Published by LEAD New York, The Empire State Food & Agricultural Leadership Institute Spring 2005
Lowell Smith (Class 1) to receive LEAD New York’s
ﬁrst Outstanding Alumni Award
Presentation at Class 10 Commencement and 20th Anniversary
Celebration on April 22nd
Lowell Smith, (Class 1)
e are pleased to announce that summarizes another. With an impressive Walk. He has served on the LEAD New
Lowell Smith, LEAD Class career spanning over four decades, he York Board of Directors, and regularly
1, will be the ﬁrst recipient of embraced opportunities to serve in a assists with recruitment, fundraising and
the Empire State Food and Agricultural variety of leadership roles in local, state, class visits to Dairylea in Syracuse.
Leadership Institute’s Outstanding regional, and national organizations. Lowell’s contributions to agriculture
Alumni Award (OAA). This award was Lowell was a partner in Empire are numerous and his record of
established to recognize the outstanding Harvestor Systems, Inc., served on achievement astounding; please plan
leadership our graduates provide to the leadership team at Farm Credit to join us in Ithaca on the evening of
the LEAD New York Program, their Friday, April 22, 2005 to hear more
Springﬁeld District Bank, and
local communities, and the agricultural about this exemplary leader. We will not
brought his valuable skills to Dairylea only hold commencement ceremonies
industry. Cooperative. There, he was instrumental for LEAD New York’s Class 10, but
With over 250 alumni, the selection in developing their agri-ﬁnancial also celebrate the Program’s 20th
committee's task was especially difﬁcult programs, became Department Manager anniversary. What better opportunity to
as so many of our graduates have made for Dairylea's Agri-Service Insurance recognize the leadership contributions of
signiﬁcant contributions to our industry. Program, and currently serves as Vice- our ﬁrst OAA recipient, and a graduate
Personal testimonials spoke volumes President of Special Projects, Assistant of the very ﬁrst LEAD class?
about the integrity and character of to the CEO. Invitations will be mailed later this
our top nominee. “Lowell is the ideal In his community, Lowell is active spring. ALL LEAD alumni as well as
recipient of this ﬁrst award- one who in the Fayetteville United Methodist an extensive list of special guests will
inspires the best in us all,” writes one Church, advocates for the Heifer be invited for this very special 20th
colleague. “I can think of no one International Program, and helps raise Anniversary celebration. We hope to see
better to receive the ﬁrst such award,” funds for research through the local ALS you there!
Inside This Issue
Outstanding Alumni Award ...... Page 1
Perspectives .............................. Page 2
Excellence in NY Agriculture .... Page 3
Class 10 Silent Auction ............. Page 4
Donor Roster ............................. Page 5
News You Can Use ...........Pages 3, 4, 6
Representatives of LEAD New York at the 2004 Eastern Produce Council Annual Banquet. (standing, l to r) Paul Ruszkiewicz (10), Mike (10)
and Alison Riner, Cheryl Rogowski (10), Jeff Kubecka (7), Bill (NYSDAM) and Marilyn Kimball. (seated l to r) Rick and Laura (5) Pederson,
Larry Van De Valk (6, Director) and Lindy Kubeka.
By Larry Van De Valk, Director
Every Alumnus has a Story to Tell
Make sure that you share it!
ne of the more enjoyable parts of their participation. Too, sometimes their LEAD experience to use in their
of my job has been listening to the payback comes from a using a communities and for the beneﬁt of our
the success stories of so many combination of the skills that were industry. I was glad to receive it.
of our alumni. Of course, there is no learned in the program. I’m sure that you have a story to tell
way for us to predict exactly how or Over the holidays, I received the as well. Make sure that you share it with
when a LEAD graduate will put their following letter from Ellen Knapp others. This not only helps promote our
training to use, but sooner or later, it (Class 9), a teacher at the TST BOCES program in general, but if you share it
seems they all do. Some class members in Ithaca, and also a fruit farmer and with prospective applicants before our
put speciﬁc things they have learned small-scale food processor in Lowman, March 1 application deadline, it may be
to use even before they complete the NY. This letter is re-printed with Ellen’s just the thing to convince them that they
program. For some alumni, it may be a permission, and I think it serves as a need to apply!
few years before they realize the beneﬁt great example of how our graduates put
I am writing to tell you of recent events and situations surrounding our Bicentennial Farm that caused me to draw
upon many of the skills I learned and reﬁned in LEAD class 9. The situation is on-going changes and upgrades to
Rt. 17 (or Southern Tier Expressway) to make it Interstate 86, and the impacts on our farm.
