Saturday, April 30, 2016

Friday, April 29, 2016

Dairy Webinar May 9 on Milk Pricing Situation



Farm Credit East, the leading lender to the Northeast dairy industry, will host a webinar to discuss 2015 Northeast dairy farm results and the current dairy situation. 

Dairy farmers and other interested parties are invited to participate in this free webinar at 11 a.m., Monday, May 9.

2015 was a challenging year for Northeast dairy producers. Milk prices fell dramatically from 2014 levels and it is not clear when there will be a price recovery. 

This webinar will review the results of the 2015 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary and the current financial situation facing dairy farmers in the region.


Register at this link to attend the webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4643153315896747777

Got an Ag Problem? Call the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station

Sarah Hulick, a grad student in horticulture at Cornell, studies pumpkin plants with Steve Reiners.
From Empire Farm & Dairy magazine:

By DEBRA J. GROOM
Empire Farm & Dairy

 

When there are problems in the world of agriculture, there is only one place to go for help.
 

The New York State Agricultural Experiment Station is filled with scientists, researchers and professors who work for years to solve some of the most daunting problems faced by farmers and food processors. 
 

How about a pesky fruit fly from Asia that devastates berry crops?
 

What do you do with a nasty bug that transmits a virus to snap beans?
 

Just how do you grow organic beets?
 

How do you get fruits and vegetables pollinated when the honeybee population is waning?
 

“Everyone who works here has a passion for this place,” said Susan Brown, a long-time apple breeding scientist at the station and now its director. “There are many sites that do agricultural research, but what’s unique about the station is we crave and excel at interdisciplinary research.”
 

Those at the station prove this time and time again.
 

When there’s a problem to be solved, it doesn’t go to just one scientist. Usually a whole team with varying expertise will work on the issue.
 

For example, in 2001, when Steve Reiners, a vegetable expert, began looking at the devastation brought to snap beans by the cucumber mosaic virus, a group of horticulturists, entomologists, plant pathologists and plant breeders jumped in to work on the problem.
 

“Working together, we found the soybean aphid (an insect pest) was transmitting the virus,” he said. “There were questions we didn’t have answers to,” he said, so everyone put their heads together to find out how to help New York’s snap bean farmers.
 

Thomas Bjorkman, center, with buckwheat grown as a cover crop.
He said one of the short-term solutions was to control the soybean aphid with sprays. But since many farmers like to stay away from chemicals as much as possible, the scientists also looked at varieties of snap beans that may be resistant to the virus.
 

“My colleague Brian Nault was looking at patterns with the soybean aphid and found that they were picking up the virus in alfalfa fields. So then we were able to look at the varieties with greatest resistance to the virus,” Reiners said.
 

From there, the scientists found a snap bean variety called Huntington that had great yields when planted in New York and also had good resistance to the virus.
 

But farmers needed a long-term solution to the problem too. So the scientists began working on coming up with new varieties of snap beans that would be even more resistant to the soybean aphid and the virus.
 

“We used everybody’s expertise to solve it for the short term and long term,” Reiners said.
 

There’s never enough time
 

Sometimes, time is of the essence, like in the snap bean problem.
 

Farmers are having a problem right now and can’t wait years for a solution. (Sometimes research and testing for new varieties can take from five to 10 years).
 

But other times, there’s a problem that needs to be worked out slowly and steadily. Such is that with weeds and soil quality in vegetables.
 

Ag station scientist Thomas Björkman focuses part of his research on cover crops for vegetables. Björkman, who has been at the experiment station for more than 20 years, said cover crops are important because they can help improve soil quality and eliminate weeds.
 

“When herbicide development went way down, we had to have multiple approaches for controlling weeds,” he said.
 

Björkman began by looking at crops that are harvested in July, such as spring greens, spinach, peas or early green beans. The farmers wanted something they could do to their fields to keep them free of weeds and healthy so they could use those same fields in the fall to plant something else.
 

“So we thought about using buckwheat as an alternative,” he said. “It’s one of these things we know in principle that it works, but we had to put in the effort to know exactly how to do it.”
 

He said he looked at ground preparation and what is needed to make the buckwheat grow and keep out the weeds. Farmers throughout the state (especially in Western New York and the Hudson Valley) began using it about 10 years ago and it is working well. 

A Cornell University website post by Björkman states “classic uses include: ground cover after early vegetables, cover before planting strawberry beds, and bringing idle land into production.”
 

