Technology is 2018 Forum Theme

Nine billion people are expected to inhabit our planet in just over three decades. With the number of agricultural producers continuing to decrease across the globe, new technological advances are regularly introduced to keep food safer, more nutritious, desirable, and in sufficient quantities all without detriment to natural resources. As we move forward, the balance between good, better and best return is delicate and often perceived differently depending on what side of the farm gate you reside. Mark your calendar for the 2018 New York State Agricultural Society Annual Meeting & Forum scheduled for Thursday, January 4th. Our theme is “Harnessing the Power of Agricultural Technology” and attendance is expected to swell past 500 attendees. Delivering timely topics led by professionals getting their hands dirty in the field, lab and government is our annual goal that committee volunteers take seriously. Each minute of the Forum is scrutinized: exhibit space, menu items, and award honorees in hopes of “pushing the envelope” and providing attendees with a unique educational experience.

Our keynote speakers:

Gregg Halverson is President and Chairman of the Board of Black Gold Farms, headquartered in Grand Forks, ND.  This fourth-generation family business is renowned as a leader in potato production, handling and service. While growing over 25,000 acres of potatoes with locations in 12 states, Halverson and the Black Gold team is currently the largest producer and handler of fresh potatoes for the potato chip supply chain in the world. Additionally, Black Gold Farms currently processes and packs both Irish and sweet potato tablestock potatoes in three, year-round potato packing facilities along with two seasonal potato packing plants.

Dr. Nick Dokoozlian is Vice President, Viticulture, Chemistry and Enology at E&J Gallo Winery in Modesto, CA, Research Chair for the National Grape and Wine Initiative, and an Associate Editor of the American Journal of Viticulture and Enology. Dokoozlian has been working with IBM to develop a new irrigation system to grow grapes using less water.  Utilizing IBM’s Watson Super Computer, the project’s goal is to deliver data that farmers across the globe can utilize. Prior to joining E&J Gallo, Dokoozlian was a member of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis, where his research focused on the effects of cultural practices and environmental factors on grape and wine composition.

Sharing the stage with our keynoters to distill down their message and provide a local perspective on technology challenges are:

    • Craig Yunker, CY Farms, Batavia Turf, CY Heifer Farm
    • Christine Smart, School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University
    • Dale Hemminger, Hemdale Farms & Greenhouses
    • Rich Wildman, Agrinetix, LLC
    • Jim Livengood, Radicle Farm Company


Thank You to Our Forum Teams


  • Peter Pamkowski, Chair
  • Patti Dugan
  • Jeannette Kreher
  • Pat Peck
  • Ehle Shachter
  • Barb Hanselman


  • Judi Whittaker, Chair
  • Ehle Shachter
  • Sandie Prokop
  • Beth Claypoole
  • Christopher Noble
  • Larry VanDeValk
  • Dick Peterson
  • Craig Yunker
  • Elizabeth Henderson
  • Tim Veazey
  • Peter Pamkowski