Each January, agricultural industry leaders gather in Syracuse at the NYS Agricultural Society Annual Meeting & Forum to discuss pressing issues and recognize peers for outstanding achievement. This historic event, now in its 188th year, drew over 400 attendees in 2020 representing a wide-range of producers, suppliers, regulators, educators and promoters. On the heels of the release of the most recent Ag Census, Julie Suarez, Associate Dean for Government and Community Relations at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University, drilled down into NYS statistics discussing trends including the 60 percent rise in the number of young farmers and how NYS production continues to diversify and grow. Industry trade groups representing livestock, grains, vegetables, and dairy weighed in on major themes experienced in state and across the nation. The annual Forum is sponsored by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, NYS Agricultural Society Foundation and CALS.
The Society welcomed two special guests at the 2020 Forum:
- Greg and Kendal Peterson of Assaria, KS—two-thirds of the Peterson Farm Brothers of social media fame—presented to attendees at lunch. They performed a selection of their 13 musical parodies promoting agriculture and how their highly successful advocacy effort was launched.
- Commissioner Richard Ball of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets brought the Forum to a climax with his annual state-of-the-state message.