Aubertine stepping down from top Ag post this week

New York Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent)

New York Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine (D-Cape Vincent)

Long time North Country politician and life long farmer Darrel Aubertine, from Cape Vincent, is stepping down as New York's agriculture commissioner on Wednesday. The news was first reported in the Watertown Daily Times Saturday. But it has been rumored for weeks, since Fred Dicker wrote a column saying Aubertine felt "cut off" from Governor Cuomo's inner circle.

In the Times article, Aubertine said, not surprisingly, that wasn't true:

“I sat down face-to-face with him about a month ago and had a good conversation about where the agency would go in the future,” he said. “The fact that I would explore other opportunities was discussed, and we left on very good terms. The governor and his administration has done more for the industry than any other administration I’ve worked for in the past — governor (David A.) Paterson, (Eliot L.) Spitzer or (Mario M.) Cuomo.”

“I don’t know where Mr. Dicker got his information, but I can say that I’ve enjoyed my tenure as commissioner and the governor and I are on good terms,” Mr. Aubertine said in response to the claim.

Under Aubertine's nearly three year tenure, I think you can argue Aubertine got Albany to think about New York agriculture as more of an entrepreneurial business with massive growth potential for the Upstate economy, and less of a quaint rustic pursuit that dairy farmers were barely clinging on to.

The Cuomo Administration has created incentives for growth for yogurt manufacturers and the dairy farms they rely on, for local food production hubs, for breweries and wineries, hop growers, and many more agricultural pursuits.

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