“When it turns white, the farmers mow it and prepare for fall planting,” he said. The buckwheat can be harvested or it can be put back into the soil as a grain manure — its complex carbohydrates from the roots help hold together soil aggregates and build the condition of tilled soil.
 

Way too much waste
 

There are times when farmers have problems not with growing their vegetables or fruits, but figuring out what to do with leftover waste.
 

A butternut squash farmer in Western New York sold his squash cut and prepared in bags at area grocery stores. His problem was what to do with all the leftover guts — the seeds and insides of the squash not used after processing.
 

Ag Experiment Station scientists at the Food Venture Center put the farmer in touch with Gregory Woodworth, who ran a cookie company and was looking for a healthier oil for his cookies.
 

Station director Brown said the parties worked together and came up with butternut squash seed oil that Woodworth now sells through his Stony Brook WholeHearted Foods company based in Geneva. The oil debuted in 2008 and sells in individual bottles or by the case.
 

According to the company’s website, the oil is high in unsaturated fat, particularly unrefined omega 6 fatty acid (linoleic acid) and a moderate amount of monounsaturated fat (oleic acid). The oil also has high amount of vitamins A and E, which is quite different from other oils.
 

Good broccoli grown in NY
George H.W. Bush
wouldn’t be happy

 

Broccoli is a cool-weather crop that grows best in areas that have moderate temperatures that stay about the same all the time.
 

Björkman said a lot of the broccoli in the country is grown in the Salinas, Calif. area, which is near the Pacific Ocean and maintains highs in the low 70s and lows in the 50s and 40s.
 

This is why broccoli does not grow well in New York state. Björkman said the plant — a member of the cabbage family — does not tolerate the high highs (can you say 90s) we can see in New York.
 

“It’s just too warm for the buds to develop,” Björkman said. “So we had to find out what it takes genetically to grow broccoli and now are breeding broccoli hybrids that are successful.”
 

The trials have been so promising that seed companies are investing “in the promise of Eastern broccoli.” 

This will be a boon for the area because of the Buy Local campaigns and people wanting to buy fresh food grown locally, instead of getting broccoli that has been shipped all the way from California.
 

“Our Eastern broccoli has a milder flavor, but it has the freshness and is locally grown,” Björkman said. To date, growers with Eden Valley Growers in Erie County and Upstate New York Growers and Packers Co-op in Oneida County are selling the broccoli as is Wegman stores.
 

But there is more work to be done on the broccoli.
 

“We are not done with the broccoli yet,” Björkman said. “While we have greatly imporved gybrids in the breeding programs, they still need to be commericialized. The companies are fully on board to do that, but it is a time consuming process. There’s probably five years of more work to be done.”
 

Björkman also said hybrids that work in the spring also need to be developed and more market development needs to be done. He hopes the “food hub trend is a solution to that problem, and we are using that model with broccoli as a high-volume part of what a food hub might offer.”
 

Fly, fly away, fly
 

Berry farmers were having a horrible time beginning in 2012 when the spotted wing drosophila (a type of fruit fly) made its way to New York state from Asia and California. This pest is unlike other fruit flies that normally lay eggs in rotting fruit — it lays its eggs in fresh fruit.
 

Reiners said farmers needed a way to keep the fly out of the berry fields — mostly blueberries and raspberries. First they urned to netting which covers susceptible fruit and keeps the fly out.
 

Gregory Loeb, a professor of entomology at the ag station, tried some of the netting at a blueberry farm in Stephentown, Rensselaer County, that was “pretty successful.” The problem was the farmer had an upfront cost for the netting and had to have supports for the netting.
 

While the netting is being used, Loeb said he and other scientists are looking for other ways to control the fly.
 

“Can we understand the chemical cues to find out where the (fly) accepts or rejects to lay its eggs,” Loeb said. “If we can do this, we can manipulate the behavior of the insect.”
 

He said scientists also are looking at developing “an attractive target” that would pull the fly away from the fruit and then kill it.
 

“It will take us a few years to get this to a management effect, but we’re making progress,” Loeb said.
 

Getting more pumpkins
 

Reiners said ag station scientists have been working with pumpkin growers to try to increase the yields of this popular fall veggie.
 

Some of the ideas they’ve been working on include spacing between pumpkin plants, starting the plants in a greenhouse and then transplanting them, using black plastic on top of the plants and working on a fertility program to increase the number of pumpkins. 
 

