Patty Ritchie

May 10, 2011

Last week, I had the opportunity to tour the Linde North America's new carbon dioxide plant in Fulton, N.Y.

Linde North America is employing innovative technology to harness the CO2 produced at SUNOCO's nearby ethanol plant by purifying, liquifying and distributing what others once considered a waste product for beverage, food and chemical companies across the Northeast.

As the chair of the Senate's Agriculture Committee, it's fascinating for me to see how the 41 million bushels of corn grown across New York State and other northeastern farms that's used at Oswego County's ethanol plant is being used to produce other products and create new jobs.

Too many people underestimate how vital New York State's 36,000 farms are to our efforts to revitalize upstate's economy. Only by capitalizing on what New York's family farmers are growing and producing can we hope to redevelop our manufacturing industry to provide the kind of high paying jobs that are vital to helping us to reverse the double digit unemployment rates that have left so many families and communities struggling.

After visiting the Linde plant, Assemblyman Will Barclay and I met with state officials to discuss efforts to attract new businesses to Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties.

I believe that our efforts in the legislature to reduce state spending and pass an on-time budget with no new taxes or fiscal gimmicks will help us to begin the process of reversing New York State's image as the worst place in the nation to do business.

That was why I worked so hard to restore the vital agricultural research funds that helps farmers, scientists and businesses to develop new innovative products to allow New York State to compete.

It's also the reason why I'll be speaking at Clarkson University's upcoming Technology Symposium on May 25th to talk about how Central and Northern New York's businesses need to stay abreast of the latest technological advances.

Everyday our businesses face competitors from across the nation and around the world. As your state senator, I am committed to helping them, not just to survive, but to grow and prosper so New York can regain its rightful place as a leader in our nation and in the global marketplace.