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Southern Tier Agriculture on display in Washington

South Tier Agriculture on display in Washington

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - When you think of big economic drivers, manufacturing or tourism might come to mind.   But here in New York State, agriculture is the largest industry.  On Tuesday, lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill today got a taste of it – literally.

Wine, cheese, and even oysters were on display at the annual “New York Farm Day” in the nation’s capital.

“It’s a delightful event, it really is.  It makes you feel proud to be part of the farm industry in New York,” said Beverly Stamp of Lakewood Vineyards. 

Stamp spent the day showing off Seneca Lake wines -- even those of her competitors.

“Seneca Lake is a very warm lake, and I think you’ll hear good things said about each other,” she said.

Stamp has attended a half-dozen New York Farm Days, which started when Hillary Clinton was senator.  Now, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is carrying on the torch.

“It’s incredible how much this day has matured over the years.  We have so much sophisticated food,” explained Gillibrand.

Gillibrand stopped at each table with her two sons, who stole the show.

New York Farm Day isn’t just about showing off agriculture in the Empire State, it’s about trying to bring visitors in as well. 

“The tourism potential because of agriculture in our state is tremendous.  We’ve got wine trails, we’ve got cheese trails, we’ve got some of the most amazing places to visit,” said Gillibrand.

Jim Allen of the New York Apple Association has his pitch ready.

“Make sure you go to your retailer and tell your retailer you want New York State apples,” said Allen.  “We like to brag, when you got it, you tout it.”

The agriculture producers hope they can tout New York’s number-one industry again next year.