Assemblyman Bill Magee, second from right, received the inaugural ‘Friend of Extension’ award by Cornell Cooperative Extension – Madison County during the CCE annual meeting Dec. 4. Magee is posing with Doug and Kathe Evans, far right and far left, whose farm, Sunny Acres in Georgetown, won a CCE Heritage Farm Award for being in operation for over 150 years. Also pictured is CCE-MC President Cory Mosher, who handed out the awards. (photo by Jason Emerson)
State Assemblyman Bill Magee has been known for his 28 years of service in the assembly as a champion of state agriculture and farmers, who not only knows what he is talking about when it comes to ag issues, but knows how to get things done for his farming constituents. Because of his long and dedicated service to the ag community in Central New York, he recently was named the inaugural recipient of the ‘Friend of Extension’ award by Cornell Cooperative Extension – Madison County.
This new award is to be given annually to an individual or organization that has provided substantial and sustained support to the CCE Mission: Cornell Cooperative Extension puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability and social wellbeing. It brings local experience and research-based solutions together, helping New York State families and communities thrive in a rapidly changing world.
“There is no better choice for this award that Assemblyman Bill Magee,” said Dr. Christopher Watkins, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, in a written statement during the CCE-MC annual meeting on Dec. 4. Watkins could not attend the event but sent his comments to be read at the meeting. Magee, Watkins said, has been a “key legislative partner to farmers” in New York state and specifically in Madison County, and he is “known for his down to earth and personal touch” and his “ability to bring people and partners together to benefit all New Yorkers.”
Magee, who was present to receive the award but did not speak, received a standing ovation from the more than 60 attendees at the meeting.
“It is very fitting that Bill Magee is the first to receive this award,” said Cory Mosher, CCE-MC president. Mosher said that as he was reviewing Magee’s public career he was amazed at the assemblyman’s ag-related achievements. “Holy cow, the amount of stuff Mr. Magee has done for ag — and he’s from right here in Central New York.”
Magee has served as state assemblyman for the NY-121 district for the past 28 years. He was defeated for reelection in November and leaves office Jan. 1.
Also at the Dec. 4 meeting, three Madison County farms were awarded a Centennial or Heritage Farm Award for farms that have operated for 100 years or more. This year’s recipients are:
• Heritage Farm Award to Sunny Acres in Georgetown in recognition of over 150 years of farming in Madison County.
• Heritage Farm Award to Woodstead Farm in DeRuyter in recognition of over 150 years of farming in Madison County.
• Centennial Farm Award to Otis Marshall Farms Inc. in Munnsville in recognition of 100 years of farming in Madison County.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.