Catharine Young was named executive director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture in March 2019. A longtime champion of agricultural and economic development, Catharine served for 20 years in the New York State Legislature representing western New York. During that time, she chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee, founded the Legislative Wine and Grape Caucus, sponsored legislation to create the New York State Council on Food Policy, and chaired the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources. She was the first woman in state history to chair the influential Senate Finance Committee. Catharine is passionate about her new role and feels that “To grow New York’s food, beverage, and agriculture economy, and to help businesses expand and flourish by linking them with the incredible innovation, expertise, and resources at Cornell, is a natural extension of the work that I have done as a senator.”

Jenn Smith’s role with Grow-NY draws on her background in craft beverage market development, most recently as the Executive Director of the New York Cider Association and the Admin Director of the New York State Distillers Guild. In addition to working with NYCA and NYSDG, over the past 5 years, Jenn was an NYC-based consultant to entrepreneurs creating value-added products and hospitality ventures. Before that, she was the marketing director of New York’s largest wine and spirits retailer.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Cathy and Jenn [12:02] about:

  • New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech as a business development hub
  • Growing food, beverage, and agriculture business in New York
  • Cornell's Center for Regional Economic Advancement
  • The Grow-NY competition
  • New York’s Agrifood System Report
  • The need for more technological innovations and entrepreneurship in food and agriculture
  • Automation, consumer trends, and upcycling
  • The drive to find solutions to current problems
  • Pandemic-related pivot led by Cornell: Nourish New York
  • Improving and expanding diversity
  • Room to grow
  • The future of technology in New York's farming and food processing sectors

News and Resources

FDA Tech-Talk Podcast: Whole Genome Sequencing in the New Era of Smarter Food Safety [3:40]

FDA to Host New Era of Smarter Food Safety Summit on E-Commerce [4:38]

Food Industry Counsel Introduces Searchable, Real-Time Database of Food Recalls [6:48]

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