Jan 15, 2019
(January 14, 2019 — Syracuse, NY) Each January, agricultural and food industry leaders gather in Syracuse at the NYS Agricultural Society Annual Meeting & Forum to discuss pressing issues and recognize peers for outstanding achievement. The historic event, now in its 187th year, draws a wide-range of producers, suppliers, regulators, educators and promoters. In 2019, fallout from international trade disputes is top-of-mind for multiple commodities and rural communities across NYS and the nation who depend on a healthy export business to zero-out production surpluses and strengthen prices. The Forum featured four experts who broke -down the trade debate, discussed emerging opportunities, and addressed how best to resolve conflict without disrupting markets. Global expert, Dr. Robert Thompson, Tom Sleight of the
U.S. Grains Council, Bill Schreiber of O-AT-KA Milk Products and Kathryn Bamberger of Empire State Development set the table for discussion. US trade policy has evolved dramatically from the 1930s to establish rules of the jungle, according to Dr. Robert Thompson, professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. With extensive work experience in more than 90 countries worldwide, Thompson quipped that President Donald Trump hasn't read many of these as trade policy between friendly partners and others is now under the microscope and threatened. “The winds of trade have been whipping us," said Thompson, “but that's nothing new. Moving forward, there are many factors that will dramatically alter US 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."
The climax of the annual Forum is the presentation of the “State of the State" of agriculture address presented by Commissioner Richard Ball of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. “I'm glad to be at this family reunion," said Ball. “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 shut-down. But NY 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." Recognizing Agriculture's Finest Forum lunch and dinner programs honored agriculture's promoters, journalists, cutting-edge producers, and legacy farms...
Christine Worth, Wayne County Tourism and the Wayne County Apple Trail was recognized receiving the
Ag Promotion Awards—Recognizes individuals and groups for their efforts to improve the understanding of agriculture in NYS. Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour: Operating in New York's largest apple producing county, this partner based program drives visitors to the region in October and educates consumers about apples.