Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ms. Absolute Bliss Wins Grand Champ at NYS Fair

Results from the Holstein competitions at the New York State Fair.

Go to to check them out.

24 Counties Designated as Drought Disaster Areas

From New York State:

Twenty-four counties across Upstate New York have been designated as a natural disaster area by the federal government as a result of this summer's drought. 

These designations mean that farmers in those areas may be eligible for assistance, including emergency loans, from the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency. 

Additionally, State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball, state lawmakers and other farm leaders will be conducting on-site assessments of farms affected by the drought, while the state works closely with Cornell University expert hydrologists and climate professors to help understand and study the outlook for recovery.

Disaster declaration is based on reporting of crop loss to the federal Farm Service Agency and a D3 designation by the .  

The federal government declared 15 counties as primary natural disaster areas and an additional nine counties as contiguous disaster counties due to a recent drought. 

In addition, several other counties in the North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York and the Southern Tier are also requesting primary disaster declarations.

The primary counties under the disaster declaration designation are: Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wyoming, Yates, Cayuga, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga and Tompkins. 

The federal government also named nine counties as contiguous disaster counties. They are: Onondaga, Oswego, Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Broome, Cortland, Orleans and Wayne.

In addition, the state Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to work with its partners in monitoring the drought situation and its effect on New York farms in these and other counties across the state, including in the North Country, Capital Region and on Long Island. 

The department also will tour affected farms in Western New York, the North Country and the Southern Tier.

Monday, August 29, 2016

New York State Fair Dairy Product Competitions Winners Announced

Since it's Dairy Day, it would be the perfect time to release the names of Dairy Product competition winners.

Go to to see a list of all 22 competitions and the winners.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the winners of the 2016 Dairy Products Competition in celebration of the 40th annual Dairy Day at The Great New York State Fair. 

Twenty-six manufacturers were awarded this year, including Yancey’s Fancy cheese company of Western New York, which earned the Grand Champion award after scoring 99 out of 100 possible points for its Chastinet Sharp and Snappy Asiago-Style Cheese. 

The state’s top-scoring milk belongs to Battenkill Valley Creamery of Salem, the only entry in the competition to earn a perfect score of 100.

The 40th Annual Dairy Day awarded 26 processors and manufacturers from across the state either gold or silver honors. Four others earned Awards of Excellence.

Other highlights from the competition include:

Upstate Niagara Cooperative earned seven medals, earning the most medals overall. It won gold in the sour cream, buttermilk, and dairy dips categories.

In the cheese categories, McCadam Cheese Co. took five out of six medals for its current, aged, and super-aged cheddar cheeses

HP Hood’s three plants took five out of six medals in three cottage cheese categories.

Argyle Cheese Co. won gold in the flavored yogurt category with its Chocolate Greek Yogurt. 

Entries were submitted for 22 categories, including fluid milk, sour cream, and cottage cheese. The entries are evaluated by eleven expert judges. This year, the chief judge was Charles Lindberg from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Milk Control.

It's Dairy Day at the New York State Fair

It's Dairy Day at the New York State Fair.

Be sure to get out there and see all that's great about dairy in NYS. Oh, the butter, ice cream, cheese, yogurt, milk -- well it goes on and on. 

Talk to a dairy farmer in the Dairy Cattle building and then be sure to stop into the Dairy Products building to enjoy some great dairy products or even buy some to take home.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Peoples' Produce Project Takes Off in Oswego County

Submitted by Oswego County

The Peoples’ Produce Project is a volunteer project that was launched last year by Oswego County Department of Social Services staff members.

Building on a successful first season, the initiative continues to help local residents supplement their pantries with fresh local produce.

“We began this project last year with four raised garden beds that held over a dozen vegetables and herbs,” said Elaine Samson, a Department of Social Services community service worker and project coordinator. 

“It yielded more than 200 servings of vegetables and served approximately 100 families. This year, the garden has doubled in size and offers more produce to visitors at the county offices in Mexico,” Samson said.

The People’s Produce Project now has eight garden beds which include eggplant, acorn squash, Swiss chard, green leaf lettuce, yellow beans and dill and the staple items that were offered last year.

Samson and her team of volunteers received donations and support from many individuals and organizations.

“We were so happy with last season’s results that we wanted to expand the garden and plant an even bigger variety of vegetables this year,” said Samson. “We couldn’t have done this without the community’s support. Many people and businesses have made generous contributions and volunteered their time to help build and maintain the gardens.”

This year’s volunteers include: John and Brennan Samson, Adriana Ketchum, Marcia Birdsell, Lela Fuller, Heather Ladd, Jill Wood, Catherine Livoti-Rice and Bob Ireland, a caseworker at DSS, who built a farm market stand to display the garden’s harvest.

Michelle Lawson of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County helped with the design and placement of the beds and provided guidance on their content. 

Other supporters include Caster’s Sawmill in Sandy Creek; Fowler’s Greenhouse in Hannibal; Ontario Orchards in Oswego; and Oliver Paine Greenhouses in Fulton. Many staff members contributed to the project through monthly fund-raising luncheons. 

For more information about the project, or to make a contribution or volunteer, call 963-5463.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Farm Service Agency Head Visits NYC Farms



You wouldn’t think there would be much reason for the head of the Farm Service agency to go to New York City.

But there he was — the national administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency — touring farms in Brooklyn and the South Bronx.

Val Dolcini was interested in seeing what is going on in urban agriculture in hopes of working with the USDA to develop a variety of new tools to support urban farmers. 

The discussions from this trip to New York City will help the USDA better understand the unique challenges urban agriculture faces, as it looks to expand its capacity to better serve and meet the needs of farmers in urban areas, Dolcini said.

While in New York City, Dolcini saw crops being grown on the rooftop at the Brooklyn Navy yard. He saw community gardens filled with crops in little nooks and crannies in the city. He saw families finding little areas of soil near their apartments planting food they could eat all summer and fall.

“There is 65,000 square feet of space on the roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yard with a dozen or so Mom and Pop operations,” Dolcini said. 

He said people in the city grow for themselves and also sell their produce at farm stands or even through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), in which people buy shares of the farm operation in return for some of the bounty of the farm.

He said during his tour of New York City, he found people growing all types of greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, root vegetables and cut flowers.

“There are lots of opportunities for farming in New York City,” Dolcini said.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Andrianna Natsoulas New NOFA-NY Director

News from NOFA-NY

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), proudly announces Andrianna Natsoulas as its new executive director, effective Aug. 1. 

Founded in 1983, NOFA-NY is a statewide organization leading a growing movement of farmers, consumers, gardeners and businesses committed to promoting sustainable and fair local, organic food and farming.

“It is an honor to join NOFA-NY — a trailblazer in the sustainable food system across New York state and the region,” Natsoulas said. 

“As the demand for local foods increases and the integrity of organic products needs constant protection, NOFA-NY’s role in local, state, regional and national venues is at an all time high. I am excited to continue this important work and expand the organization’s reach,” she said.

Natsoulas has been a social and environmental activist for over two decades. She has coordinated with the global food sovereignty movements and has served on national and international boards and steering committees to protect access to resources, fight trade agreements and build alliances.

Natsoulas has been an independent consultant, writer, researcher and advocate for more than a half dozen grassroots, regional and international organizations.

“Andrianna brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and development, strategic planning, fundraising, and coalition building to NOFA-NY,” said board of directors Chair Phil Barbato. 

“In addition, she has worked with a number of food-related organizations such as the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and Food & Water Watch, and has written the important book, ‘Food Voices: Stories From the People Who Feed Us.’”

Natsoulas received her master’s degree in ecosystems analysis and governance from The University of Warwick, Coventry, England, and her bachelor’s degree in environmental forest biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

Barbato also acknowledged “the superb efforts of Nancy Apolito, who stepped up to take over the duties as interim executive director in  January. Nancy’s efforts and intelligence guided the organization through more than half a year of work, including the successful search for a permanent executive director.

“The NOFA-NY team is stronger and more effective than ever due to her extra endeavors on our behalf. We’re so pleased that Nancy will be continuing at NOFA-NY as operations director,” Barbato said.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

World Dairy Expo Celebrates 50 Years

From Empire Farm & Dairy magazine:


MADISON, Wis. — This year marks the 50th anniversary of World Dairy Expo — a celebration of the journey from a small World Food Expo in 1967, to the internationally renowned show of today.

This fall’s expo is set for Oct. 4-8, and the theme is “Celebrate 50!” to commemorate the show’s golden anniversary. The expo will take a look back at 50 years of history and the people whose passion and dedication helped build the show from the ground up.

In celebration of this exciting milestone, an open house, hosted by World Dairy Expo, will be held at 5 p.m. Oct. 5 in the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall.

This free event will provide Expo stakeholders a chance to gather and exchange memories, while enjoying a night of food, fun and entertainment.

“The Open House is designed for anyone connected to World Dairy Expo, whether a cattle or commercial exhibitor, attendee or volunteer, judge or judging team member,” said Joan Lau, World Dairy Expo Board of Directors and 50th Anniversary Committee member. “Anyone who loves Expo is welcome to attend. 

"It will be a fun evening to reminisce, share stories and celebrate the show’s rich history. It’s Expo’s way of saying thanks for 50 great years!” she said.

Elements from past years will also be featured throughout the grounds during the show. Expo-goers will have the chance to walk down memory lane with the 50th Anniversary Historical Display, located on the mezzanine level of New Holland Pavilion 1.

“The Historical Display will provide a glimpse into the past through photos and memorabilia collected over five decades,” said Debbie Crave, World Dairy Expo Board of Directors and 50th Anniversary Committee member. “Seeing how the show was built, past events and endless memories will add a unique touch to this year’s celebration.”

Special 50th anniversary events will take place throughout the week, starting with an official kick-off to the show during Tuesday morning’s Opening Ceremony, and continuing through the selection of Supreme Champion on Saturday evening.

Recognized as the meeting place for the global dairy industry, World Dairy Expo attracts more than 70,000 attendees from over 90 countries to Madison, Wis., each year.

Visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@WDExpo or #Celebrate50) for more information.
Entries are open through Aug. 31.

Dairy Cattle Show entries are now open for those wishing to exhibit at the 50th World Dairy Expo. Entry forms are available online through the Dairy Cattle Entry system or for print on the Expo website. Entries are due Aug. 31. 

Late online entries will be accepted until Sept. 11 and paper entries will be accepted until the day of the show, both at an increased rate.

New this year, all animals must have an official USDA AIN or Canadian CCIA RFID number listed on the entry form at the time of submission. Animal entries lacking this number or with a pending identification status will not be accepted.

Entry information, a complete schedule of events, rules and other updates can be found in the Premium Book – mailed to recent dairy cattle exhibitors on July 1, or available online at 

New exhibitors can request a copy of the Premium Book by contacting the World Dairy Expo office at 608-224-6455 or

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Olympians Celebrated in 2016 Butter Sculpture

By Debra J. Groom
Celebrating the Summer Olympics athletes is the theme of this year’s butter sculpture at the New York State Fair.
The Milk Life campaign sponsored Team USA in the recently completed Rio Olympics so this year’s sculpture pays tribute to Team USA and athletes from New York state.
The sculpture, done again this year by Jim Victor and Marie Pelton, of Conshohocken, Pa., shows a female basketball player, male volleyball player, male swimmer and female runner.
Celebrating the Olympians
Diana Dibble, vice president of consumer communications for the American Dairy Association North East, said milk is a natural nutrient powerhouse “that has always been on Olympians’ tables.”
“In fact, nine out of 10 (Olympians) said they drank milk while growing up,” she said.
Made of 800 pounds of salted butter from a milk plant in Batavia, Genesee County, the sculpture was  done over a period of 10 days. This is the 14th year Victor and Pelton have sculpted the showcase of the Dairy Products Building.
The sculpture is one of the most popular sites to visit during the 12-day New York State Fair. It is in the Dairy Products Building at the New York State Fairgrounds in Geddes. 

The fair opens Thursday, Aug. 25 and goes through Labor Day, Sept. 5. This is the 48th annual butter sculpture at the state fair.
“On behalf of dairy farmers producing the nutrient-rich milk that helps fuel Olympic athletes, I am so pleased that Milk Life is a sponsor of Team USA,” said Chris Noble, vice president of Noblehurst Farms in Linwood, Livingston County.
“I’m thrilled that this year’s butter sculpture provides us the means to celebrate that sponsorship,” he said.
Noble also said once the fair is over, the butter will be brought to his dairy farm, mixed with food waste and manure and then put into the anaerobic digester on the farm to convert it to methane gas and electricity.
The American Dairy Association North East also is sponsoring a selfie contest during the New York State Fair. Go to the Dairy Princess Booth in the Dairy Products Building and get a patriotic red, white and blue mustache.

Put the mustache on and then snap a selfie with your favorite dairy product. Tag the photo #milkUSA and post on Instagram.
The grand prize winner will receive a Buffalo Bills prize pack. Second prize is an Apple watch and daily prizes of $50 gift cards for dairy products also will be awarded.

Go to for more contest information and rules.

Drought Stresses Crops Throughout New York State

Empire Farm & Dairy


It’s hot.

It’s dry.

It’s not raining.

Drought map as of early August
That’s the forecast farmers have been dealing with since they began putting crops in the ground a few months ago. It doesn’t matter what they’re growing, the crops have been stressed due to the ongoing drought hitting a good part of New York state.

“Many areas of the state are in a severe drought,” said Aaron Reynolds, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo. “The precipitation has been real spotty in nature. And that is producing stress in the crops.”

According to a map put out by the National Weather Service, the worst of the drought is in Western New York. The map shows a severe drought area along the Southern Tier from Binghamton west, the Finger Lakes region, the Suffolk County area of Long Island and most of Western New York.

Patches of the Hudson Valley, Nassau County on Long Island and most of Central New York, such as Onondaga, Oswego and Jefferson counties, are in a moderate drought. The north country is deemed “abnormally dry.”

It doesn’t seem the weather will get any better any time soon.

Though rain is forecasted for short periods, it’s going to take a lot more than that to break the drought. And even then, the damage has been done to many of Western New York’s farms.

Crops struggling

Some farmers are fighting a two-front war as the drought worsens — with one problem not as obvious as the other.

Most obviously, the lack of water is hurting the crop harvest. Yields are way down as plants are struggling to grow. By this time of year, corn stalks should be above your head, but this year’s crop is topping out at about two feet high. And it’s not like the corn is behind schedule — it’s just done growing.

John Starowitz of Starowitz Farms in Byron, Genesee County, said his corn crop has already “tasselled,” meaning the corn is as good as it’s going to get, and it’s barely above your knee.

“When you have crops and vegetables, they all rely on water, and you’ve got to have a certain amount of water,” he said. “When you don’t have water, everything is skimpy and small.”

Jason Turek, who runs the third-largest vegetable farm in the state — Turek Farm near King Ferry in Cayuga County — grows 4,000 acres of vegetables that are sold throughout the Northeast and Middle Atlantic states. Of that, 2,500 acres are sweet corn.

He said he is harvesting only about a quarter of each field in early harvest vegetables, like corn and green beans. “It is hurting us — we’re in denial,” he said.

He said his corn is “hurt for sure” and by now, he should have cut 20,000 boxes of cabbage for shipment. He’s cut 1,000 boxes.
Ironically, his farm is spread out along the shore of Cayuga Lake. 

He’s lacking water but there’s a whole lake nearby.

But Turek said it really doesn’t make any difference. If he could draw water from the lake, he would be allowed by regulation to take only 100,000 gallons a day. He said he needs 65 million gallons to water his entire farm.

“It’s like fighting a forest fire with a garden hose,” he said.

The drought is bringing on another problem that might not be as obvious, too: pests.

Pests are attracted to moisture, and the only things with any semblance of it are the crops, even though they’re struggling themselves.

Starowitz said the bugs, deer and woodchucks are all causing damage to his crop, worse this year than past years because of the drought. The pests are “clearing out anything that’s green,” he said.

He hasn’t completely given up hope yet, though. He said there might be enough crop to sell to buyers, but he’s not expecting to make any money on it.

“Basically we’re just riding the storm out, we’re going with the punches,” Starowitz said. “There’s always hope.”

While some crops suffer in the drought, others are doing well. 

Onions seem to be coming through the drought OK, said Christy Hoepting, Cornell Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist.

“One of the benefits of it being hot and dry, and so breezy, is that we don’t have very much disease pressure,” Hoepting said. “The disease pressure is what can really be ravaging. There are a couple diseases that get going when it is cool and wet, so we don’t have to worry about any of those. The biggest pest concern is onion thrips, which do very well in the heat.”

However, onions — which prefer moderate temperatures — will grow quicker, and may not reach their full-size potential, especially in ground which hasn’t been irrigated. Still, Hoepting believes this season’s yields will be “pretty good.”

“Our (onion) quality should be excellent,” she said, explaining without the diseases to contend with, onions can produce crop of higher worth. “Quality is usually excellent in a hot, dry year at the expense of maximum bulb size.”

Dairy farmers feel the heat

Dairy farmers are having trouble handling the heat, too.
While crop farmers are dealing with the effects of the drought now as they harvest, the season will be over soon and what’s done will be done.

Dairy farming, however, is a 24/7, 365-day operation and can’t necessarily stop because corn and hay crops failed. But the harvests are so low that farmers are looking elsewhere for feed.

“We’re taking a lot of steps to purchase feed,” said Dale Stein of the multi-generational Stein Farms in Le Roy, which has about 1,000 cows on it. He’s taking these steps because his corn harvest is down 60 percent.

“We’re going to be so short (until next harvest),” he said.

Unsurprisingly, this shortage brings on a lot of financial burden. 

Stein said this shortage will cost him about $25,000 a month for 12 months until he can harvest again. Many farmers have insurance for situations just like this, as Stein does and has tapped into a little this year, but that doesn’t recoup lost revenue as much as it lightens the debt burden. 

For instance, Starowitz said if you have $100,000 in debt because of the drought, insurance might cover $90,000 of that, leaving the farm still in the red.

Stein said dairy farms’ problems are being compounded as well by drought; not only are they paying for feed, but small revenues are being brought in because of the low price of milk.

He added this has him “concerned” and “worried” that the effects of this situation might linger for another two years.

One glimmer of hope in all of this for some dairy farmers is that milk production is relatively stable thanks to technological advancements.

Cows like cooler temperatures and definitely do not like the heat. But since a lot of farms have invested in equipment that regulates the temperature in Western New York’s fickle climate, most cows are none-the-wiser.

“Our cows are kept cool,” Stein said.

Livestock impacted as well

The drought affects farmers in different ways, depending on their crop and what they are raising.

