December 12, 2008

Contact: Jon Greenwood, Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chair, Canton, 315-386-3231; Don Holman, NNYADP farmer member, Adams, 315-232-4185; Steve Nortz, NNYADP farmer member, Lowville, 315-376-3464

Farmers Recognize Bob Nortz for Contributions to Northern NY Agriculture

“Without H. Robert Nortz, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program would not be here today. Bob provided the program with start-up and long-term support,” says Jefferson County beef producer Donald H. Holman, a farmer-leader with the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

The Program that is led by farmers from across New York’s six northernmost counties provides on-farm research, education and outreach to the region’s agricultural industry. Holman and others credit the recently-late Assemblyman Nortz with making valuable resources possible for North Country farmers.

Lowville dairyman Steve Nortz represents Lewis County on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Committee. He says, “Bob (Nortz) realized what agriculture means not only to the North Country but to the whole country. He listened, gathered the facts, and gave 110 percent to doing anything he could to help farmers. He was a founding father of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program and the groundbreaking ideas and legislative bills he supported continue to help us today. The resources unique to agriculture in our region that Bob helped make possible will continue to benefit us for years to come.”

The effort to establish a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program began with Cornell University’s Dr. Robert Lucey request for a NYS Legislature appropriation to Cornell to establish a research station at the State University of New York Agricultural and Technical College at Canton, and to develop close working relationships with the William H. Miner Agricultural Institute in Chazy and the Cornell E.V. Baker Research Farm at Willsboro. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program formally received its name in 1982. Nortz was a staunch supporter of the Program during his NYS Legislature tenure from 1976 to 2002.

“Bob (Nortz) was one of the first to see the value of conducting on-farm research specifically in Northern New York. He understood that farmers face unique challenges here and need a close look at how to grow crops, raise livestock and market our products based on our North Country farming conditions,” says Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy producer in Canton, NY.

“Bob (Nortz) shared Dr. Bob Lucey’s vision for a thriving Northern New York agricultural industry. They could see the opportunities and provided the research network and funding support needed to advance that vision and today we have a diverse agricultural industry that is returning more than its weight in economic benefit to our region,” Holman adds.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) is today funded by the New York State Senate. NNYADP projects include research, education and outreach programs on the production and marketing of milk, meat, maple, vegetables, fruit, and greenhouse products; agricultural environmental management; and the development of new crops, including growing switchgrass as a biofuel feedstock.

The Program is supported by Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cornell EV Baker Research Farm at Willsboro; the six Northern New York Cornell Cooperative Extension associations; William H. Miner Agricultural Institute; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; and North Country farmers and agri-businesses. Learn more at www.nnyagdev.org. # # #