Ball agriculture address

New York State Ag Commissioner Richard A. Ball delivers the State of Agriculture Address at the 191st New York State Agricultural Society Annual Forum.

SYRACUSE — On Jan. 12 New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball delivered the State of Agriculture Address at the 191st New York State Agricultural Society Annual Forum. The Forum, which is traditionally the oldest and largest meeting of its kind in the State, took place at the OnCenter.

In keeping with this year’s Forum theme of “Disruption Eruption: Discovering New Opportunities in Agriculture,” Ball spoke about the many initiatives designed to boost the agricultural industry and strengthen the food system outlined by Gov. Kathy Hochul in her State of the State Address.

These include making the 20% Investment Tax Credit for farmers a reimbursable refund for five years; increasing institutional and agency buying of New York State food to 30% by 2028; and investing $50 million to support “scratch” cooking facilities that will facilitate the use of fresh NYS farm products in meal preparation for K-12 school children.

Additionally, Ball discussed opportunities for agriculture to further contribute to New York’s aggressive climate targets under the Climate Act, including an incentive-based approach for agriculture and forestry and a Cap-and-Invest program that offers flexibility to families, farms, and small businesses and helps to ensure sustainable, competitive farming.

“Our farmers are essential,” Ball said. “Their work growing food for everyone and our work supporting this industry is essential. While we still have much work to do, I am incredibly proud of the way our agricultural community has risen to meet the challenges of the last few years with incredible strength, creativity, and innovation.”

A recording of the speech will be made available on the New York State Agricultural Society’s YouTube channel. A transcript of Ball’s remarks can be found on the Department’s website at