Alfred State College is honored to be included as one of the colleges participating in US Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's "New York Farm Day" to be held in Washington, DC, in late September.
Scheduled to take place in the elegant Senate Russell Caucus Room at the crest of Capitol Hill, New York Farm Day will host dozens of senators, the New York Congressional delegation from the House of Representatives, members of the Committees on Agriculture, legislative chiefs of staff, agricultural specialists in Congress and the Administration, members of the Washington media, top area restaurants, and fine wine shops.
In the past six years, New York Farm Day has become one of the most popular events on Capitol Hill, with attendance this year expected to top 700 people.
New York's award-winning wines, farm-fresh products, sensational seafood, and fine restaurants will tastefully show Congress, the Administration, and others that New York is a major agricultural state, and that agriculture is a major part of the state's economy.
"Farm Day is a unique and important opportunity for us to showcase the best of what New York's farmers and producers have to offer. Every year we bring New York to Washington, DC, and I am thrilled that this has become such an anticipated event on the Congressional calendar. New York's farmers and producers are some of the best in the world and this is a great opportunity to spread the word even further about the quality of our produce. New York's educational and research institutions are also world-class, and I am delighted that they will be displaying leading-edge processes for producing great food and energy" Senator Clinton said.
Cornell University, a participant in past years, will offer a newly formulated fruit beverage fortified with protein from skim milk, and will invite participants to suggest names for the new drink.
A new participant is the State University of New York, with 64 campuses statewide, which will present five this year: Alfred State College, SUNY Cobleskill, Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Monroe County Community College (MCC), and Morrisville State College.
Alfred State will feature a table-top hydroponic production unit growing lettuce, and hand out organic watermelon, sunflower, and cucumber seeds for planting.
Cobleskill will offer a SUNY Cobleskill-raised brown trout on SUNY Cobleskill-raised hydroponic greens with Meadowbrook Farms-produced buttermilk vinaigrette served on Schoharie Valley Farms-raised pink radish and cucumber slices. The fish, marinated in Bear Pond Winery Chardonnay, and the vinaigrette will be prepared and served by students in SUNY Cobleskill's Culinary Arts Program.
ESF will display shrub willow as an excellent alternative farm crop for the production of bioenergy and biofuels in the Northeast and Midwest, reducing the dependence on fossil fuels, and will give willow cuttings (complete with instructions) to participants.
MCC will show a continuous power point presentation, "Learn a Growing Profession," designed to raise awareness about and support of local agriculture, promoting a more sustainable community by keeping food dollars at home and finding the very best in food quality.
Morrisville will offer an array of locally produced products from Nelson Farms, an entrepreneurial agri-business created to assist local specialty food processors, farmers, growers, and producers in getting their products to the market place.
The event is organized according to the State's major wine-producing regions-Long Island, the Hudson Valley, the Finger Lakes, the Niagara Escarpment, and Lake Erie (Chautauqua)-as well as North Country. Each region will have a "Farm Table," showcasing local agricultural products; a "Restaurant Table," featuring a special recipe created from those products; and a "Wine Table," offering award-winning wines to match the foods.
Though few farmers can attend since they'll be in the middle of the fall harvest, they generously contribute their products for this event.
Farming is vital to New York's economy. About 25% of the state's land area, or 7,500,000 acres, is covered by 35,000 farms. New York is among America's major agricultural states, ranking #2 in apples and maple syrup, #3 in dairy, grapes, wine, and corn silage, #4 in pears, and #5 in floriculture. The wine, grape, and grape juice industry alone contributes over $3.4 billion annually to the state's economy, and is the fastest growing industry in the agriculture and tourism sectors.
New York Farm Day is sponsored by Constellation Brands, Farm Credit of Western New York, First Pioneer Farm Credit, Long Island Farm Bureau, MasterCraft Glassware, New York Apple Association, New York Farm Bureau, New York State Restaurant Association, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, Pride of New York (NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets), and Yankee Farm Credit. The event is organized by the New York Wine & Grape Foundation in conjunction with numerous other organizations and individuals who have contributed their time, products, and services for the good of New York.