(Albany, NY)- Senate President Malcolm A. Smith attended the Great New York State Fair in Onondaga County today where he spoke at a special ceremony honoring Korean War veterans. The senator also hosted a luncheon with dozens of local leaders, community advocates and residents, where he spoke about the Senate’s efforts to build economic bridges between rural and urban communities, as well as Upstate and Downstate.
Highlighted in the senator’s remarks was the Senate’s work helping farmers open up their markets to inner city schools—which is, as he says, a “win-win for everyone: our producers and growers have more consumers, our families have access to fresher and more affordable local goods, all while combating childhood obesity.”
“It was a priority for me, in our first year as the Democratic Majority to visit the state fair and support our agricultural community,” President Smith said. “Many people don’t realize how big of a role that agriculture plays in our economy, and the ways in which farmers and producers are ushering New York into a new era through the development of new energies and innovative economic development models. The State Fair is a great way to honor our state and agriculture industry.”
The New York State Fair began as a traveling fair in the early 1840’s and then settled in Syracuse in 1890. It is one of the largest fairs in the country and attracts over 1 million visitors a year. The fair is held for 12 days and features livestock competitions, agricultural shows, local foods, as well as some of the world’s best known entertainers.
Senator David J. Valesky (D-Syracuse) said, “The New York State Fair provides a great opportunity for families from across the state to have fun, sample New York-grown foods, and learn about the state and its rich agricultural roots. With nearly a million visitors through the gate each year, the Fair has a substantial economic impact in Central New York.”
Senator Darrel J. Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture and the Senate Energy and Telecommunications committees said, “For the past 163 years now, the New York State Fair has served as a celebration of the best in New York State agriculture, with prize winning fruits, vegetables, livestock, maple products, honey, wine and more on display for all to see what our farmers produce every day. This fair and county fairs throughout the state showcase the multi-billion dollar impact that agriculture has on our economy, all while mixing in entertainment, games and food along the midway. It’s important we take the time to recognize all that our farmers do to put food on our plates, support jobs in our communities, and enhance our quality of life.”