U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years, joined Dr. Debra H. Thatcher, Acting President of SUNY Cobleskill, and other College constituents at the College’s new Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources to learn more about the connectivity of SUNY Cobleskill’s agricultural and natural resource programs and the farm-to-table evolution throughout New York State and the country.

“SUNY Cobleskill is honored by Senator Gillibrand’s visit,” remarked Dr. Thatcher. “We appreciate her national advocacy for agriculture and her commitment to New York’s economic vitality.”

Stops along the tour included the cold water fish hatchery, the conservatory, and the hydroponic greenhouse. Dr. Jason Evans, Professor of Agricultural Business also discussed the upcoming establishment of SUNY Cobleskill’s Dairy Processing Center, a facility that will provide processing space for the region’s dairy producers, technical assistance and education for producers and processors, and experiential educational opportunities for SUNY Cobleskill students.“I’m really excited about the work being done here and I’m very grateful for all the collaborative efforts they’re making with local businesses along with Cornell and other leaders in Agriculture,” remarked Senator Gillibrand.

Stephen Mackenzie, Professor of Animal Science, along with Breanna Hughes, a junior in Animal Science, and Daisy, a Brittany Spaniel, greeted Senator Gillibrand, who was impressed by the College’s plans for a new canine facility and expanded canine programming. “The [canine] program is really exciting because a lot of our veterans coming back from Afghanistan and Iraq have serious issues in regards to PTSD. We have seen some of the most successful programs for vets use dogs to help them transition back into society,” said Senator Gillibrand.

Concluding her tour, Senator Gillibrand enjoyed culinary delights prepared by SUNY Cobleskill students using campus raised products and remarked on her impression of the tour. “I think the work being done here at SUNY Cobleskill is really inspiring. The type of programs they are developing, that will help our economy grow locally, is incredible. Not only are they focused on how we can enhance agriculture through hydroponics, through more fisheries development, through value-added products, but they also are creating opportunities for new development, new ideas that meet our communities’ needs.”

*Photo Caption: Stephen Mackenzie, Professor of Animal Science, along with Breanna Hughes, a junior in Animal Science, and Daisy, a Brittany Spaniel, greeted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at SUNY Cobleskill’s new Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources.