Commissioner Richard Ball

Creation & Mission of the NYS Council on Food Policy

The New York State Governorís Office issued Executive Order No. 13 on May 18, 2007 that established the New York State Council on Food Policy (NYS CFP). NYS CFP was created with the recognition that agriculture is a critically important industry to New York State, that hunger is a serious problem facing many families; that access to affordable, fresh and nutritious food is a serious problem; and that there are significant environmental, health and economic benefits from expanding agriculture production, including locally-grown and organically-grown food.

After review in 2011, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 2: Review, Continuation and Expiration of Prior Executive Orders in which it was determined that the Executive Order No. 13: Establishing the New York State Council on Food Policy addresses ongoing issues and will be continued. By this, Governor Andrew Cuomo recognizes that the NYS CFP is essential in that it addresses ongoing issues and ensures that the Council shall remain in full force.

NYS CFP brings the public, producers and government together to explore ways in which we can improve our existing food production and delivery systems, expand capacity and in particular, ensure the availability of safe, fresh, nutritious and affordable food for all New Yorkers, especially children, seniors, and low-income residents. Additionally, by expanding the sale of locally grown products, we can help struggling farmers and expand the local agriculture and state economy.

NYS CFP develops and makes recommendations to the Governor on state regulations, legislation and budget proposals in the area of food policy to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive inter-agency approach to state food policy issues. The Council delivers a written annual report the Governor.

Members of the NYS Council On Food Policy To Top

The NYS CFP is composed of twenty-one (21) members appointed by the Governor from all aspects of the food systems. Members include: State agency heads from the Department of Agriculture and Markets; Department of Health; Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance; Department of Economic Development; Office for the Aging; State Education Department; and the Consumer Protection Board. The Council also benefit from the expertise and insight contributed by the Dean of the New York State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University; an anti-hunger advocate; two food assistance organization representatives; a nutritionist; a school food administrator; a farm organization; and three representatives from the food industry (producers, distributors, processors, retailers) one of which is involved in organic production; and members with food policy related experience recommended by the Majority and Minority Leaders from both houses of the Legislature.

In September of 2007, after a rigorous and thoughtful process, the members of the NYS CFP were announced (Governorís Press Release 09/19/2007).

Together, the Council members represent the diversity of expertise and the depth of knowledge necessary to develop and recommend an effective food policy for the State.


Richard Ball, Commissioner, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets


Howard Zemsky, Commissioner, NYS Department of Economic Development; President and CEO, Empire State Development Corporation
Dr. Kathryn Boor, Dean, NYS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University
Linda Bopp, Executive Director, Hunger Solutions NY
Bruce Both, President, United Food and Commercial Workers Union; Local 1500
Raymond Denniston, BOCES Broome-Tioga; Co-Chair NYS Farm to School Coordinating Committee
Diane Eggert, Executive Director, Farmers Market Federation of New York
MaryEllen Elia, Commissioner, NYS Education Department
Cathryn Mizbani, WIC Program Coordinator, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, Schenectady County
Liz Neumark, CEO, Great Performances; Sylvia Center
Gregory Olsen, Acting Director, NYS Office for the Aging
Kristen Proud, Commissioner, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Dr. Howard A. Zucker, Commissioner, NYS Department of Health
Irwin Simon, Founder, Chairperson, President and CEO, Hain Celestial Group, Inc
Jeff Williams, Director of Public Policy, New York Farm Bureau
Eleanor Wilson, MS, RD, CDN, Senior Dietitian, Price Chopper Supermarkets, Inc
Catharine Young, New York State Senator, 57th District
Tessa Edick, Executive Director, Farm On! Foundation


Dr. Barbara Dennison, Director of Policy and Research Translation Unit, NYS Department of Health
Ellen Deutsch, Chief Growth Officer and Senior Vice President, Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
Julie Suarez, Assistant Dean, NYS College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University
Lisa Irving, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance
Linda LaViolette, Director of Farmersí Markets, Empire State Development
Jorge Montalvo, Director, Strategic Policy Initiatives, Division of Consumer Protection, NYS Dept. of State
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator Child Nutrition Program Administration, NYS Education Department
Patricia Race, NYS Department of Health, Division of Nutrition
Kelly Young, Deputy Director of Public Policy, New York Farm Bureau

History To Top

In1984, then NYS Governor Mario Cuomo, established the New York State Council on Food and Nutrition Policy. That Council was made up of seven State agency heads appointed by the Governor and Chaired by the Commissioner of Health. In 1987 the Council on Food and Nutrition Policy delivered a "Five Year Food and Nutrition Plan 1988-92" to the Governor. The four purposes of the plan were to:

  • Promote good health and prevent food and diet-related diseases;
  • Alleviate and ultimately prevent hunger through increased access to food and resources;
  • Support food production in NYS while preserving environmental resources and jobs; and
  • Promote the development and economic viability of the stateís food processing, marketing, and distribution industries.

Within that document, twenty recommendations with comprehensive action plans were recommended for food and nutrition policy in New York State.

For further information, please see Section II. History: 1984 New YorkState Council on Food and Nutrition Policy of the December 1, 2007 NYS Council on Food Policy Report to the Governor NYS Council on Food Policy Report to the Governor

New York State food policy historical documents include, but are not limited to: 

Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition:

Council on Food and Nutrition Policy