Yesterday, New York Lt. Governor Robert Duffy and Ag Commissioner Darrel Aubertine praised farmers and agricultural groups during the 2012 Ag Leadership Luncheon at Empire Farm Days at Seneca Falls, N.Y.
"We appreciate all that you do, and we fully recognize the huge economic impact of agriculture on the state of New York," said Duffy. "I'll never forget the dairy farmer that got up at a meeting and said, 'We spend billions in this state, while others may take their business elsewhere.'"
Duffy also thanked the Lott family and the Empire State Potato Growers for opening the farm to the technology showcase, and for all their hard work for the benefit of agriculture.
The Lieutenant Governor acknowledged that regulations place a substantial burden on agriculture. "I want to know your concerns," he added. "I can't promise we can solve all of them. But we'll try."
The luncheon, sponsored by American Agriculturist magazine, was the 19th annual event recognizing farm families for exemplary environmental stewardship. This year's New York State Ag Environmental Management Award went to Patterson Farms of Auburn, N.Y.
In presenting the award, state Ag Commissioner Aubertine noted that the sixth generation family was well worthy of the statewide award for environmentally sound farming practices. "Connie, John and Julie demonstrate that good stewardship of the land can help cut costs and improve efficiency."
"I congratulate the Patterson family on this tremendous achievement," said Aubertine. "Since 1832, the Patterson farm has been a mainstay in Cayuga County.
"From generation to generation, their family has grown, and their farm has persevered. Today, it's a thriving dairy farm using cutting edge technology to increase profits and protect the environment."
Governor Cuomo recently announced $10.6 million in grants to help 159 farms in 27 counties protect New York's lakes, streams and rivers from agricultural runoff. Cayuga County's Soil and Water Conservation District received $601,481 under this grant program.