During his State of the State address Wednesday, Gov. Eliot Spitzer overlooked one of New York's biggest industries: Agriculture.
In his 7,604-word speech, Spitzer mentioned "agribusiness" once. He never said the word "agriculture."
"That's the number one industry in New York state. It strikes me as a little strange he didn't mention anything about it. Maybe it just wasn't in his mindset when he was preparing his speech." said Assemblyman Will Barclay, R-Pulaski. Assemblyman Bill MaGee, D-Nelson, echoed the same sentiment.
Not only is agriculture the number one industry in New York State, it's the number one industry in Niagara County. It makes you wonder how Spitzer can travel the state visiting areas such as our with any credibility whatsoever. How can he look to spark the Upstate economy when he doesn't recognize what makes the economy tick?
In his defense, Spitzer seemed to make up for the omission by stopping by the state Agricultural Society's annual meeting in Salina.
In a short speech, Spitzer highlighted policies implemented during his first year in office that helped farmers. And state support will be even more noticeable for farmers in 2008, he said.
Let's hope so. While we continuously look to new projects to spark economic development, we cannot allow the agricultural aspects of our economy to go overlooked.