New York Farm Bureau members wrapped up their 61st State Annual Meeting Wednesday, December 6 with an evening banquet full of awards, state dignitaries and an evening of celebration marking another successful gathering.
New York Farm Bureau handed out the Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award to two worthy individuals whose leadership has made a positive impact on New York Farm Bureau and agriculture in this state. The awardees were Jim Trezise, retired president of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation and member of Yates County Farm Bureau, and Joe Giroux of Plattsburgh, N.Y., a dairy farmer, member of Clinton County Farm Bureau and former New York Farm Bureau State Director.
New York Farm Bureau announced that two members received the James Quinn Award that recognizes extraordinary efforts by individual Farm Bureau members during the course of a given year “to serve and strengthen agriculture.” The honorees are Jay Douglas from Franklin County Farm Bureau for his leadership and tireless work signing up 50 new members and Christina Hudson of Onondaga County Farm Bureau for her creative promotion and education efforts in her county.
The New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets, Richard Ball, joined more than 300 members at the event. Senator Pamela Helming and Assembly Members Bill Magee and Carrie Woerner also attended along with Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Markets Pat Hooker.
In addition, delegates re-elected district representatives to the State Board of Directors. Those elected are Richard Kimball of Chautauqua County in District 1, John Sorbello of Wayne County in District 3, Paul Fouts of Cortland County in District 5, Tony LaPierre of Clinton County in District 7, Darin Hickling of Otsego County in District 9 and Robert Nolan of Long Island in District 11. Kristen Brown of Orange County was also re-elected as the Young Farmers and Ranchers Chair on the State Board and Phyllis Couture of Cattaraugus County was re-elected as the Promotion and Education Chairperson on the State Board.
State Annual Meeting also serves as an important fundraising opportunity for the New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education. This year, through both a silent and a live auction, members raised nearly $10,000 to support the Foundation’s efforts to inform and educate all New Yorkers regarding agriculture and to increase understanding of agriculture between the farm and non-farm public.
This concluded the annual two-day long meeting where public policy resolutions were discussed and voted on to set NYFB’s 2018 public policy agenda. The organization’s priorities will be released in January.