New York State Agricultural Society Annual Meeting and Forum to Take Place January 12, 2023


New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged members of the agricultural community to join the 191st Annual Meeting and Agricultural Forum, hosted by the New York State Agricultural Society on Thursday, January 12, 2023 at the Syracuse OnCenter. The Forum offers an opportunity for farmers and other key stakeholders to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the food system and natural resource industries. Commissioner Ball will also deliver the 2023 State of Agriculture Address and provide an update on New York State’s ongoing efforts to support New York farmers and agricultural businesses.

Commissioner Ball said, “From navigating pandemic-related food supply disruptions to combatting extreme weather events, the last couple of years have been incredibly challenging for the agricultural community. I am grateful for the opportunity to gather once again at the annual Agricultural Society Meeting and Forum with partners from across the state to discuss the ways we can best prepare our industry for the future. At the 2023 Forum, we will be discussing the positive and innovative ways the agricultural industry has developed in response to multiple disruptions. I thank the New York State Agricultural Society for making this upcoming year’s meeting and Forum possible and look forward to these important discussions in policy areas that are a priority for the State.”

Mark Modzeleski, President of the NYS Agricultural Society, said, “We all know that change is inevitable. New York agribusinesses will need to continue to adapt, as they have for decades, to produce safe, sustainable products. Rapid change brought on by monumental events, new technology, and ever-changing markets, are pushing our stakeholders to new limits. This redirection continues to stress and challenge the functionality of the ag and food system. At the 2023 Forum, we will showcase positive opportunities for future growth in our industry and spotlight agribusinesses that are retooling or pivoting to ensure their continued viability and vitality. Now in our 191st year, the Forum continues to be an ideal venue for decision-makers to connect, share and discuss priority issues.

2023 Agricultural Society Forum Program

The 2023 Agricultural Society Forum includes a full day of panels and guest speakers, which will be capped off with Commissioner Ball’s State of Agriculture Address. The theme for the upcoming year’s forum is “Disruption Eruption.” Keynote speakers and panelists will outline opportunities brought on by global, national and regional market disrupters like climate change, technological innovation, labor shortages, and the pandemic, which are reshaping agriculture in New York State.

First, Dr. Chris Barrett and Monica Massey will kick off the Forum’s Morning Keynote session. Dr. Chris Barrett is an agricultural and development economist at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. He will speak to global developments that are impacting the movement of agricultural products and food security.  As Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff and Chief Innovation Officer for Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), Monica will address disruption impacting the U.S. dairy industry, from stressed milk markets to increased competition in the dairy case. During lunch, Chief Financial Officer Christopher Cappetta of Harris Seeds-Garden Trends will discuss how market disruption has impacted his company’s diversification into complementary businesses and digital outreach.

The afternoon session panel, moderated by Tom Cosgrove, Executive VP of Knowledge Exchange, Public Relations and Marketing for Farm Credit East, will focus on market innovation in local beef processing, grain marketing, wine production, and renewable energy.  Panelists include Callan Space from Owasco Meat Company, Michael Howlett from Howlett Farms, Benjamin Stamp from Lakewood Vineyards, and Ray Duerr from Vanguard Renewables.

The Forum will also include exhibits and sampling from Taste NY producers. The initiative, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, creates opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and helps participating farms and companies reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business.

Honorees in Seven Award Categories to be Recognized

Also at the Forum, the New York State Agricultural Society will honor individuals and businesses who have lifted the state’s agricultural and food industry to new heights in the areas of environmental stewardship, leadership development, consumer outreach, farm safety, business development and the production of quality, safe food. Seven agribusinesses will be recognized as century and bicentennial farms.

The Forum will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2023, at the Syracuse OnCenter. Registration for the Forum opens on November 1 and runs through December 21. To register or learn more about the event, visit nysagsociety.org.

About the New York State Agricultural Society

Established in 1832, the mission of the New York State Agricultural Society is to build a robust future for New York’s food, agricultural, and natural resource industries by providing networking and educational opportunities for its strongest advocates, decision-makers, and aspiring leaders. Agriculture is a major economic driver in New York State, generating more than $5 billion worth of annual economic activity statewide and providing a livelihood for residents across all 62 counties. More than 700 members of the New York State Agricultural Society strive to build a better understanding and positive working relationships with neighbors, consumers, and government leaders.

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