Without going in to great detail, sufﬁce it to say the road in front of our house would become a superhighway
to the landﬁll down the road. We would lose headlands on the southern end of our berry ﬁeld and a twenty-year
planting of Black Walnut trees.
My ﬁrst action was to network with Farm Bureau at both the local and state level. Next came the public
information meeting regarding these changes. That afforded me the opportunity to ask questions that would lead
to research not unlike our preparation for the practice debates. The frantic research that followed (we had 10 days
until the next public hearing) was much like the “Libertyville” activity we did in Corning. I went to town hall meetings with “the
good ol’ boys”, and met one-on-one with assessors, planners, and Town Supervisors. The pace and limited time of these meetings
and conversations was reminiscent of our time allotment for the Libertyville exercise. As you know, I teach full time and operate a
business whose pace quickens at holiday time. I did take off one hour from work the days before and after the public hearing in order
to get home from school in time to have enough daylight to take some photos for my presentation.
Then came “show-time”, the ﬁve minute allotment at the public hearing to present my testimony. Wow – a ﬂashback to the
persuasive speeches at Alfred! With my 15 year old daughter running the PowerPoint presentation, I stepped to the front of the room
to deliver a rather ‘hostile’ viewpoint of what was being proposed. A court stenographer was recording every word and the room
held about 100 affected citizens and many ofﬁcials from DOT and Bergman Associates. This was a ﬂashback to my participation in
the LEAD panel discussion at the Ag Outlook Conference in winter 2002 at Kennedy Hall. I delivered my talk slowly, deliberately,
and loudly. My husband said my tone was not friendly. I ran over my time by about 40 seconds, but they did allow me to ﬁnish, even
though they waived their ﬁngers in front of my face at the 5 minute mark.
My husband (who also spoke), my daughter and I were descended upon by Bergman Associates at the end of the hearing. They
assured me over and over that there was an explanation for the inaccuracies that I pointed out. I could tell that I had hit some chords.
Many citizens came over to extend favorable comments and say “good job”.
Larry, please know how much I appreciate the training I received in LEAD. This was the ﬁrst time I had to pull so much of it
together and put it to the test. In reﬂecting on this ﬂurry of activity, I feel the only resource I left untapped was the LEAD alumni
base. I should have searched it for additional resources.
Now I am drafting my ofﬁcial comment sheet to be sent to DOT by December 31st. I think I’ll dig out those writing samples we
did with Mrs. Jacobs in Buffalo.
I wish this was the end of it, but it’s not that easy. The next big challenge for us is going to be the expansion of the landﬁll to accept
garbage from everywhere (NYC, NJ, etc.). If you can think of anyone that may be a good resource, please let me know.
In closing, I would like to thank you for the work that you do. It is important and valuable in NYS agriculture!
Ellen Knapp, The Knapp Farm
NYS AG SOCIETY ANNUAL FORUM EXPLORES “EXCELLENCE IN NY
AGRICULTURE – GOOD NEWS FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT”
By Penny Heritage
he New York State Agricultural The Town Hall Meeting session and Jessica Chittenden, Class 10 also
Society’s 173rd Annual Meeting provided attendees the opportunity served on the committee. LEAD New
and Forum garnered over 350 to ask questions of the panelists in York, through a gift from the American
attendees involved in our food and addition to Susan Henry, dean of Cornell Agriculturist Foundation, was able to
agriculture system on January 6th, 2005. University's College of Agriculture and cover speaker expenses. The forum was
"Excellence in New York Agriculture Life Sciences, and Nathan Rudgers, a central component of the LEAD class
– Good News for Our Environment” State Agriculture Commissioner. session, and all current class members
was the theme of the event which Keynote speaker, Dr. Jay Lehr, senior were in attendance to learn and network
underscores the importance of scientist with Environmental Education with other society members. And
agriculture’s positive role in preserving Enterprises, delivered a powerful and of course, the forum serves as a key
our environment. The forum, sponsored entertaining address celebrating the continuing education and networking
by the NYS Agricultural Society and the positive relationship of agriculture and opportunity for LEAD alumni.
NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, the environment and urged attendees to The New York Agricultural Society
is an outstanding opportunity to gain communicate that positive message. has been strengthening New York
insight, discuss topics with experts agriculture since 1832. The organization,
in the ﬁeld and network with fellow which is over 600 members strong and
agriculturists. growing, played an instrumental role in
Inspiring speakers from a variety establishing agricultural organizations
of backgrounds explored the dynamic
in New York, including Cornell
partnership between agriculture
and the environment. A panel University’s College of Agriculture
discussion, moderated by Lee Telega, & Life Sciences, the Department of
senior extension associate and farm Agriculture and Markets, the New
environmental specialist, focused on York State Fair, and LEAD New York.
agriculture as the preferred land use to The society's mission is to improve our
(from left) Larry Van De Valk, Dr. Jay Lehr state’s agriculture through education,
protect water quality, how managing
and Dick Peterson. leadership development and recognition
the environment is good business
for farms, and where agriculture can programs. For more information or to
Other conference highlights included join the NYS Agricultural Society visit
improve practices to better preserve the recognition of McMahon of Saratoga
environment. Panelists included Michael www.nysagsociety.org or contact Ag.
Thoroughbreds, and Dairylea, as Society Executive Secretary, Penny
Principe- Deputy Commissioner, Businesses of the Year, and the Society’s
Bureau of Water Supply, New York Heritage, at firstname.lastname@example.org ,
highest honor, The Distinguished (518) 384-1715.
City Department of Environmental
Service Citation, was presented to Clyde
Protection; Willard DeGolyer-
successful owner/operator of Table Rutherford, President of Dairylea. The
Rock Farm; and Assemblyman David Century Farm Awards, NYS Outstanding News You Can Use...
Koon- chair of the N.Y. State Assembly FFA Chapter from Cuba-Rushford, and
Commission on Toxics and Hazardous the “Cap” Creal Journalism awards were Events, People, Ideas
Waste Substances. also presented. A special reception was
held to celebrate the 100th Anniversary The US EPA has announced its Con-
of the College of Agriculture and Life servation Challenge Grant Program
Sciences at Cornell (CALS). Both the (#R2DEPP-FO-05-04) and their Pol-
luncheon and dinner featured food and lution Prevention Grant Competi-
beverages produced and/or processed tion (#R2DEPP-FO-05-06). Both of
in New York State, and the event these programs have good opportunity
culminated with Commissioner Rudgers’ for NYS agricultural producers, but
annual "State of the State's Agriculture" the deadline for initial proposal for
address. both programs is March 15, 2005. If
LEAD New York was once again you are interested in either of these
integrally involved in this year’s forum. programs, please contact Tristan
Speakers at the 2005 NYS Ag Society
Annual Forum. (from left) Mike Principe, Larry Van De Valk, Director of the Gillespie at 212-637-3753 soon!
Willard DeGolyer, Nathan Rudgers, Susan Program, served as co-chair of the Ag continued on page 4
Henry, Lee Telega and David Koon. Society Forum Program Committee,
Donations needed for CLASS 10
News You Can Use...
Silent Auction Events, People, Ideas
We need your help to make the Silent Auction a success!
First and foremost: The application
deadline for Class 11 is March 1, 2005!
Your donations for the Silent Auction will be auctioned at the LEAD, NY Class We hope this newsletter reaches you at
10 Graduation, Friday evening, April 22, 2005 at the Statler Hotel on the Cornell the “11th hour”, so you can make those
University Campus. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to CLASS 11.
last-minute reminders to prospects you
Please lend your support.
know that may be dragging their feet a
bit. Please contact them NOW to make
Also consider creating a donation on behalf of your region of NY. Suggested
sure they get their application in!
donations include gift certiﬁcates, tickets to concerts and sporting events, tools of the
trade, cookbooks, arts and crafts, gift baskets, furniture, quilts or weekend get-aways.
