State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine announced the first in a series of new initiatives aimed at getting New Yorkers excited about and more involved in the 2013 Great New York State Fair. The first annual Pride of NY Wine and Cheese Competition will take place during next year’s festivities. Any New York-based wine or cheese company is eligible to be part of this first-of-its-kind competition. The competition will take place inside the Pride of NY room in the Horticulture Building. Wine and cheese companies will be competing for the first-ever “Pride of New York” award during the 2013 Fair.
While details on the Wine and Cheese Competition are still being developed, the Commissioner is encouraging all New Yorkers to submit their ideas for the event. In fact, New Yorkers are encouraged to send all their ideas for the 2013 Great New York State Fair to email@example.com. New Yorkers can also let the Department know what they liked and disliked about the 2012 Fair.
“When you’re planning one of the largest parties of the year for nearly a million people, it’s never too early to get things moving,” Commissioner Aubertine said. “The Pride of NY Wine and Cheese Competition is only the beginning. Our staff has a lot of ideas that we think will work for next year, but we also want to hear from our fellow New Yorkers about what they want to see. We’re living in a New New York, where the people have the strongest voice in their government. We want to hear directly from the people to make certain that the 2013 Great New York State Fair remains the premier attraction of its kind in the nation.”
“We appreciate the Department’s support of the grape and wine industry as well as all of agriculture, including the Wine Village and wine competition associated with the Great New York State Fair,” said Jim Trezise, President of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. “The New York Wine and Grape Foundation has worked closely with the Department of Agriculture and Markets, and a competition involving the wines and cheeses from across New York will add a new element to next year’s Fair.”
The New York Wine and Grape Foundation was created by unanimous vote of the State legislature in 1985. The Foundation is a private, not-for-profit trade association supporting the State’s grape growers, wineries, and grape juice producers through programs of research and promotion. Since the Foundation’s creation, the wine industry has become one of the fastest growing industries in New York’s agricultural and tourism sectors, generating more than $3.7 billion annually in economic activity for the state. Department of Agriculture and Markets staff serve on the New York State Wine and Grape Foundation Board and provide valuable input on the promotion of this industry.
Cheese is also a significant industry in New York. Nationwide, New York ranks fourth in cheese production. The state leads the nation in the production of cream cheese and cottage cheese. In 2011, New York produced 732 million pounds of cheese, 205 million pounds of cream cheese and 191 million pounds of cottage cheese.
For more information about the Department of Agriculture and Markets, visit www.agriculture.ny.gov. Follow us on Twitter: @nyagandmarkets.