For those who raise livestock, there was no pasture available for animals to graze. While livestock typically graze about six to seven months out of the year, pasture foraging was limited because the season started so dry.

“A lot of livestock producers are now feeding hay, which they would normally feed during the winter,” said Nancy Glazier, small farm specialist on the Northwest Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team for Cornell Cooperative Extension. “Their hay harvest has been lighter than normal, so that’s adding another kind of a wrinkle. 

They have to purchase some hay elsewhere.”

While some farmers have been buying hay from their neighbors, others have been going out of the region and out of state to get what they need. She added some farmers even put in alternative feed such as oats or another type of annual grass.

The drought affects the livestock as well; Glazier said the drought and high heat causes more stress.

“Some farms may actually keep their animals in the barns, because it is a little cooler if they don’t have trees available for them in pastures,” she said.

“Farmers are pretty resilient,” Glazier went on. “Every year is a different year. They just have to deal with the hand they are dealt from Mother Nature.”

Other commodities affected by drought

Most people probably wouldn’t think trees would be bothered by a lack of water. Mature trees have deep roots and can draw on underground water for their needs.

But the lack of rain and excessive heat still can stress trees. Christmas tree growers, maple syrup producers and apple growers all are worried about this year’s crop or future crops.

Mary Jeanne Packer, president of the Christmas Tree Growers of New York, said some producers have lost up to half their crop of new trees planted this spring. Each year, growers replace the trees they harvested and sold last holiday season and it’s these young trees that have trouble in a drought.

“Some have set up irrigation,” she said. “Most of the problem is west of Syracuse.”

The loss of young trees won’t affect consumers immediately, but you never know down the road. Packer said if growers lose half of their young trees this summer, they will have to plant double the amount next spring and that damages their bottom lines.

Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association, said both apple trees and grape vines are stressed this summer from lack of rain.

With the apples, the drought won’t kill the trees, but it will affect the size of the fruit.

“The apples will be much smaller. They will be good and very sweet because there will be less water in them and more sugar,” he said.

It won’t be good financially for the apple growers either because the drought also will reduce the number of apples on the trees, cutting their yields. He said they shouldn’t have a problem with new trees planted in the spring because most growers irrigate these.

Maple trees won’t die from the drought, said Helen Thomas, executive director of the New York Maple Producers Association.

But, “if the water table is low and continues through the winter, the trees won’t have enough water to make as much sap in the spring,” she said. This means there could be a lot less syrup and other maple goodies next year.

What’s causing record dryness

David Thomas, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Buffalo, said the recent summers that could take the silver or bronze medal in the Drought Olympics were 2012, 1995 and 1988. 

In all three cases, the past droughts followed particularly dry years, with isolated or widespread droughts across Western New York in the March 1 to July 31 period, that were eased by later summer weather.

“2012 was also dry from spring into the summer,” Thomas said. “It was a little wetter than this year (with rain picking up in the summer). It helped (end) the drought, but we did have a dry period from March to July.”

The National Weather Service monitors droughts via multiple measures, with precipitation at airports an input that Thomas said shows this as the driest summer in 75 years. It’s been a confluence of factors to get here.

In Western New York, multi-year droughts like the one hitting California are prevented by the shear accumulation of snow that provides an annual replenishing of the water table and soil moisture.

Batavia experienced a reprieve from heavy snowfall in 2016 after back-to-back winters that brought blizzards, sustained deep freezes and snow-bound misery, but that wasn’t helpful below ground.

An upper-level wind pattern that frequently blew from the northeast prevented the “no doubters” of Gulf of Mexico-fueled spring rains that commonly add to the precipitation scoreboard.

“We didn’t have a really snowy winter, and that led into a dry spring that really caused the ground to dry out quickly across the region,” Thomas said. “The bright, sunny days through the spring and drier air allowed the drought conditions.”

Even the timing of weather systems hasn’t helped. Cold fronts have generally appeared over Western New York during the more atmospherically stable overnight hours, whereas an afternoon conflict with the daytime heat would lift the formation of clouds and thunderstorms.

“Without the sun’s heat, there’s not as many showers and thunderstorms,” Thomas said.

More than a little rain needed

This far into a drought, the region needs more than a sustained rainfall. Thomas said it will take months of above-normal precipitation to replenish the water table and have lawns, fields and trees recover.

“It won’t be one particular event or a week-long stretch,” he said.

A wayward hurricane ready to unload a flash of rain in Western New York, similar to the late stages of Hurricane Frances in 2004, wouldn’t be the solution. Thomas said a tropical storm would bring an abundance of rainfall, but forecasting one to pass over the region is next to impossible at this point.

And a flood doesn’t “fix” the problems of a drought. It just creates problems of its own.

At Fenton Farms in Batavia, Paul Fenton and his wife Gail have been fortunate to catch a portion of the handful of rain events that have punctuated the worst drought in their 30 years of farming an area between the city and Thruway. But each week the benefit has been weaker.

“It’s just evaporating so fast, the subsoil is absorbing the showers we do get, and with the high temperatures — we have three days of 85 degrees plus this week — the evaporation is just intense,” Fenton said. 

“We’re still producing nice stuff where it’s getting water, but the work to produce the product (is unprecedented). We’re irrigating seven days a week.”

New Leadership Steps Up at FFA



:Photo by Catie Rowe
The new state officers for FFA. Top, left to right: Katherine Killenbeck, Seth Brower, Camille Ledoux. Bottom, left to right: Matthew Currie, Taylor McNamara, Jacob Ax
When looking back on life, May 2016 may very well stand out as a month to be remembered for a group of high school students.

Camille Ledoux, a student at Beaver River Central (Lewis County), Seth Browe who attends Granville (Washington County), Katherine Killenbeck, a recent graduate of South Jefferson (Jefferson County), Jacob Ax, a student at Stockbridge (Madison County), Matthew Currie who attends Tully (Onondaga County) and 
Taylor McNamara, a student at Madison (Madison County), represent a broad swath of New York state schools. 

All of these students were elected to serve as part of a six-member team for a year and perform duties as New York state FFA officers.         

On May 6, Camille Ledoux traded in her cherished Beaver River FFA jacket for a brand new New York State Association jacket.

As each position and the newly elected members were announced, Camille listened intently for her name to be called. Soon every position had been filled except for president, and the moment they called “Camille Ledoux” onto the stage to stand with the rest of the team is a moment she will remember for the rest of her life.

