Ag Tour for Legislators underlines ebb and flow of ag industry

CHENANGO COUNTY – Local and state legislators received a glimpse of the highs and lows of Chenango’s farming industry on Tuesday during the fourth annual Chenango County Agriculture Tour.

Each year, the Chenango Ag Tour highlights local businesses specializing in agriculture and offers local and state policy makers the chance to network with farmers, growers and each other to help what is still the county’s leading industry.

Nearly 50 representatives attended this year, along with local planning officials, agriculture advocates and area high school students of the Future Farmers of America. Other notable attendees this year included Michael Benedetto, representative for New York’s 82nd Assembly District (Bronx); and Richard Ball, New York State Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets.

“For me, this is an opportunity to be within the community and see the community,” said Ball. “We have a number of initiatives the (Ag and Markets) department are working on in Albany, so it’s important for us to have a pulse and see what’s happening here.”

Ball added his experience in Chenango will help push efforts among legislators at the state capitol. “First and foremost, the Department of Agriculture and Markets isn’t just the deliverer of information; it’s also the voice of the ag community,” he said. “This is where agriculture meets the world. What we really want is for the ag community to know that we are here for them.”

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