Ag Society Grant Applications Available

Foundation Focuses on Youth Knowledge of Agriculture for 2017 Grants

The NYS Agricultural Society Foundation is spreading the word that it wants to improve the agricultural intellect of youth in the Empire State. With less than 2% of the US population actually involved in farming and ranching, the majority of today’s youth are ignorant about the “who-what-where-when-why and how” of the agriculture industry. By doing a better job of educating kids now, the Foundation envisions that a stronger tie can be forged with future consumers, opinion leaders and decision-makers. The Foundation will be awarding grants, ranging from $500 to $2,500, to local organizations conducting projects in 2017. Due September 1, 2016, grant applications are available online at

In 2016, the Foundation supported three projects ranging from a day camp at SUNY Cobleskill, a 4H agribusiness tour in Wyoming County, and a first annual career day for 200 high school students from 26 school districts in Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates counties.

“The men, women and businesses that are NYS Agricultural Society Foundation donors want to be a positive voice for the agriculture industry,” said Elwyn Voss, co-president. “Working alone and in partnership with our grant organizations, the Foundation can be that vehicle. Our goal is to tell the story of agriculture and food production to American consumers – young and old - so they can make informed decisions. Speaking on behalf of our board of directors, it’s exciting to see the energy and creativity that local groups are expending on behalf of agriculture. In 2017, the fourth year of our grant program, we expect to see even greater results.”

At 185 years old, the New York State Agricultural Society is the oldest association of its kind in the United States.  It was organized in 1832 to foster, promote and improve the New York State food and agricultural industry through education, leadership development and recognition programs. Credited with initiating the NYS Fair and the College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Cornell University, the Society formed the NYS Agricultural Foundation in 2011 to help promote its mission in local communities.

For more information on the 2017 NYS Agricultural Society Foundation grant program, go to or contact Ann Noble Shephard at 315-727-5449,