Camille is the first New York State FFA president from Beaver River. Throughout the year, she will be working closely with the rest of her team to serve the FFA and its members by inspiring young leaders and advocating for all aspects of agriculture.

Camille recently joined Vice President Seth Browe, at the State President’s Conference in Washington D.C. to discuss delegate proposals and help make important decisions for the betterment of the organization. She will also be traveling to Indianapolis in October to represent New York FFA as one of four delegates at the National FFA Convention and Expo.

Camille and her team will be traveling a lot throughout their year of service, visiting chapters and meeting with different people in the agriculture industry.

The FFA, a national youth organization, once known as the Future Farmers of America, offers leadership and career development opportunities for students interested in agriculture-related careers.

One in five American careers is founded in agriculture and students studying agricultural education in New York high schools are preparing for careers that are essential (food safety), current (“Green” technology and renewable fuels) and lucrative (veterinary science). 

As elected state officers, this group of six highly motivated students will have the chance to promote these opportunities throughout the state to students, school administrators, businesses and legislators.

Camille and her team recently launched a campaign called “No Member Fights Alone” to raise money and awareness for cancer research and treatment. The team will be selling bracelets at various FFA events over the course of this year and the proceeds will go to a different organization each season.

This year’s officer team is excited to make a difference and hopes that future teams will take initiative to give back to causes that are close to their own hearts.

For more information about New York State FFA or how to join, check out our website ( or call (607) 254-2880.

Be Sure to Check Out Morrisville State College at the State Fair

News from Morrisville State:

Morrisville State College will have a strong presence again this year at the New York State Fair, featuring a car, horses, chair massages, renewable energy — even ice cream. 

The fair runs Aug. 25-Sept. 5.

Fairgoers can learn about horses and horsepower inside the Morrisville State College building, located near Gate 4 by the Coca-Cola Coliseum and the Iroquois Indian Village. Horses from various equine programs will be housed in the building throughout the duration of the fair.

Along with horses, the college will showcase its Mustang car. Students in the college’s automotive programs transformed the 1988 Mustang into a 550 horse-power dragster which accelerates to 130 mph in 10 seconds.

Visitors can also obtain an array of information about the college, including athletics and activities and will have an opportunity to speak to faculty and staff about the college’s program offerings. 

Morrisville State alumni are encouraged to stop by and access materials to find fellow classmates, enjoy history about the college and get caught up on its expansion and progress. MSC Alumni Day at the fair is Aug. 27.   

Massage therapy students will also showcase their skills, offering free chair massages from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 30 in the Morrisville State College building.  

The college will also have a presence and provide samples daily in The Taste New York Marketplace (formerly Pride of New York), operated by the Morrisville State College Auxiliary Corporation (MAC) through Nelson Farms.

Many products will be available, including products sourced from vendors all over New York state such as salsas, jams, barbecue sauces, granola, fudge, maple, honey, coffee, spices, candy and popcorn.

There will also be guest appearances by chef Tom Armstrong (award-winning Tom’s Bootleg BBQ) and Syracuse chef John Tumino (In My Father’s Kitchen) along with many other New York state food entrepreneurs.

The Marketplace is located between Gates 1 and 2 near Chevy Court. Store hours are the same as the fair, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the exception of Labor Day when the fair closes at 9 p.m.

Additionally, the School of Agriculture, Sustainability, Business and Entrepreneurship will have an exhibit in the FFA Building.

Equine faculty and students will be honing their skills, competing with the Morrisville College Foundation’s six-horse Belgian hitch in the coliseum near the dairy barn. Admission to the horse show is free. 

Morrisville is the only college in North America to compete with a six-horse hitch.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

World Honeybee Day Was Aug. 20

So sorry I missed World Honeybee Day (Aug. 20).

Honey producers are oh, so important to New York state. The Empire State Honey Producers was originally founded in 1870 and today it has various regions of beekeepers such as Northeastern, Southern, West and Long Island.

Most members of the Empire State Honey Producers Association have fewer than 50 hives.

What's New at the State Fair?



Visitors to this year’s New York State Fair are going to be so bombarded with new they’ll think they’re at a completely different fair.

Even before you enter the fair, you will start noticing some of the improvements taking place as part of the $50 million state fairgrounds redesign – the most significant transformation since it first opened its gates in 1890. 

Changes include:

  • Electronic ticketing at the new Main Gate, getting you through the gate even faster;
  • Free USB phone charging in the expanded Midway – which now includes at least 70 rides, a Kiddieland area, and shaded rest areas;
  • Free samples of New York food and beverages at the new Taste NY Market; and
  • RV parking at the brand new Empire RV Park with 315 sites.
From the front gate to the midway to the food to a slew of special events, there are new things to see and do and ingest at every turn at the New York State Fair, which opens Aug. 25 and runs through Labor Day.

There also is an app that you can download for the fair. Go to to get the app.

Here are some of the new and exciting items awaiting fairgoers:


** Centro’s State Fair Park-N-Ride network will debut two new locations (Destiny USA and Long Branch Park) in an effort to increase bus frequency, shorten wait times and move more people during the upcoming 2016 New York State Fair. 

Buses will leave every 8-10 minutes from Destiny USA and every 12-15 minutes from Long Branch Park. The Park-N-Rides at Destiny USA and Long Branch Park will replace Park-N-Rides previously operated by Centro at ShoppingTown Mall, Seneca Mall and the Regional Market.

** Trams around the fairgrounds will be free every day this year. Trams used to be free only on the Senior Days, but now, you can jump on a tram to get to your favorite building or event any time during any day. This is thanks to Chevy, which is donating Silverados to pull the trams for the 12-day fair.

The Yellow Fellow
** The Big Yellow Fellow. Syracuse’s Big Yellow Fellow barcycle is another way to see parts of the fairgrounds. The device has a table area in the middle (where samples of New York state food and beverages can be served or musicians can perform) and 10 bicycle seats along the outside in which people sit and peddle to propel the barcycle around the fairgrounds. 

The Big Yellow Fellow will be set up next to Pizza Villa behind the Dairy Products building. The cost is $5 per seat. Michael John Heagerty and Michael Giannattasio run the operation, which began earlier this month in Syracuse.

** Bicyclists can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Onondaga County’s trail along Onondaga Lake and a day at the Great New York State Fair on the brand new “Ride For $5 Day,” Wednesday, Aug. 31. 