Love Beets
 

Scientists at the Ag Experiment Station today are looking at how beets could be grown in New York state organically.
 

Reiners said conventional beets have problems with diseases and weeds, but the scientists are trying to find out how to grow them organically to help a company called Love Beets, which is seeking nearly 2,000 acres of organically grown beets for its beet products and beet juices.
 

There are beet growers in the state, mostly near Batavia, but they grow conventionally. Reiners said if a method to grow beets organically can be found, New York growers could expand their markets and possibly grow more acres by teaming with Love Beets.
 

Food without bees
 

Honeybees have been having problems for more than a decade with various maladies, including Colony Collapse Disorder, in which whole colonies of bees would die off or just leave for no reason. Bee populations have been dying off and some beekeepers have lost large percentages of their colonies.
 

Without the bees, farmers are having difficulties getting their crops pollinated. So, in comes the scientists from the Ag Experiment station who are trying to create a type of zucchini that is seedless and needs no bees for pollination.
 

Also, the station scientists looked into bringing other types of bees to fields for pollination. they planted flowers around fields to attract other types of bees that would come to the flowers and then move among the flowering food crops, pollinating them so they would produce vegetables and fruits.
 

The apples of her eye
 

The two newest apple varieties in New York were developed after 10 years of research by Brown and the breeding program at the experiment station.
 

SnapDragon is characterized by its “monster crunch” and a spicy and sweet flavor. One of its parents is the Honeycrisp. RubyFrost is crisp and blends sweet and tart flavors.
 

Brown calls SnapDragon and the RubyFrost® her babies. The station has developed 66 varieties of apples, including the Empire, Macoun, Jonagold and its first — the Cortland, which turns 101 years old this year.
 

The study of food and drink
 

Christopher Gerling, extension associate in the food science department, says “anything you can think of happens here.”
 

“Here” is the Food Research Building at the Ag Experiment Station. In this building are laboratories that study taste, smell, texture and mouth feel of various foods and beverages.
 


Pam Raes, a technician in the Vinification & Brewing Laboratory, pours wine into the still for distillation into brandy.
Gerling said companies trying to come up with a new food or drink and people who want to see if they can take grandma’s sauce recipe and make it into a commercial success come to the labs to test their products. Station scientists in the viticulture area also will test how new varieties of grapes fare when made into wine or will see what two different types of grapes will make when put together for a wine.
 

They also look for different ways of making wine, beer and distilled spirits. One study took a bunch of all the same type of grape and then “we wanted to see what happens with different yeast or different fermentation,” he said.
 

“First they see if a certain type of grape grows well, but then, they have to see if it makes a good wine,” Gerling said. “We are always breeding to see if they make good wines.”
 

And it certainly isn’t party time when it comes down to testing these wines or beers or spirits.
“It’s not as fun as it sounds,” Gerling said.

 


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New York State Fair Offers Ticket Sale on Cinco de Mayo

Fans of the Great New York State Fair can get less expensive tickets to the fair as fair officials hold the annual Cinco de Mayo sale of a limited number of admission tickets at a special price, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today.
 
The sale takes place on Cinco de Mayo -- the fifth day of the fifth month -- and offers 5,555 tickets for $5. 
 
The sale begins at 5:55 a.m. Tickets are available only online through the fair's official ticket seller, etix.com, at http://www.etix.com/ticket/p/7893989.  
 
The tickets offered during this sale provide a 50 percent discount over the regular $10 admission price and is a dollar less expensive than the price charged during the regular advance sale period that begins in July.

Chobani Founder Gives Big Bonus to Workers

Nice story from NBC News.

Go to https://www.facebook.com/nbcnightlynews/videos/10154224485063689/?fref=nf to check it out.

Dairy Farmer Takes On Temple Grandin

A great read. 

Comments, anyone??

Go to http://www.hoards.com/blog_Temple-Grandin-said-that to see the story.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's National Lima Bean Respect Day!!

Lima beans
Another often maligned vegetable is the lima bean.

Today is National Lima Bean Respect Day, so try to eat some lima beans today. Personally, I love them. They have quite the unique flavor and I'll eat them in anything or just plain.

The National Day Calendar website states "lima beans are a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Lima beans can increase energy levels by helping to restore more iron. 

"Most of us have grown up with the memory of not liking Lima beans as a child and do not give them a second chance as we become adults. They are delicious in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, by themselves or mixed with other vegetables."

