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Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb: Finger Lakes wine and agriculture industry is the cream of the crop

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The Finger Lakes Region is a magnificent place with an abundance of natural beauty and resources, amazing tourist destinations and hard-working people. The culmination of those facets has yielded a rapidly-growing and extremely successful wine and agriculture industry that has helped turn the Finger Lakes into one of the premier viticulture regions in New York and the country. With continued support for the New York Wine & Culinary Center and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the region will continue to be a leader in viticulture education, research and manufacturing. 


In recent years, appreciation for the Finger Lakes wine industry has steadily increased. This trend benefits both the local and state economies and provides consumers with quality, locally-produced wine. Agriculture is a major part of the state’s economy and we must continue to protect and support it. Investing in New York’s agriculture and viticulture will ensure the creation of jobs and a prosperous future. 

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Recently, New York State committed to providing $200,000 to Cornell University and its New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva. The funding will go toward researching two pivotal ingredients in beer; hops and malting barley. The state is also partnering with the New York Wine & Culinary Center to educate visitors about New York products and the benefits of using locally-sourced ingredients. I am proud of the efforts of these institutions and the attention they have attracted is certainly warranted. Their innovative programs benefit future farmers, consumers and the New York State economy. Their contributions should be lauded. 


I have always been an advocate for supporting local businesses. Buying regional products and shopping locally allows consumers to buy fresh, high-quality items while supporting their neighbors. This summer, while the weather is warm and the sun is shining, I encourage each of you to visit local farmers’ markets, stores and shops to help keep the Finger Lakes Region a great place to live, work and raise a family. 

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.


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