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

November 19, 2015

Department of Agriculture and Markets Partners with the New York State Agricultural Society to Co-Sponsor the 184th Annual Meeting and Forum

Forum Will Focus on Climate Smart Farming

NYS Agricultural Society Will Award First-Ever “Next Generation Farmer Award”

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is partnering with the New York State Agricultural Society to co-sponsor the Society’s 184th Annual Meeting and Agricultural Forum. One of the largest meetings of its kind in the state, nearly 500 food and agricultural leaders, and industry stakeholders are expected to attend. The event will take place on January 7, 2016 at The Holiday Inn in Liverpool, New York, and will focus on climate smart farming.

“The Department is pleased to co-sponsor this annual forum, bringing together members of our state’s diverse agricultural community to discuss challenges to the industry and share strategies to grow agriculture in New York,” said Commissioner Ball. “This year’s forum will look at climate issues and the adaptability of our state’s producers to farm in variable and extreme weather. This is top-of-mind for the future of our agriculture industry and something that the State has worked hard to address. We thank the New York State Agricultural Society for their partnership and for contributing so much to our shared community.”

As part of the program, speakers and panelist will discuss ways to increase farm resiliency to extreme weather and climate variability, and reduce risk through the adoption of best management practices. The program will include time for questions and answers with all speakers and panel members as part of the afternoon session.

“We all have questions, concerns, and beliefs about climate change, and exactly how it might affect the future of agriculture in New York State, and our own piece of the industry,” said Hans Kunze, President of the NYS Agricultural Society. “The 184th Forum will be a great opportunity to share viewpoints and scientific research to help sort through this complicated and debatable issue. It is important for all of us to consider and acknowledge the various facets of this topic, and offer constructive input.”

New for 2016, the NYS Agricultural Society will announce its inaugural winners of the “Next Generation Farmer Award,” which recognizes agricultural operations that have successfully transitioned from one generation to the next or that are successfully starting new industry enterprises. 

In total, eight awards will be distributed at the 184th Forum, recognizing individuals, businesses and media representatives for their contributions to the state’s agricultural industry.

The NYS Agricultural Society Foundation is sponsoring 15 Ambassadors to attend the 2016 Forum. Ambassadors are young adults, ages 18 to 24, who are either attending college or are employed in a segment of the agricultural industry. This is a unique opportunity for this age group to be a part of an event discussing major industry issues, meet the decision-makers, and build their own professional networks. Ambassadors receive free overnight accommodations and meals, NYS Ag Society membership, and invitations to pre-forum events sponsored by Cornell University and the Friends of the Witter Museum. The application deadline is Tuesday, December 11, 2015. Visit for additional information.

Early registration for the New York State Agricultural Society Forum and pre-forum events are strongly encouraged, with a discount offered to registrations received by December 18th. For complete details on the Forum and information concerning the Society, visit:

The New York State Agricultural Society originated in 1832 and played a vital role in the establishment of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Agricultural Experiment Station at Cornell and the Geneva Experiment Station. The organization was also the original operator of the Great New York State Fair for 57 years until the operations of the event were assumed by the Department of Agriculture and Markets in 1899.  In 1985, the Agricultural Society worked with Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to develop the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute (LEAD NY), which has trained hundreds of leaders in the field of New York agriculture since its inception.  In 1997, the NYS Agricultural Society promoted the formation of “The Friends of the Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum” with the purpose to promote New York’s agricultural development at the museum, which is located at the State Fairgrounds. In 2011, the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation was formed to support industry recognition, education, and leadership development for future generations involved in the New York State food and agriculture industry.

2015 Press Releases