Fairgoers will be able to participate in a group ride that begins at the Salt Museum at Onondaga Lake Park at 9:30 a.m. and then will travel along the western shore of Onondaga Lake on the Onondaga Lake Trail past the Lakeview Amphitheater concert venue and ending with a ride through the brand new Main Gate of the fair.

All riders must wear helmets and must sign a waiver before participating. The ride is free. The discount admission price is available to anyone riding a bike to the fair that day even if they do not participate in the group ride and is good for only that day.

Once inside, bikes will be checked into a secure parking area with staff on hand, provided by Mello Velo. The bike shop will also staff a tent outside the Science and Industry Building for the day, offering free light adjustments and lubes for bikes, product demonstrations, and will be selling bike accessories and other items.

** There will be no fairgoer parking (other than handicapped) in the gray lot and there will be more handicapped parking in the pink lot.


The $50 million construction project at the fairgrounds has brought many new sites to see.

The first is the new entrance. The historic quad of the fair will be more open, with more seating than ever. The quad begins with the new main gate and new entrance plaza inside the gate. Nearly all vendors have been moved out of the area to make this area of the fair more open, comfortable and welcoming.

There also is a new layout to the fairgrounds. Vendors and activities have been moved into a unified district, centered on the new main street through the center of the grounds called Broadway. The Midway, the popular Dairy Cow Birthing Center and most vendors and activities will be there.

There also are many more benches and open areas for people to enjoy, including some beautiful landscaping on Hiawatha, which runs behind the Science & Technology, Dairy Products and International buildings.

New York Harvester is Thanksgiving in a sandwich.

** The New York Harvester is this year’s new food at the Great New York State Fair. Jim The Fry Guy will cook up a sandwich complete with deep-fried turkey breast, deep-fried mashed potatoes, deep-fried stuffing, deep-fried bacon, melted cheddar cheese, cranberry sauce, gravy and secret Fry Guy sauce on two slices of sourdough bread. It’s Thanksgiving in a sandwich.

** The Great New York State Fair’s first-ever kosher food booth will debut at the 2016 fair. Catering by The Oaks will be located in the Horticulture Building next to Doug’s Fish Fry. 

The menu will include a mix of traditional kosher dishes such as potato knishes, bagel and lox sandwiches, gluten-free citrus salmon lettuce wraps and chopped salads as well as kosher dishes given a fair twist — deep-fried apple blintzes coated with cinnamon and brown sugar, deep-fried cheese blintzes served with sour cream and fried matzo balls.

** The ever-popular $1 Baked Potato Baked Sweet Potato Booth has been moved to the former Horticulture Building restaurant site, which also will house other agricultural exhibits. It will anchor one end of the new Agricultural Experience area. 

The Taste NY sampling area will anchor the other end, moving from a tent near the main gate. Also in this area will be the honey exhibit and the New York Apple Association exhibit.

** The Rainbow Milk Bar in the Dairy Products Building is dropping the word “Rainbow” from its name. It now is simply the Milk Bar and it will continue to serve 7-ounce cups of white or chocolate milk for 25 cents each..

** My Lucky Tummy is a one-day (Saturday, Aug. 27) popup food event along Chevy Court, featuring Pakistani dishes such as pakora chaat and qeema bhare karela and a special milkshake.

** A Texas twist on tater tots, an eggroll suitable for dessert, and more.

** Other new food vendors include The Chicken Bandit (specially seasoned chicken and more); Smokin Pete’s; Toss n’ Fire Wood-Fired Pizza; The Nut Shack – Flavored and roasted nuts; Carolina Snobiz – Shaved ice and a Hawaiian hot dog; Carvel Dewitt – Carvel soft ice cream and specialties; TJ Food Holdings – The “Empire Plate in a Cup” and a variety of other meaty specialties; Maurice Grove – Snack items that appeal to wine and beer customers; Essence of N’Awlins – Gator n’ Taters, Gator on a stick, Andouille sausage on a stick, fried frog legs, boiled crawfish, jambalaya; Varano Super Jump – Italian ice; Cocoa Forte – Chocolate-dipped cheesecakes on a stick with a variety of chocolate dip flavors with dry toppings and syrups; Cuban Sandwiches; and Gance Complete Catering – Ice cream


** The Live Stingray Exhibit is new this year and you can catch it in the Toyota Coliseum. These graceful sea creatures can now be seen up close and personal. This interactive exhibit lets you safely touch and view stingrays, while learning more about these wonderful creatures and their sea life from knowledgeable educators and videos. Free.

** Fans of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey” will have a unique opportunity to hear from and meet Teresa Giudice, who will be discussing her new memoir at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Empire Theater in the Art & Home Center. 

Tickets are on sale now and are $30 for admission to the moderated question-and-answer session and a meet-and-greet with Giudice afterwards, or $20 without the meet-and-greet opportunity.

Meet-and-greets include an autograph, a 5”x7” photo of Giudice, a photo taken with her, and a gift. All tickets include admission to the fair. Tickets are available at Etix, the fair’s official ticket vendor, charges a small additional fee per ticket. Beer, wine and other beverages will be available in the theater.

Giudice is a mainstay in the cast of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” which begins its seventh season in July by chronicling her emotional return to her family from prison.

** In honor of Beef Day Aug. 30, the New York Beef Council, along with Tops Friendly Markets, has challenged NYS FFA Student Chapters, to “Create the Perfect Burger” as a way to win money for their FFA chapters.

Eleven FFA Teams will cook off in an Iron Chef type competition at this year’s annual event. The FFA students will grill-off at noon on Beef Day. Competing will be FFAs from Beaver River, Genesee Valley, Gouverneur, Hamilton, Madison, Marcus Whitman, Otselic Valley, Penn Yan, Stockbridge Valley, Tri-Valley and Walton.

Each team will receive 1.5 pounds of ground beef and four buns and is allowed to bring one “secret ingredient” and “plan” their recipe in a first grab, first keep market basket ingredient offering. 

The grand prize is a $500 check.

** Several new Midway rides, as the Midway expands to fill a larger space. There will be at least 70 rides this year, about eight more than in previous years, including the largest traveling roller coaster in the east. And the Kiddie Midway is in a defined space much closer to the heart of the Fair.

** PAW Patrol. The popular Nickelodeon TV show spends three days at the fair as part of a national tour.  The New York State Fair is the only stop on the East Coast for this event and calls are coming in from as far away as South Carolina from people interested in bringing their children to it. Kids take part in their own interactive PAW Patrol adventure and meet the characters.

