Director, Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture, Cornell AgriTech
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.”
Since September 2018, the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture has supported more than 75 small, New York state-based companies. In this feature story, read about how the center has helped three of those businesses thrive.
Our Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture (COE) has been helping food and ag businesses adapt to the COVID-19 economy with new marketing strategies and by diversifying products. “Whether we are helping startups with their business plans or looking at ways that we can assist farmers during the upcoming growing season,” said Cathy Young, executive director of the COE. "We want members of the food and ag community to know that we are here for them.”