Tuesday, April 29, 2008

NY delegation puts out nice spread during Cuba trip

Monday, April 28, 2008 - 9:37 AM EDT
NY delegation puts out nice spread during Cuba trip
The Business Review (Albany)

During a recent trip to Cuba, a delegation of 19 New York farmers and
agricultural leaders put on a "Pride of New York" dinner.

New York Agriculture Commissioner Paul Hooker led the delegation of New
York farmers to Cuba in the state's first trade mission to the country
from April 21-23.

The delegation included: Kevin King of Empire State Forest Products in
Rensselaer; John Cushing of New York Apple Sales in Castleton; and Lloyd
Zimmerman of Black Horse Farm Inc. of Coxsackie.

The goal of the trip was to encourage the export of New York fruits and
vegetables to Cuba.

"As part of the trade mission, it is customary to host [a] dinner for
the Cubans one night," Hooker said. "So, instead of hosting a Cuban-made
dinner at a local Havana restaurant, we organized a Pride of New York
dinner that allowed the Cubans to not only meet our growers and
producers, but to taste for themselves the finest product in New York

Voorheesville chef A.J. Jayapal, who is the executive chef at the Albany
Country Club, served his guests wine from Fairport, Monroe County; a
Schoharie Valley vegetable medley, and New York marinated beef. Gift
bags included pancake mix from New Hope Mills in Auburn, Cayuga County;
onions from NY Bold LLC in Fulton, Oswego County; and baseball bats from
Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. in Dolgeville, Herkimer County.

New York is one of 26 states that have organized traded missions to
Cuba. Since 2000, U.S. companies have been allowed to sell agricultural,
food and medical products to the island. Cuba has purchased $2.7 billion
worth of agriculture and food products from U.S. companies in the past
seven years.

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