** Baseball and football skills competitions. In the new grassy area along Broadway, an eight-day baseball and football skills competition will take place. The first three days will feature young people testing their football passing and kicking skills, while the remaining days will feature young home run hitters, pitchers and fielders.

** A new culinary competition will be held for jellies and jams made without commercially-prepared pectin, sponsored by Hunter & Hilsberg.

** There will be no antique car show this year at the fair.

** The Indian Village has undergone some new entrances many renovations in the off-season. 

Butterfly exhibit
** The popular Butterfly Exhibit will for the very first time feature butterflies from around the world. The exhibit’s owner, SkyRiver Butterflies, worked for several years to secure federal government permission to show foreign butterflies in a traveling exhibit. The Great New York State Fair will mark the first time that has happened.

The exhibit, located in the Horticulture Building, features up to 1,000 live butterflies. The beautiful creatures fly around the enclosure and land gently on people, creating some of the most unique photo opportunities available at the fair.

The exhibit used to house about a dozen domestic butterflies. SkyRiver Butterflies is building an all-new enclosure for the exhibit and extra precautions will be taken to ensure the butterflies do not escape the exhibit, in line with the federal government requirements to prevent the spread of foreign, invasive species.

Admission to the exhibit will be $2.

** Big cats. An exhibit called Cats Gone Wild will show people the large cats of North America and explain how they live. It is located in an exhibit area adjacent to the Youth Building.

** The Lost Person Booth, where parents can get tags for their kids, is now located next to the State Police exhibit between the Horticulture and International Buildings.

Teen Critical After Milk Tanker Hits Bicycle

Sad story.

Hope this kid recovers well.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Swine Owners Put on Alert of Swine Brucellosis Disease

News from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets:

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today (Aug. 19) urged swine owners in New York to take proactive steps to prevent the spread of Swine Brucellosis (SB). 

A small number of pasture-raised swine herds in Washington, Schoharie and Rensselaer counties recently tested positive for SB. State and federal officials are working closely with those producers to investigate the outbreak and prevent further spread of the disease. 

The commercial pork industry and other livestock are not known to be affected. Several swine herds that received animals from the positive herds have been blood-tested and found negative. 

“Our department’s Division of Animal Industry, along with representatives from the USDA, has been thorough in their response to these findings," Ball said. "Staff continue to work hard to prevent additional animals from becoming infected. I urge every pork producer, breeder, and owner to adhere to best practices, reach out to the Department with any questions and remain vigilant to keep this serious disease from spreading.”

The greatest exposure risk comes from the movement of live breeding animals. The most effective way to protect a herd against this disease is for producers who are purchasing breeders, particularly those that are from pasture-raised or hobby operations, to isolate new pigs from their existing herd until blood-test results show that they have not been exposed to SB.

The disease is spread from one swine to another primarily through direct contact. The risk of infection through indirect exposure is very low. 

SB is not always obvious in infected herds, but key signs in animals include abortions, arthritis and infertility. The fertility of boars may also be affected.  

Feral swine or wild boars are believed to be the source of this disease in North America.

SB can also spread to people through close contact with infected animals. Local health departments are providing guidance to the owners of infected swine herds and their workers.

The Division of Animal Industry is prepared to assist any New York producer who suspects his or her herd may have been exposed to SB. 

Swine herd owners who have received untested swine into their herds in 2015 or 2016, or who have observed symptoms of SB, or otherwise have reason to suspect that their herds may be infected, should contact the state Division of Animal Industry at 518-457-3502.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Beezie Madden, Team USA Make Final Round of Equestrian Jumping

Go to this link to see the story

Benefit for River Hospital In Alexandria Bay Set for Aug. 26

Submitted by DANI BAKER

Cross Island Farms, Wellesley Island, is hosting a wine and cheese tasting to benefit the River Hospital Hope and Healing Capital Campaign from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26.

It will take place outdoors rain or shine (with tents in case of inclement weather) in the farm’s recently planted “Edible Forest Garden.”

Homestead Heritage Cheese of LaFargeville and Northern Flow Vineyards of Clayton will be offering samples and sales of their cheese and wines accompanied by the music of “Rajah.” 

Floral arrangements by Primrose Hill Flower Co. will grace the festivities. Representatives from River Hospital from will be on hand to meet and greet attendees.

Informal tours of the garden will be led by Dani Baker, its designer and co-owner of the farm.

This event is open to the public for a minimum donation per person at the gate of $20 per person, $30 per couple. All proceeds will go to the River Hospital Hope and Healing Capital Campaign.

River Hospital has announced plans to renovate the campus’s main hospital building and construct a new facility dedicated to the delivery of integrated primary and behavioral care. 

These needed enhancements are designed to improve access to the hospital’s emergency room, physical therapy, and behavioral health services, provide patients with a new level of comprehensive and collaborative care, and facilitate growth over the next decade.

The Hope + Healing renovation and modernization project is estimated to cost $7.25 million and will be supported through a combination of community fund-raising, grant funding and hospital reserves.

For more information about the Hope and Healing Campaign call Stephanie Weiss, Executive Director of Development, at (315) 482- 4976..

For more information about the event, contact River Hospital or Dani Baker at Cross Island Farms at (315) 482- 3663 or organic@crossislandfarms.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

2 Finger Lakes Wineries Take Top Honors at NY Wine Competition

Results from the New York Wine & Food Classic as posted by Jim Trezise of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation:

Congratulations to Billsboro Winery and Keuka Spring Vineyards for top showing at this week's New York Wine & Food Classic.
Billsboro Winery 2013 Syrah from the Finger Lakes Region won the coveted "Governor's Cup" trophy as the best wine of the competition, with a very strong vote among all judges during the final "Sweepstakes" round. 
When the Classic began some 30 years ago, it was totally inconceivable that a dry red Syrah from the Finger Lakes region would take top honors, but here it is.
The "Winery of the Year" award went to Keuka Spring Vineyards, also from the Finger Lakes region, for the best overall showing in terms of the number and types of medals for various wines entered.  
 Keuka Spring is a past Governor's Cup winner whose wines have also won top awards at major international and national competitions, including twice for Best White Wine (once for a Riesling, once for a Gewurztraminer) at the San Francisco Chronicle Competition, the largest in the country..
This year's competition included 893 New York wines, 20 Hard Ciders and 38 Craft Spirits from several regions across New York state including Long Island, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Niagara Escarpment and Lake Erie. 
The Billsboro Winery 2013 Syrah was also voted Best Red Wine and Best Syrah on its way to the ultimate award. Keuka Spring Vineyards won Best White Wine and Best Overall Riesling on its way to the Winery of the Year award, along with several Best of Class awards and other top medals. 
Other "Best of Category" grape wines in the final "Sweepstakes" round were: 
Sparkling Wine: Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2013 Brut, from Long Island
White Wine: Keuka Spring Vineyards 2015 Gewurztraminer, from the Finger Lakes
Blush or Rose Wine: 21 Brix Winery Ellatawba, from Lake Erie
Dessert Wine: Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2015 Descencia Botrytis Riesling/Chardonnay, from Long Island 
There are other special categories as well: 
A "Specialty Wine Champion" award recognizes consistent quality among the increasing number of wines made from fruits other than grapes, or honey. The 2016 winner was Coyote Moon Vineyards Razzle Dazzle.
A "Best Limited Production Wine" award, for wines produced with fewer than 100 cases, went to Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture & Wine Tech Corp 2015 Gather, Dry Riesling.
There are also awards for Best Spirit and Best Cider. The Best Spirit honor went to Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Bourbon Whisky while the Best Cider was Brooklyn Cider House Half Sour.
The awards were based on blind tastings by 22 expert judges-5 from California, 9 from New York, 7 from other states, and 1 from London. Judges included prominent wine writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and wine educators. Judging panels determined the initial awards, with top-scoring wines evaluated by all 22 judges for Best of Category and Governor's Cup awards.
Celebrating its 31st year, the Classic is organized by Teresa Knapp of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, with support from NYWGF colleagues Susan Spence, Dana Alexander, Jenn Cooper, and Kim Hughes, and a great crew of volunteers.
The Classic is open to all 406 New York wineries from all regions. In 2016, a total of 71 Double Gold, 106 Gold, 386 Silver, and 250 Bronze medals were awarded. In addition, "Best of Category" and "Best of Class" designations were awarded to wines rated as the finest in various areas. Double Gold medals require unanimity among a panel's judges that a wine deserves a Gold medal, whereas Gold medals require a majority vote.
Best of Class awards go to Double Gold or Gold medal wines in classes of at least 7 wines. The "Best of Class" awards went to:
Best Oaked Chardonnay
Whitecliff Vineyard 2014 Reserve Chardonnay (Hudson River Region)
Best Unoaked Chardonnay
Lieb Cellars 2015 Bridge Lane Chardonnay (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Gewürztraminer
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2015 Gewürztraminer (Finger Lakes)
Best Dry Riesling
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2015 Humphreys Vineyard Riesling, Single Vineyard Series (Finger Lakes)
Best Medium Dry Riesling
Dr. Konstantin Frank 2015 Riesling, Semi-Dry (Finger Lakes)
Best Medium Sweet Riesling
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2015 Semi Sweet Riesling (Finger Lakes)
Best Sweet Riesling
Wagner Vineyards 2013 Riesling Select, Estate Grown & Bottled (Finger Lakes)
Best Overall Riesling
Keuka Spring Vineyards 2015 Semi Sweet Riesling (Finger Lakes)
Best Pinot Grigio
Duck Walk Vineyards 2015 Pinot Grigio (Long Island)
Best Other Vinifera White Varietal
Palmer Vineyards 2015 Albarino (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Vinifera White Blend
Bedell Cellars 2015 Taste White (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Vinifera/Hybrid White Blend
Keuka Spring Vineyards Celebrate (Finger Lakes)

Best Cayuga
Swedish Hill Winery 2015 Cayuga White (Finger Lakes)
Best Seyval
Benmarl Winery 2015 Seyval Blanc (Hudson River Region)
Best Traminette
Seneca Shore Wine Cellars Traminette, Estate Bottled, DeMarco Vineyards (Finger Lakes)
Best Vidal
J.R. Dill Winery 2015 Vidal Blanc (Finger Lakes)
Best Cold Climate White Varietal
Coyote Moon Vineyards Brianna (Thousand Islands)
Best Hybrid White
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard White Stag (Finger Lakes)
Best Niagara
Americana Vineyards Crystal Lake (Finger Lakes)
Best Catawba
21 Brix Winery Ellatawba (Lake Erie)
Best Native Varietal
Coyote Moon Vineyards Fire Boat Red (Thousand Islands)
Best Vinifera Rosé
Wagner Vineyards 2015 Rosé of Cabernet Franc (Finger Lakes)
Best Cabernet Sauvignon
Osprey's Dominion Vineyards 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve (North Fork of Long Island)

Best Merlot
Clovis Point Vineyard & Winery 2013 Vintner's Select Merlot (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Pinot Noir
Osprey's Dominion Vineyards 2014 Pinot Noir (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Cabernet Franc
Kontokosta Winery 2013 Cabernet Franc (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal
Influence Wines 2015 Malbec (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Syrah
Billsboro Winery 2013 Syrah (Finger Lakes)
Best Vinifera Red Blend
Harbes Vineyard 2014 Red Blend, Proprietor's Reserve (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Cold Climate Red Varietal
Tug Hill Vineyards White Out, Estate (Thousand Islands)
Best Fruit Wine
Coyote Moon Vineyards Razzle Dazzle (Thousand Islands)
Best Cider
Brooklyn Cider House Half Sour
Best Spirit
Finger Lakes Distilling McKenzie Bourbon Whisky
Best Port
Goose Watch Winery 2015 Finale White Port (Finger Lakes)
Best Late Harvest
Wolffer Estate Vineyard 2015 Descencia Botrytis Riesling/Chardonnay (Long Island)
Best Ice Wine
Sheldrake Point Winery 2014 Riesling Ice Wine, Wild Ferment, Estate Bottled (Finger Lakes)
Best Vinifera Sparkling White
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2013 Brut, Methode Champenoise (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Vinifera Sparkling Pink
Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2013 Topaz Imperial, Methode Champenoise (North Fork of Long Island)
Best Hybrid Sparkling White
Swedish Hill Winery Blanc de Blancs (Finger Lakes)
Best Native Sparkling Wine
Lakewood Sparkling Catawba (Finger Lakes)