University Shines at Cornell Day in Albany

By Tom Fleischman

CALS Booth in Albany
Cheryl Thayer, MPA ’12, Harvest New York local food distribution and marketing specialist; Kathryn J. Boor, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Anika Zuber ’14, Harvest New York dairy processing and marketing specialist; and Chris Watkins, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, at Cornell Day in Albany. Photo: Joann Hoose

Cornell brought its message of education, discovery and engagement to the state capital Jan. 26 for Cornell Day in Albany, taking the opportunity to show off its diverse offerings to lawmakers and visitors to the capital.

A casual breakfast and examples of the university’s work were set up in the Well, a cavernous space in the center of the Legislative Office Building. Attendees included several Cornell alumni who serve in state government and university leaders, led by the late University President Elizabeth Garrett.

Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), provided an update to the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, noting last year’s increased financial support for key programs including Harvest New York, PRO-DAIRY and NY FarmNet. She also called on state leaders to work together with industry members and institutions like Cornell to make agriculture an economic driver in New York.

“Each time you bite into a strawberry or raspberry grown in a New York farm field, or enjoyed local squash with your fall meals, know that the work that you have done to secure agricultural research dollars has helped make sure that those fruits and vegetables are free of insects and plant diseases,” Boor said. “Without your support and foresight, Cornell scientists would not be developing the management tools to make sure that farmers can continue to grow the local foods that you and I and all New Yorkers enjoy in the summer and fall.”

Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, R-122nd Dist., who represents parts of Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Ulster counties, explained the value of the one-day event.

“Coming here and telling the Cornell story directly, face-to-face, with the legislators I think is very, very important,” said the 72-year-old Crouch, who received a two-year certificate from CALS in 1965. “They have to understand how Cornell got here, why it’s here and keep the pieces all together.”