CHENANGO COUNTY – The Chenango County Farm Bureau held its 62nd annual meeting on Tuesday to discuss new policies, elect and reelect directors and officers, and hand out awards.
Each year, the New York Farm Bureau (NYFB) recognizes various Bureaus for attaining outstanding achievements by involving leaders and members in programs that serve agriculture. This year, at the NYFB State Annual Meeting in Albany, the President presented the Chenango County Farm Bureau with all seven Silver Keys, awarded for meeting specific criteria in various program areas. The CCFB was also awarded the Gold Key award as well as the Presidential Leadership Award. The Bureau received a monetary prize for winning the keys.
The Chenango County Farm Bureau was also presented with the traveling NYFB membership trophy and monetary prize, awarded when membership goals set by the state are met.
"I would like to thank our board of directors, and part of what has made us such a success is that I don't have a board of directors of negatives. If there's any question on things we want to move forward, its always how can we do it better," said President of the Chenango County Farm Bureau Bradd Vickers in his opening remarks.
One large topic of conversation was Governor Andrew Cuomo signing the Inherent Risk Reform Bill for agri-tourism and equine businesses on the night before the meeting. According to the NYFB press release, before the bill was passed, New York’s litigious environment had diminished the number of insurance carriers willing to cover businesses, while dramatically increasing the cost of liability coverage. Many farmers have had to turn down opportunities to invite the public onto their farm because they could not find or afford the liability insurance needed to have things like horseback riding, u-pick Christmas trees and fruit orchards, along with tours of wineries and maple operations.
Speaking to those in attendance of the meeting, Field Area Supervisor for Chenango County Lindsay Wickham said, "I've been here for 18 years and its been a huge issue since I started, this was a huge, huge win for us."