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sign Up Now for New York State Fair Competitions

From the New York State Fair:

Online registration has begun for the scores of competitions that take place at the Great New York State Fair, Acting Director Troy Waffner said today.  
 
Last year, more than 4,500 exhibitors submitted more than 22,000 entries to one of 49 competition categories. 
 
"There's something for everyone in our competitions," Waffner said. "Some of these are as old as the fair itself and carry forward our state's proud agricultural heritage. Others are more modern. I encourage everyone to check our list of competitions and take part in them."
 
Most fairgoers are familiar with the fair's animal competitions, from the daily horse shows in the Toyota Coliseum to the judging events involving cattle, goats, swine, poultry, rabbits and more. They are also likely to have seen the flower and table setting competitions in the Horticulture Building, or the talent competition on the fair's west end stage.  
 
There are also the professional competitions for wines, dairy products, and Christmas trees.
 
Less well known are the fair's competitions in culinary arts, amateur winemaking and fine arts. The fair also holds some offbeat competitions, such as the daily rooster crowing contest, the Bucket of Junk competition that challenges contestants to turn a collection of parts into something useful, and the poetry competition, which culminates with a public reading of winning poems.
 
To learn more about fair competitions, or to enter, visit http://nysfair.ny.gov/competitions/how-to-enter.
 
This year's New York State Fair, operated by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from Aug. 25 to Sept. 5, 2016.

It's National Garlic Day

What would a recipe be without garlic?

Today is National Garlic Day. Lots of people in New York state grow garlic either for their own use or for mass production. One such place is Williams' Garlic in Rome, NY.

According to the National Calendar Day website:

"National Garlic Day is celebrated annually April 19. This day is about the awareness of the many uses of garlic, known as nature’s wonder drug.

Garlic is a species in the onion family. Used by humans for over 7,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia and has been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes.  

Garlic is claimed to help prevent heart diseases and certain cancers. It is also thought that it might help to fight off coughs and colds. Some believe garlic will ward off evil spirits."

For more information, go to  http://www.nationalgarlicday.com/)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Workshops On Grazing Begin April 21

SUNY Cobleskill, in collaboration with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is offering a series of four grazing workshops covering vital topics in pasture management, grazing management, animal nutrition, and soil health beginning April 21.

The workshops aim to help local livestock producers — whether small-scale mixed herd farmer, dairy manager, or beef herd owner — learn more about rotational grazing opportunities. The workshops are free and open to the public. 

Two will be evening sessions and two will be daylong events with a field component.

The first workshop will feature a lecture by Dave Roberts, state grasslands specialist for New York with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Roberts leads the agency at the state level in planning and implementing pasture management practices through improving forage quality and production, increasing livestock performance and soil health while keeping farms sustainable and protecting our resources and environment. 

He is part of regional and national teams to improve grazing practices around the country on both pastureland and rangelands. He also travels overseas on volunteer assignments with nonprofit agencies.

The workshops are funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The first workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. April 21 at SUNY Cobleskill’s Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Room 110.

SUNY Cobleskill is also developing rotational grazing demonstration plots to serve as models for those who want to adopt the practice on their own farms. The grazing systems will include cows, horses, sheep and goats, and will be developed with the aid of SUNY Cobleskill students. 

In addition to serving as models for farmers, the plots will provide students with hands-on experience in pasture-based animal production. Students will also help farmers develop their own rotational grazing plans.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New York Primary Coverage Direct from New York Cider Mill

Here's some breaking news from the New York Apple Association:

"We generally stay out of politics because we don't like sour apples, but we had to report on this: New York state's upcoming presidential primary is in the news, and now so is one of our industry members! 

"MSNBC will broadcast live nationally this Thursday and Friday from http://www.flycreekcidermill.com/ Fly Creek Cider Mill near Cooperstown in Otsego County. 

"We hope everyone who stops by to exercise their civic right of free speech and civic duty to vote also samples the wares from New York state. Cheers!"

Go to http://cnynews.com/breaking-news-nbc-to-cover-nys-primary-live-from-fly-creek-cider-mill/ to read more about it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Reservations Being Taken Now for Camping at the NYS Fair

From the New York State Fair:



Empire RV Park on the state fairgrounds is now accepting camping reservations for the full 12 days of the fair.

Empire RV Park lies within the New York State Fairgrounds, home of the nation’s first and oldest state fair and host of about 150 public events each year. 

