Senator Ritchie Names Ag Leaders Advisory Panel

Patty Ritchie

September 30, 2011

12 Leaders to Offer Views to Senate Ag Chair

State Senator Patty Ritchie has named a dozen leaders in the agribusiness field from across Central and Northern New York to her newly formed Agricultural Advisory Council.

“As the chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee, I believe it’s critical to harness our family farms as part of New York State’s overall economic development program to create new jobs and expand businesses,” Senator Ritchie said.

“My advisory panel will help the Senate Agriculture Committee identify issues by bringing some of our region's best and brightest leaders from a variety of agricultural backgrounds together to offer their insight and real world experience.”

“I am hoping that people who own large, as well as small farms, and those who work full and part-time in the agribusiness industry will offer their suggestions to the members of my advisory council,” Senator Ritchie said.

“By capitalizing on the use of our abundant natural resources—sun, rain and open space—Central and Northern New York can produce the raw materials to help the Empire State reawaken its manufacturing base and produce the kind of high paying jobs we need.”

“Our cheese, yogurt, ice cream, wineries, meatpacking and other food processing plants have traditionally played a vital role in creating industrial jobs,” Senator Ritchie said. “And we can grow our manufacturing base by focusing more attention on family farms.”

Members of Senator Ritchie’s Agriculture Advisory Council include:

Mark Akins - St. Lawrence County Legislator, dairy farmer 

Eric Behling - New York Farm Bureau Board of Directors, Oswego, apple grower

Faye Beckwith - Oswego, Christmas tree grower

Jon Greenwood - St. Lawrence Farm Bureau President, dairy farmer

Allan and Mary Kelly - St. Lawrence County, dairy farmers

Jay Matteson - Jefferson County Agricultural Coordinator

Keith Pierce - St. Lawrence County, dairy farmer

Phil Randazzo, Alexandria Bay, owner, Coyote Moon Winery

Ron Robbins - Jefferson County, dairy farmer

Nancy Weber - Oswego County Farm Bureau President, dairy farmer

Terry Wilbur - Oswego County Legislator, vegetable and hay farmer

As one of the state’s leaders in agriculture, Senator Ritchie recently began a series of regional agricultural forums to give New Yorkers from across the state an opportunity to offer their suggestions as she develops her agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

The first forum was held in Jefferson County. The next session will be held Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. in  Geneseo, and Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. in Riverhead.