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Jim Bittner recognized by New York State Agricultural Society

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Mon, Jan 8th 2018 01:55 pm
Pictured, front row: New York State Ag and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball congratulates Jim Bittner on his award. Also pictured: Margo Sue Bittner, NY Farm Bureau Representative Sandy Prokop, NY AG Society President Beth Claypoole; (back row): Kevin Bittner, David Bittner, Janet Walker, Award Committee Chairman Richard Church.
Pictured, front row: New York State Ag and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball congratulates Jim Bittner on his award. Also pictured: Margo Sue Bittner, NY Farm Bureau Representative Sandy Prokop, NY AG Society President Beth Claypoole; (back row): Kevin Bittner, David Bittner, Janet Walker, Award Committee Chairman Richard Church.
The New York State Agricultural Society, the oldest agricultural organization in NYS, honored Jim Bittner with its Distinguished Service award at its 186th meeting.
In congratulating Bittner, New York State Commission of Ag and Markets Richard Ball thanked him for his service on various committees and pointed out the Ag Society is like a family reunion: Producers, academics, political leaders and others involved in some aspect of agriculture come to celebrate this vital industry.
After relating Bittner's history on the family beef farm and with Bittner Singer Orchards, presenter Richard Church quoted nominator and New York Farm Viability Executive Director David Grusemeyer: "Jim was a founding board member and later led the NYFVI as its chair with a level head, steady hand and inquisitive spirit."
Ball confirmed that: "The industry is stronger today because of his great work," he said.
Church then listed the various agricultural organizations in which Bittner is involved: Niagara County and NY Farm Bureau; U.S. Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching; New York State Advisory Council on Agriculture; New York Specialty Crop Advisory Committee; Agricultural Labor Advisory Group; SILO committee; Cornell School of Ag and Life Science's deans advisory committee; and Council of Agricultural Organizations.
In addition, Bittner has served on the New York State Horticultural Society Board. In the community, Bittner is a longtime member of the Barker Lions and works with the Lewiston Kiwanis Club to have Niagara County peaches at the annual Peach Festival.
New York Farm Bureau Executive Director Jeff Williams thanked Bittner for his service, pointing out they have worked together since 1975 when they were NY Future Farmers of America officers together. He noted the numerous lobbying activities in both Albany and Washington in which Bittner has participated.
In his acceptance speech, Bittner acknowledged those who helped and supported him along the way: his parents, Joe and Theresa Bittner; children, Kevin, Janet and David; his wife, Margo; and the two farmers who gave him the opportunity to farm: Frederick Atwater and Tom Singer.
He also encouraged the group to reach out to those outside of agriculture to promote understanding.
"If you aren't at the table, you may be on the menu," Bittner said.

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