The Empire RV Park will be available during the Fair to those renting a space for the term of the 12-day Fair. The Great New York State Fair runs for 12 days each year, ending on Labor Day.

The Empire RV Park reservation includes an RV parking site for up to a 16-night stay (includes water, electric, sewer and garbage pick-up), one vehicle parking permit, and two 12-day admission wristband passes to the Fair

The price is $600 plus a $9 reservation fee per site.

Any questions should be directed to 315-487-7711 or go to nysfair.ny.gov

Sunday, April 10, 2016

It's National Farm Animals Day

Each year on April 10, we celebrate all those animals on the farm.
Sheep

It's National Farm Animals Day. Annually observed April 10, National Farm Animals Day was created as a day to raise awareness about farm animals and to find home for the abandoned and abused farm animals.

Beef cattle
For more information regarding National Farm Animals Day, see: http://www.farmanimalsday.com/

Thursday, April 7, 2016

State Budget Includes Record Funding for Agriculture

From State Sen. Patty Ritchie
 

Ritchie
For the second year in a row, record funding is in thee final state budget to support New York’s all-important agriculture industry, averting millions of dollars in proposed cuts to farm programs and strengthening efforts to recruit the next generation of New York farmers.
 

The final state budget, enacted April 1, restores more than $12 million in budget cuts to farm programs. Restoring the cuts was listed as a top priority of state Sen. Patty Ritchie’s “Planting Seeds” 2016 farm initiative, which she unveiled earlier this year.
 

The budget also includes funding for a new Cornell-run “Vets-to-Farms” program to connect veterans and soldiers returning from war zones to pursue careers in agriculture. The program envisions a series of farms across the state where veterans can receive hands-on training and experience in operating and owning a farm.
 

The final budget also includes funding for a third round of “Beginning Farmer” grants. The $1 million grant program is open to farmers who are in business for less than 10 years, and provides help with purchase of land, building and supplies to help new farmers succeed.
 

“From producing the fresh food that ends up on our dinner tables to generating billions of dollars in economic activity for New York state annually, farmers have extremely important — and demanding — jobs,” said Ritchie, who is chair of the state Senate Agriculture committee.
 

“Once again this year, we were able to secure record funding for agriculture that will help our state’s hardworking farmers as they continue the very important work they do to grow New York’s leading industry," Ritchie said. "Through restored and added funding for key programs and initiatives, we’re not only helping the farmers of today succeed, we’re laying the groundwork so tomorrow’s farmers have every opportunity to follow in their footsteps.”
 

Other highlights of the state’s farm budget include:
*** Restoration of proposed cuts to dozens of farm programs, which support marketing, education, prevention of animal and plant diseases, and research;
*** A new “farm wage credit” to help boost farmers’ bottom lines by helping them control labor costs;
record funding for school-based FFA programs, which teach agriculture as well as leadership skills;
*** Record funding for rabies prevention and treatment, following an alarming rise in the number of reported cases of wildlife rabies, particularly in Central and Northern New York;
renewed funding to fight Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a mosquito-borne illness that is fatal to horses, livestock and humans;
*** For a second year, supplemental state funding for the highly successful Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program, connecting 100,000 low-income seniors — including 3,000 from Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties — to fresh foods at local farmers markets;
*** Renewed funding for student loan forgiveness for beginning farmers, and for business and transitional planning services available to retiring and new farmers through Cornell’s FarmNet;
*** Restored cuts to important, farmer-led research that aims to reduce diseases and increase productivity and profits, through such organizations as the Farm Viability Institute and Northern New York Agricultural Development.
 

Since 2011, when Sen. Ritchie assumed leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee, she’s delivered more than $55 million in restored budget cuts and new funding for farm programs, above the amounts proposed in the Executive Budget, and has been honored to be recognized as a member of the New York Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends each year.
 

A complete list of farm programs funded in the new budget is attached, and more information is at www.ritchie.nysenate.gov. 

All Milk in Stores is Antibiotic Free

Something everybody should read.

When you hear those commercials touting "antibiotic-free milk," don't be fooled. 

Go to http://www.hoards.com/Intel/160307_art1 to see the story.

It's National Beer Day

Today is National Beer Day.

According to the National Calendar Day website: 
Hops at Climbing Bines Hops Farm and Brewery, Penn Yan

"National Beer Day is celebrated annually April 7.  Celebrate with a pint of pale ale, lager, stout, wheat beer or mild ale.

