Recently, six members of the Erie County Farm Bureau joined hundreds of other farm bureau members from across the Empire State in Binghamton for the New York Farm Bureau's State Annual Meeting. The event marks the time when policies are debated and voted upon by county appointed delegates. These discussions determine the agricultural policy issues to be adopted by the organization for 2012.
The adopted policies give direction to New York Farm Bureau in proposing and pursuing legislative and regulatory changes on the local, state and national levels that are beneficial to farmers, rural landowners and consumers of New York food.
The 2011 State Annual Meeting was particularly significant because delegates officially marked the 100th anniversary of the farm bureau system with a series of special events. The event was held in Binghamton because Broome County is home to the national farm bureau movement.
Erie County Farm Bureau sent President Anthony Andolina and Renee Swan, Vice President Patrick Spoth, and members Greg Spoth, Ryan Spoth and Aaron Koss to serve as delegates and alternates at the meeting.
While there, they were presented with seven Silver Key Awards. Silver Key Awards are presented to county farm bureaus that have exhibited excellence in a variety of categories relating to effectiveness in policy implementation, promoting agriculture amongst the public and in classrooms, leadership development and membership building.
The awards presented for excellence in the following categories:
•Policy Development and implementation - Local
•Policy Development and implementation - State and National
•Information and Public Relations
•Agricultural Education & Promotion
Erie County Farm Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural community. The county is part of the New York Farm Bureau, the largest agricultural advocacy group in New York state, known to members and the public as "The Voice of New York Agriculture."