Mark your calendars: LEAD class
Be creative with your donations!
10 will have their commencement
ceremony on Friday, April 22, 2005
Please ﬁll out a separate donation form for each item and send your donated items
between March 4 and March 11 to: in the Statler Hotel on the Cornell
Dana Palmer, 123 Morrison Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 University campus. In addition to
the commencement ceremony, this
Thanks for supporting the future of LEAD NY! marks the Program’s 20th Anniversary
Celebration, which is why we will
Donation commitment deadline is March 4, 2005 to be listed in auction ﬂyer. Large be inviting ALL LEAD alumni and
items will be accepted on the day of the auction and our committee will work with their guests to join us (as opposed to
you if donations “need a ride.” only that class which is on a 10-year
anniversary cycle). A nominal fee will
be charged to help cover the cost of the
– Silent Auction Donation Form – On a related note, we will also present
our ﬁrst Outstanding Alumni Award
to Lowell Smith (Class 1) that evening
Contributing Business/ Name: ____________________________________________ (see cover story). So, Class 1 alumni,
Address: _____________________________________________________________ let’s have an outstanding turnout from
you! Formal invitations will be out in
_____________________________________________________________________ the coming months.
Phone: ____________________________ Fax: ______________________________ Finally, if you need one more reason to
Email: _______________________________________________________________ convince you to come to Ithaca on April
22nd, Class 10 is sponsoring a Silent
Description of Item you wish to donate: ____________________________________ Auction that afternoon, the proceeds of
which will be used to support Class 11.
If you have items or services you would
_____________________________________________________________________ like to donate, please contact Dana
Palmer (class 10) at dlp10@cornell.
Approximate value: ____________________________________________________ edu or 607-255-4706.
Individual donors can be kept anonymous by checking this box. NY Farms! has several Board of Directors
Thank you for your donation! Donation commitment deadline is March 4, 2005. slots to ﬁll, and will be electing new
members at their annual meeting on April
Forms and Items may be sent to: 1, 2005. If you, or someone you know,
Dana Palmer, 123 Morrison Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. is interesting in serving on their board,
Commitment forms may also be faxed to: 607-255-9829. please contact Martha Goodsell (Class
10) at email@example.com or by calling
For additional information or questions, please contact Dana Palmer via e-mail 607-659-3710.
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-255-4706.
continued on page 6
The following businesses and individuals have made ﬁnancial
contributions to the Class 10 operating budget:
Represents donations received from $500 - 999 (Cont.): Up to $249 (Cont.):
July 1, 2003 through February 1, 2005. James Preston Robert & June Maurinus
Saratoga Sod Farm, Inc. McCormick Farms, Inc.
If you have made a donation since then Lowell Smith John Meill
or we have inadvertently omitted your Southview Farm, LP Stuart Mitchell
name, please accept our apologies. Richard Stewart Otis Moltz
Over $25,000: Stewart Dairies/Shops William & Kelli Morgan
American Agriculturist Foundation David Tretter John & Sally Mueller
Larry Van De Valk National Bank of Geneva
$5,000 - 24,999: Ted & Judy Nichols
$250 - 499: John Noble
Donald Bay Lucinda Noble
Altria Corporate Services, Inc.
David Chamberlain Dean Norton
Eastern Produce Council
Erie & Niagara Ins. Assn. NYS Turfgrass Assoc.
Cornell Univ, Ag Health & Safety Program
Ogden Republican Committee
$2,000 - 4,999: Dewey Produce, Inc.
