David J. Valesky's Blog

FFA Visitors, CNY Boat Show, Free Outdoor Adventure License Plates, Tree and Shrub Sale

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Several Future Farmers of America groups stopped by my Albany office this week to discuss the importance of this program and how it benefits the students who participate. I was pleased to spend time with young people from my district who are thinking about going into agriculture as a profession. 

Warmer Weather is Coming - Visit the Boat Show

The CNY Boat Show is going on now at the Fairgrounds in three buildings: the Center of Progress, the Horticulture Building, and the Exhibit Center. More than 500 new boats and personal watercraft are on display and for sale. Safety lessons are also offered.

The show runs until 9 p.m. Friday10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.  Admission is $10 per person, with children 13 and under admitted free. For more information, visit the show's website.

Tree and Shrub Seedlings on Sale

The Madison County Conservation District is selling 27 varieties of trees and shrubs along with fruit trees, strawberries, ground cover, and variety packs. All of these trees and shrubs are bare root, not balled and sold in bundles of 10 or more. To order, visit www.madcoswcd.com for an order form or call 824-9849 ext. 3.

Buy a Lifetime Hunting, Fishing, or Park License, Get an Outdoor Adventure License Plate Free

New Yorkers who purchase lifetime licenses to fish, hunt, or visit New York State Parks have the opportunity to receive New York's Outdoor Adventure License Plates, which feature nine new plate designs including the I [love] NY HUNTING, I [love] NY FISHING, and I [love] NY PARKS license plates.

In addition, New York residents who buy lifetime licenses can get an Adventure License, which allows them the option of consolidating their paper licenses onto one document, their New York State driver's license. To purchase a lifetime pass or to learn more about these offers, visit the state website

Become an Empire State Fellow

Applications are being accepted to the Empire State Fellow program, which attracts talented people from New York and around the country to serve in high-level positions in the administration. Candidates selected as Empire Fellows will be appointed to positions in the Executive Branch that match their skills and experience, and will work closely with senior administration officials to create policy solutions to the complex challenges confronting our state. Empire Fellows will also engage in educational and professional development programming that prepares them to serve as effective and ethical government leaders.

To apply to be an Empire State Fellow, candidates must email a cover letter, resume, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation to fellows@exec.ny.gov by Friday, April 4, 2014. For more information on the program and the application process, visit the Empire State Fellows website

Food Policy Council Hosts Listening Event at Fairgrounds

The New York State Council on Food Policy will host a listening event on Wednesday, February 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Demo Kitchen in the Art and Home Center at the New York State Fairgrounds. The Council works to advise policymakers on the values of safe, fresh, nutritious and affordable food for all New Yorkers.

The title of the event is "Farm, Food and Policy: Getting it Right in New York State." Those wishing to attend and present comments must RSVP no later than February 23 by calling the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets at (518) 457-1721 or emailing nyscfp@agriculture.ny.gov.