There is truly never a dull moment at SUNY Cobleskill. During the summer break, the campus takes on a new kind of life: younger students arrive for camps, alumni and friends meet nearby for the annual SUNY Cobleskill Foundation Golf Tournament, and we all continue our diligent, heartfelt work of making SUNY Cobleskill a premier destination for hands-on learning.
Before getting into all the exciting news, I would like to say how proud I was to be able to march with SUNY at the NYC Pride Parade in June. Standing up for equality and diversity with my fellow SUNY representatives is an honor and a joy; seeing so much support for the LGBTQ community throughout the SUNY system and all over the world is affirming and inspirational beyond words.
At SUNY Cobleskill, we recently had the honor of hosting Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal as he and his delegation visited New York on an agri-food trade mission. The Minister discussed the finer points of aquaculture while touring our 40,000-gallon cold-water fish hatchery, explored our state-of-the-art greenhouses, learned about the unique programs made possible by our USDA-approved meat laboratory, and made a four-legged friend or two in the livestock barns. Through it all, he learned how SUNY Cobleskill fits into the broader context of the region and the world as we reinvigorate our mission and reimagine education as an innovative, mutually beneficial collaboration with the broader community.
Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Jeff Leal touring SUNY Cobleskill
This coming fall semester will feature the highly anticipated launch of our Fermentation Science and Applied Fermentation bachelor’s degree programs, among the most comprehensive in the nation. Our programs will train students to work in a variety of fields, from food and beverage production to advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, environmental conservation, even renewable energy.
Over the coming year, we will continue to develop our new Institute for Rural Vitality, which engages the College’s resources in collaboration with community partners to revitalize the regional economy and invigorate our neighboring communities. Under the Institute’s umbrella, 30 farms received assistance last year through the Farm and Food Business Incubator, a partnership with the Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship; we are currently working with private partner AXI to build a potentially revolutionary virtual marketplace for farm and food businesses; our College in High School program is providing new pathways for local students to get an early start on a college degree; and our partnership with Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Agriculture Pathways in Technology Early College High School is a model for innovative, career-focused education.
I am proud to report that SUNY Cobleskill was recently awarded Premier Accredited Center status by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) for our bachelor’s degree program in Therapeutic Horsemanship. We are the first institution of higher education in New York and one of less than a dozen across the country to offer PATH Intl. certification — a key component of career success — as part of a degree program. Not only did we earn the accreditation, but we passed the site visit and review process with a perfect score. Knowing the faculty and staff that run the program, I cannot say I am surprised.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for the next century of innovative education at SUNY Cobleskill. I hope you are as excited as I am.