SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Since 2014, donors to the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation have sponsored upwards of 100 young adults ages 18 to 25 to gather in Syracuse, NY each January to attend three days of intensive professional development training. This signature opportunity includes participation in the NYS Agricultural Society Annual Meeting & Forum hosted at the Syracuse OnCenter accompanied by a seasoned mentor.
This is perhaps the oldest and largest agricultural meeting of its kind in the US attracting upwards of 500 industry stakeholders annually. Slated for Thursday, January 6, 2022, the 190th Annual Forum theme is “Growing a Greener Planet.” Advocates, decision-makers and aspiring leaders will focus on what’s happening on the frontlines of climate change for the agri-food system and natural resource industry, and the exciting, unchartered territory where science and innovation are driving important results to protect natural resources and harvest carbon. For college students and those just beginning their careers, attending the Forum as an Ambassador is a tremendous opportunity to learn, experience and network with established key leaders and industry professionals.
In 2017, Lucy Shephard participated as an Ambassador in hopes of growing her professional network and finding a job in the agricultural industry. She found her future employer in Commissioner Richard Ball of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets. For the following two years, Lucy returned to the Forum as an influencer in her own right and essential proponent of the Commissioner’s State of Agriculture Address. She is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of Buffalo.
For the 2022 Ambassador Class, the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation welcomes previous participants to reapply for a second year experience as well as those new to the program. All meeting expenses and overnight accommodations are paid for by the NYS Ag Society Foundation. To apply, complete an on-line application at https://www.nysagsociety.org/ambassador-program/ by November 22, 2021.
In addition to participating in 2022 Forum activities, Ambassadors will take part in pre- and post-Forum programs with NYS Ag Society partners including the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, CALS at Cornell University, LEAD NY, and the Witter Agricultural Museum. Ambassadors will also meet with A.G. Kamawura, the Forum keynote speaker, who is a third generation fruit and vegetable producer and shipper from Orange County, CA. From 2003 to 2010 he served as the Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture. He is founding co-chair of Solutions from the Land (solutionsfromtheland.org), a nationally recognized non-profit that is developing innovative and sustainable climate smart collaborations for 21st century agriculture.
Established in 2011 by the NYS Agricultural Society, the NYS Agricultural Society Foundation’s mission is to foster, promote, and improve the NYS food and agricultural industry through education, leadership development and recognition programs. It is a 501(c)3 organization and its charitable funds are managed by the Central NY Community Foundation. Since 1832, the NYS Agricultural Society has helped to initiate numerous industry fixtures in the Empire State, most notably the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, the NYS Fair, and the Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute (LEADNY).
–NYS Ag Society Foundation
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