Rep. Antonio Delgado Announces 19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Committee

March 4, 2019
Press Release
Committee includes 40 farmers and agriculture leaders from every county in the district

KINGSTON, NY – Today, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) announced the creation of his 19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Committee, including farmers and agriculture leaders from every county in the district. The 40 members of the group will provide input to Delgado on ways that Congress can better support small farms in Upstate New York.

“All over our district we’ve got small, local farms that are so vital to our way of life in Upstate and to our economy. I’m looking forward to working with the Advisory Committee to prioritize small and mid-tier family-owned farms who are too often marginalized by Congress,” Delgado said. “The best ideas on how we can empower farmers come not from Washington but from those who actually live and breathe these issues every day in our district. We can’t work through solutions to the challenges that family farms are facing without conversations like the ones I’ll be having with this Advisory Committee at the local level.”

The 19th Congressional District is the eighth most rural district in the country and the third most rural district represented by a Democrat. There are over 5,000 farms and over 8,000 farm operations in the district. Delgado focused his first in-district work period on touring farms and sitting down with local farmers to hear about localized infrastructure, technology needs, and sustainable farming practices.

Agriculture Advisory Committee members praised the creation of the board and discussed what they intend to work on with Delgado. “It’s refreshing to hear the congressman talk about bipartisanship and working hard to get the job done. It’s a breath of fresh air,” said Ray Cullen, Ulster County Farm Bureau President and owner of Green Heron Farm. “The farming community is looking forward to working together on finding solutions to problems like H2-A reform, which is an incredibly important issue for our fruit and vegetable farmers in the Hudson Valley who rely on seasonal labor.”

“Agriculture is central to our history, culture and livelihoods in the Mohawk Valley,” said Jason R. Evans, SUNY Cobleskill professor and director of the Institute for Rural Vitality. “There are real opportunities now for reshaping the regional agricultural economy and making it more robust for future generations of farm and food entrepreneurs. But, there are also complex challenges, and policy will undoubtedly play a role in understanding and overcoming those. I am honored to be part of Congressman Delgado’s Agriculture Advisory Committee and look forward to the important work ahead.”   

“I am excited to be part of Congressman Delgado's Agriculture Advisory team, and I am looking forward to working with him and his staff in trying to solve agriculture and dairy issues in New York 19,” said Duane Martin, dairy farmer and President of Delaware County Farm Bureau.

“We appreciate that newly elected Congressman Delgado reached out to farmers and other agricultural stakeholders in the district to meet with him on a regular basis. Agriculture is at the center of the Upstate economy. It’s important that our elected officials, regardless of party, pay close attention to realities on the ground and what’s at stake for farmers in the district. We hope that regular dialogue with the Committee will better equip him to address needs,” said Phoebe Schreiner, Executive Director of the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE).

“It is very exciting that Congressman Delgado has identified agriculture as a high priority in his district,” said Bernadine Wiesen, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Rensselaer County. “Keeping the agriculture industry healthy is critical for the well-being of ALL residents.  I look forward to the formation of this committee and working together to strengthen our agriculture industry.”


19th Congressional District Agriculture Advisory Board members include:

Sophie Ackoff, National Young Farmers Coalition National Field Director

Brian Aukema, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Broome County Agriculture Team Lead

Jim Barber, Barber's Farm

Cliff Brunner, Sunny Slope Farm

Nick Cipollone, Rondout Valley Growers Association Board President

Isaac Coon, Dutchess County Farm Bureau President

David Cox, CCE of Schoharie and Otsego Counties Agriculture Program Leader

Ray Cullen, Ulster County Farm Bureau President

Jeanne Darling, CCE of Delaware County Executive Director

Jim Davenport, Columbia County Farm Bureau President

Mark R. Davies, Hartwick College Professor of Education & Coordinator of Environment, Sustainability & Society

Shaylyn Decker, Taste NY Market Manager - Capital Region Welcome Center at CCE of Columbia and Greene Counties

Todd Erling, Hudson Valley Agribusiness Executive Director

Jason R. Evans, SUNY Cobleskill Assistant Professor of Agricultural Business Management

Jennifer Fimbel, Dutchess County CCE Agricultural Educator & Ag Navigator

Brian Gilchrist, CCE of Fulton and Montgomery Counties Executive Director

Paul Greer, Otsego County Farm Bureau President

Wes Hannah, Solid Ground Farm; Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition

Wilford (Willie) Hughson, Sullivan County Farm Bureau President

Mike Jennings, Montgomery County Farm Bureau President

David Johnson, Broome County Farm Bureau President

Tianna Kennedy, Star Route Farm; Greater Catskills Young Farmers Coalition

Christian Malsatzki, CCE of Ulster County Senior Agriculture Program Leader

Duane Martin, Delaware County Farm Bureau President

Paul Molesky, Rensselaer County Farm Bureau Vice President; America's Young Farmers and Ranchers Chair               

Colleen Monaghan, CCE of Sullivan County Executive Director

Eric Ooms, New York Farm Bureau Vice President

Brooke Pickering-Cole, Hudson Valley Farm Hub Director

Jeffrey Potent, Delaware County Resident; Columbia University Professor; environmental and sustainable agriculture expert

Dave Raylinsky, Highland Hollow Farm

Bryn Roshong, Solid Ground Farm; Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition

Phoebe K. Schreiner, Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE) Executive Director

Nan & Mark Stolzenburg, Schoharie County farmers

James Van Orden, Greene County Farm Bureau President

John VanDerwerken, Schoharie County Farm Bureau President

Ben Tyler & Greta Zaro, Unadilla Community Farm; Leatherstocking Young Farmers Coalition

Bernadine Wiesen, CCE of Rensselaer County Executive Director

Bari Zeiger, Frost Valley Farm