is the state’s branding program for agricultural products grown or made in New York. 

In an effort to further promote the industry, the Department will also look to develop an interactive “working forest” display at the Great New York State Fair. The Department will convene a working group including representatives from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and the wood products industry to assist with the development and programming of the display.

Additionally, working with the Wood Products Development Council, the Department will be supporting efforts to increase recruitment, training and capacity of the State’s logging workforce.  The Development Council will also partner with the ESF to conduct an expanded assessment of the economic contributions of the forest products industry to New York.

Director of Procurement at Gutchess Lumber Company Steve Servies said, “We are pleased that the Governor and Commissioner Ball recognize the contribution our industry has on the rural, Upstate New York economy. Gutchess Lumber was honored to host the roundtable of industry, academia and government agencies. We look forward to additional support regarding the logging workforce, as “working forests” depend upon trained and viable loggers.”

President and CEO of the Empire State Forest Products Association John Bartow said, “We are pleased to work with our members on how Pride of New York can help market New York's diverse forest products.  From paper products to lumber, furniture to pellets and firewood, New York's forests and forest related industries provide high quality products to domestic and international markets.  In addition, Pride of New York and the New York State Fair will help to communicate the story behind New York's renewable and sustainable forest products.”

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Quentin Wheeler said, “ESF looks forward to bringing its significant experience and expertise to these projects announced by Commissioner Ball. We welcome this opportunity to develop a powerful New York State Fair exhibit to help New Yorkers understand more about the importance and potential of the state’s forests and wood products industry. ESF will also partner with the Wood Products Development Council to assess economic drivers such as biomass and energy, evaluation of land-use management in terms of economic benefit, development of potential new markets for forest products and the training needs for forest professionals in New York State.”

Jochum Logging and President of New York Logger Training Craig Jochum said, “The forest products industry is a important part of the upstate and state economy.  This initiative will help us grow and remain competitive in an every changing world economy.”  

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:   

For existing Pride of New York members, please update listings by emailing

2015 Press Releases