January 22, 2019
In his annual State of the State address at the New York State Agricultural Society’s Annual Meeting and Forum, Richard Ball, state ag secretary, said the state’s agriculture community is strong even though 2018 presented many challenges.
“I’m glad to be at this family reunion,” Ball said. “I’m the luckiest man on the planet to be part of the 1% of the population that’s involved in agriculture and working for you in Albany. 2018 was a sobering year in terms of weather events, market upheavals, exports, unpredictable prices and the government shutdown. But New York agriculture is strong, diverse and produces high-quality products. Our governor is asking us to question everything, so we can develop and implement applicable and accurate programs and policies. I travel to every corner of the state, and everything I see inspires me.”
Trade experts talked about the effects of trade policy on farming and what might be in store for 2019.
Robert Thompson, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, said that trade policy has evolved dramatically over the past 90 or so years.
Thompson has traveled to more than 90 countries in his work as an ag researcher. He quipped that President Donald Trump likely hasn’t read many past trade policies that have led to vital exports for American agriculture.
Trade policy between friendly partners and others has been put under the microscope by the current administration, and has been threatened in some cases.
“The winds of trade have been whipping us, but that’s nothing new,” he said. “Moving forward, there are many factors that will dramatically alter U.S. agricultural trade policy that will be out of the hands of local producers, such as dynamic changes in global consumption, urbanization, production practices, land utilization and climate change.”
Horticulture leader honored
Several awards are handed out during the meeting and forum. One of the biggest awards each year is the Distinguished Service Citation, which went this year to Jim Allen.
Allen grew up on a small produce and fruit farm in Waterville called Allen Acres. He graduated from SUNY Morrisville in 1972 with a degree in food science and marketing. During the 1970s, he was a buyer for Comstock Foods in western New York. From 1980 to 1993, he worked for Keystone Fruit Marketing.
STATE OF AG: Richard Ball, ag secretary, said the state’s farming community is resilient despite a tough 2018.
From 1993 to 1996 he worked with Sun Orchards Fruit Co., where he was involved in export and procurement. In 1996, he joined the New York Apple Association, where he focused on promoting New York apples. Memorable moments include the association’s first year of involvement with the New York City Marathon in 1998. He also recalls helping launch the “Apple Country” project that promoted the state’s apple industry.
Allen was chairman of the U.S. Apple Export Council three times. In January 2016, a successful agreement was signed allowing U.S. apples into China. The state of Washington now exports close to 5 million packed cartons or bushels going into China.
Allen, now retired, worked in the apple industry for 40 years.
Century farms and other award winners
The Century Farm Award recognizes farms that have been in continuous operation for 100 years by the same family on the same land.
This year’s award winners were Hand Melon Farm of Greenwich and Dellavale Farm of Pattersonville, N.Y.
The Bicentennial Farm Award recognizes farms that have been in continuous operation for 200 years by the same family on the same land. This year it went to Danforth Jersey Farm, which was started 1817.
Business of the Year Award winners were Brooklyn Grange, producer category, and Countryside Veterinary Clinic, agribusiness category.
The Next Generation Farmer Award went to Rulfs Orchards of Peru, N.Y., and Wild Brute Winery of Arkport, N.Y.
Farm Safety Awards went to Pedersen Farms of Seneca Castle and Hudson Valley Farm Hub, which operates a nonprofit center on 1,255 acres in Hurley, N.Y. This award recognizes farm operators that have unique and successful farm safety programs for their employees.
Pioneer Central School FFA in Yorkshire, N.Y., with approximately 100 active members, was named FFA Chapter of the Year. The school district covers approximately 250 square miles in southwestern New York.
The Ag Promotion Award went to Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour, a partner-based program that brings visitors to the region in October and educates them about apples.
Jeff Katris, communications director at Indian Creek Farm, also won the Ag Promotion Award. The 40-acre farm attracts thousands of customers with its “playful perspectives and fanciful tales,” all in the interest of promoting agriculture.
Source: New York State Agricultural Society, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset
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