Seward Joins SUNY Cobleskill Celebration For New Ag Center

James L. Seward

August 04, 2009

COBLESKILL, 08/04/09 -- Armed with the traditional golden shovel and hard hats, SUNY Chancellor Dr. Nancy L. Zimpher, New York State Senator James Seward, Assemblyman Peter Lopez and college officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the $41.7M Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources on Tuesday, August 4 at SUNY Cobleskill.

The new LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, building will support structures that house the existing fish hatchery, greenhouses, meat harvesting laboratory, livestock building and expand instructional space for these programs. The replacement of the outdated buildings will support cutting edge initiatives in agriculture and natural resources programming at SUNY Cobleskill. As a leader in the fields of agriculture and environmental studies, SUNY Cobleskill's addition of the Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources will be a valuable asset to the college and community alike.

SUNY Cobleskill's overall capital improvement portfolio includes $100 million to address the five-year facilities master plan and critical maintenance needs at the college. Made possible with the support of Gov. David Paterson, New York State Senator James L. Seward (R.C, I - Oneonta) and Assemblyman Peter Lopez (R, C, I-Schoharie) during the 2008-09 New York State budget cycle, the Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources will provide students with new and exciting opportunities for hands-on learning.

"I am honored and proud to serve as SUNY's 12th Chancellor. Working in collaboration with our students, faculty, presidents, alumni, benefactors, administrators, and private- and public-sector partners, we are leveraging our strengths and tackling our challenges to make SUNY a model for the nation and the world," said Zimpher in her official Chancellor's Message on SUNY Central's Web site.

SUNY Cobleskill was the 41st stop on Chancellor Zimpher's tour of all 64 SUNY campuses. In the next week, she will visit Columbia-Greene Community College and Ulster County Community College, among others

"At SUNY Cobleskill our guiding educational principle is real life: real learning. This emphasis on experiential education across similarly related disciplines will be embodied in this unusual facility," notes SUNY Cobleskill President, Donald P. Zingale, PhD.

"Updating our campuses with innovative equipment is essential in attracting high quality students and providing them with the very best education," said Senator Seward.  "SUNY Cobleskill has a rich tradition of offering unique degree programs and turning out highly sought after graduates.  I am certain the new Agriculture and Natural Resources building will further strengthen the college's potential and help students succeed and pursue the careers of their choice right here in upstate New York."

"Investment in agriculture and a focus on natural sciences are key to strengthening our economy. Critical attention to agriculture technologies and renewable energy resources will enable our region and state to become increasingly self sufficient and place us in a position to become more competitive in a global economy. I am pleased to be a partner in moving this project forward." said Assemblyman Peter Lopez.

"SUNY is very grateful to Governor Paterson, the State Legislature, especially Senator Seward and Assemblyman Lopez, for providing the time and resources to enable the university to engage in multi-year capital construction planning and programming," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "Long-term planning makes economic and academic sense. With the addition of a new Agriculture and Natural Resources building, the college will be able to expand its education of a stronger workforce, helping area businesses grow and attracting new companies to New York."