One of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, beer possibly dates back to 9500 BC when cereal was first farmed.  It is recorded in the written history of ancient Iraq and ancient Egypt.

Beer is the world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage. Following water and tea, it is the third most popular drink overall."

The production of craft beers and hard ciders is growing by leaps and bounds in New York state, leading to new businesses and new jobs. A lot of the hops grown for making these beers also are grown right here in New York state.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Taste NY Partners With Baldor Specialty Foods

From the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets:

Taste NY is partnering with Baldor Specialty Foods, the East Coast’s premiere food distributor, to support the growth of local agribusinesses and farms.  

As part of this partnership, Baldor will support the Taste NY Restaurant Pledge through its own newly launched Pledge Local program to increase the use of New York grown and produced products at restaurants and businesses throughout the state.  

This partnership will be celebrated at the Baldor BITE event today (Wednesday, April 6) that brings together more than 1,500 chefs, restaurateurs and other industry members for tastings, cooking demos, contests, breakaway educational sessions and more.

“Baldor’s Pledge Local program complements the ongoing efforts of Taste NY to promote locally made food products and spur economic growth for our vital agricultural industry,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “This pledge bridges local growers and producers with the restaurants and businesses that help share their products with consumers from every part of the state and beyond.”
 
Baldor’s Pledge Local program makes it easier for restaurants to support local businesses. Through the program, customers authorize Baldor’s team of expert buyers to substitute commodity items with similarly priced local alternatives whenever possible.  

The company has already received commitments from major industry players and has identified nearly 500 customers who have the potential to benefit from the program. 
 
Through its partnership with Taste NY, Baldor’s website and Pledge Local webpage, www.baldorfood.com/pledge will promote and feature an opportunity for their customers to take the Taste NY Pledge, encouraging restaurants to increase the sourcing, marketing and education of New York state grown and made products. 

By signing the Taste NY Pledge, restaurants and chefs promise to expand their use of New York state products by 10 percent or more.
 
New York state also will promote Baldor’s Pledge Local program on its Taste NY website, www.taste.ny.gov, social media channels, and on the Taste of NY pledge sign up page at http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/Take_the_Pledge_Distribute.pdf

More than 400 restaurants are now signed up for the Taste NY Pledge.

New Executive Director Chosen for New York Wine and Grape Foundation

News from the New York Wine and Grape Foundation:

               
Filler
Samuel Filler will become the executive director of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation as of Jan. 1, said foundation board chair Trent Preszler.

He will replace outgoing President Jim Trezise, who has served in that position since the foundation was created over 30 years ago.

"When Jim announced his intention to step aside at the end of this year, the board began conducting an extensive search," Preszler said. "During that process, Mr. Filler clearly rose to the top and his appointment was approved unanimously by the board. 

"I am confident that his experience in economic development and his passion for the New York grape and wine industry make him a perfect fit for NYWGF at this particular moment in our history. I anticipate in the coming months and years we will see our vital organization rise to even greater heights," Preszler said.

Since 2012, Filler has been director of industry development for Empire State Development Corp. and directed the "One Stop Shop" and served as a vital liaison between state government and New York's wine, beer, spirits and cider industries. In that role, he administered $9 million in funding for craft beverage advertising, marketing, and tourism projects.

"Sam's direct experience with our industry in the regulatory, financial, and promotional arenas make him the ideal choice to propel the Foundation and industry forward into an even brighter future," said Trezise. "He is well-known and highly respected throughout the industry, and brings the energy and talent required to face the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."

Filler also has worked in economic development and public service positions in New York City, Washington D.C., and California. He completed leadership training as part of the Empire State Fellows Program, and is  enrolled in Cornell University's LEAD NY program for leaders in the food, agriculture and natural resources industries.  

Filler has a bachelor's degree from Vassar College, and a master's of urban planning from New York University.

"I am honored to be selected as executive director, and excited about this opportunity," said Filler. "The New York Wine and Grape Foundation has an extraordinary history of catalyzing the transformation of an industry from an economic crisis into a major economic development engine. 

"I am excited to build on the solid foundation created by Jim Trezise and the staff of NYWGF, and I look forward to using my experience in economic development and the knowledge I have acquired about this industry to advance that success," Filler said.

Filler will remain at ESD for the rest of 2016. Trezise will remain president of NYWGF until March 31,  working closely with Filler to ensure a smooth transition into the future.