Baker Comodities, Inc. David Emerson
Birds Eye Food Foundation ERA Decker Real Estate
Cooperstown Holstein Corp. &Vandeburg Goat Farm
Valerie & David Patten
Landsmere Farm-Charles Wille Kristin Gray
Midstate Mutual Insurance Co. David Horn, DVM
NBT Bank Stanley Klein
New York Farm Bureau, Inc. Thomas Lynch
RGE & NYSEG James McKee
Upstate Milk Cooperative, Inc. Susan Meyer
Woody Hill Farms, Inc.-Sheldon Brown Kent Miller
$1,000 - 1,999: North Country Insurance Eduardo Rodriguez
The Bank of Castile Madeline Pennington Judith Roylance
Craig & Carol Buckhout Perry Veterinary Clinic John Ruszkiewicz
Dairylea Cooperative, Inc/Dairy Phillips Family Farm, Inc. Maureen Seraﬁni
Farmers of America Pro-Fac Cooperative, Inc. Cathleen Sheils
David DeLaVergne Gary Snider Ann & Tom Shephard
Donnan Farms, Inc. Kevin Swartley Bea Slizewski
Financial Institutions, Inc. Triple F. Farms Inc. James Smith
David Hardie Willet Dairy, Inc. Rhett Smith
Hardie Farms, Inc. A.J. Wormuth Robert Smith
Sarah Noble-Moag and Dale & Lily Stein
Timothy Moag Up to $249: Julie Suarez
Northeast Dairy Prod. Assoc. Henry Adams III SUNY College of Ag & Tech at
Pharmacia Corp. Christopher Anderson Cobleskill Foundation, Inc.
Support Services Alliance, Inc. Roger Arliss Jason Swede
Attica Veterinary Associates Dale Sweetland
$500 - 999: Charles Bailey, Jr. Roger Tanner
Bartolotta Inc. Basking Livestock, Inc. M. Dickson Thronson
CY Farms, LLC Phillip Bennett Caleb Torrice
DeBuck’s Sod Farm of NY, Inc. Betty Benzing United Ag Services
Don Beck, Inc. Patrick & Lynda Brennan United Cooperative Farmers
Peter Call Douglas Brodie Amy Walker
Anne Farella Janet Brown Bud Walker
Edwin Fessenden Richard Butler Mark Walker
Harris Farms Richard C. & Marie Call Stephen Weir
Corwin Holtz .
Robert V & Roberta Call Scott Weissmann
Eleanor Jacobs John Caltabiano Wells Fargo Foundation
MB Farm Inc. George Casler Craig Wilcox
Wm. Paul McDowell Robert & Ninalee Caswell Stuart Young
New York State Agricultural Society Jacqueline Conklin Craig Yunker
Noblehurst Farms, Inc. Jay Matthews Zuber Farms, LLC
News You Can Use... Cultivating LEADership
Events, People, Ideas Published Quarterly by the Empire State
Another date(s) alumni should get on their calendar is September 28 – October Food and Agricultural Leadership
1, 2005. This is when the RULE PA program will host the 2005 International Institute, College of Agriculture & Life
Leadership Alumni Conference (ILAC) in Hershey, PA. This is an outstanding Sciences: Cornell University, 406
opportunity to network with other leadership alumni from across the country, and Kennedy Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853
around the world! (Australia usually has a very strong showing, and there will be
alums from Canada, New Zealand and the UK there as well!) Come join us for Director: Larry Van De Valk
3 fun-ﬁlled days of professional development and networking. If we get enough
interest from LEAD New York alumni, we may even charter a bus to travel down Administrative Assistant:
together (Can you say “LEAD Road Trip”?) Keep your eye on the mail later this Connie Kastenhuber
summer for more details!
Telephone: (607) 255-7907
The New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) has announced it’s recipients of Fax: (607) 255-7905
their Small Grants for Specialty Crops program – over $150,000 was awarded. For E-mail: email@example.com
details about these awards or more information about the NYFVI, please contact
them at 162 Morrison Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, 607-255-7286, Board of Directors
Stanley Klein, President
Madeline Pennington, Vice President
If you have not yet made a contribution to Class 10, there is still time! See the
donor roster in this issue for an updated list of who has contributed to this class. A Chip Bailey Nancy Morey
Craig Buckhout Valerie Patten
postage paid return envelope is included for your convenience. John Caltabiano Laura Pederson
William Camp Nathan Rudgers
LEAD was very pleased to receive signiﬁcant ﬁnancial support from the East- Jim Czub Beth Seme
ern Produce Council this year, and we look forward to recruiting future class Thomas Haas Rob Sheffer
participants through this organization as well. To learn more about them, visit www. Scott Herring James Zimmerman
easternproducecouncil.org. Jeff Kirby Bea Slizewski
406 Kennedy Hall PAID
Cornell University Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Address Service Requested