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Pride of New York Harvest Fest a Showcase of New York Agriculture

State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine today said this weekend’s Pride of New York Harvest Fest is a great opportunity to see and learn about the variety of agricultural products from wine to potato chips that New York has to offer.

“Too often we hear stories about the disconnect between our farms and the general public,” said Sen. Aubertine, chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “With today’s modern lifestyles and the variety offered in grocery stores with food brought in from all over the world, for many it becomes too easy to think that food comes from the grocery store. The reality is that here in New York agriculture is our number one industry and the simplest choice a consumer can make to support our economy, help our environment and get the freshest foods is to buy local.”

The Pride of New York Harvest Fest (www.harvestfestny.com) at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse this weekend showcases New York produce, local food manufacturers, and local restaurants with more than 100 vendors showcasing a variety of products made in New York including wines and beers, barbecue sauces, mustards and relishes, fruits and vegetables, meats and cheeses, along with ice cream, grains and nuts.

“This festival is a great way to see what we have to offer here in New York State and get people started on a New York first diet that will help support and even create jobs in our communities, instead of overseas,” Sen. Aubertine said. “In New York, our farmers and manufacturers meet the highest standards to ensure we are getting quality for ourselves and our families when we select an item off the grocery store shelf.”

Tickets to the Harvest Fest, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the 581 State Fair Boulevard, Syracuse, are $25 and include unlimited tastings at the many booths, along with a free seminar. Seminars offered include four Pride of New York Cooking Seminars put on by Wegmans kitchen each featuring a different chef, Wine & Chocolate, Wine & Cheese, Favorite Beers with Favorite Foods, and ask a Winemaker.

The Senator has been committed to promoting local agriculture, both in his role as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and as chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. Over the past two months the Senator has held roundtable discussions and farm tours to talk with farmers and agricultural producers about the issues facing agriculture. Time and time again, the participants in these roundtables have stressed the need for better consumer education to help the general public understand the standards for quality that New York producers meet and the impact consumer choices can have on local farmers.