Aug 18, 2009
New Company Formed by New York Growers

A new company named NYAG LLC has been formed by a group of New York apple growers, the primary purpose of which is to grow, pack, market and sell new advanced apple selections from Cornell University’s Apple Breeding Program led by Susan Brown at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y. The company was formed in March and recently submitted a business plan to Cornell.

“Managed fruit varieties are starting to dominate the introduction of new cultivars by plant breeders around the world,” said Roger Lamont, chairman of the board of NYAG. “Cornell University is ready to release two new apple varieties and has been seeking a partner to team with to bring these new, exciting apples to the marketplace.”

Cornell, via an advisory council recommendation, will choose a partner to team with for exclusive rights for new apple varieties, he said. If NYAG is the chosen partner, contract negotiations with Cornell will commence in September.

The goals of NYAG are:

– To introduce outstanding new apple cultivars to the marketplace
– To allow any New York apple grower the opportunity to become a member
– To enhance New York apple grower sustainability, growth and long-term competitiveness
– To secure exclusive variety contracts that allow its members and licensing partners to profit from growing and selling these varieties
– To invest funding directly to the Cornell apple breeding program to ensure continued variety improvement in the future.

If NYAG is chosen by Cornell as the prospective licensing partner, it will begin a grower communication program that will include both written and oral presentations to the New York state apple grower community, Lamont said. NYAG will discuss the business plan, expansion of the grower board and how any grower can join the corporation through an investment.

“There will be opportunities for all growers, from small farm marketers to large commercial wholesalers, to join, and the initial investment required will correlate to the size of your business,”Lamont said.

The current executive board of NYAG represents all major apple production regions of the state. Board members are Lamont, vice chairman Jeff Crist of Walden, treasurer Walt Blackler of Lafayette, secretary Bob Norris of Savannah and, in member relations, Mason Forrence of Peru, N.Y.

“NYAG members are excited about what this new venture will mean to growers, customers and consumers of New York state apples,” Lamont said. “With two new selections coming soon and potentially more to follow, we are confident that New York apple growers will be well positioned to be at the core of a successful future for our industry.”

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