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Catharine M. Young

Catharine M. Young, a longtime champion of agriculture and economic growth, was named Executive Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech in March 2019.

Under her leadership, the Center of Excellence has worked with more than 300 companies to help them expand in New York State.  The Center has helped businesses realize more than $70 million in positive economic growth and create more than 300 jobs by providing them with business mentoring, and connections to Cornell research and technology, business-to-business partnerships, government economic incentives, and sources of capital. 

Prior to her role at Cornell, Catharine Young was a New York State Senator with a distinguished record of accomplishment, representing western New York for more than 20 years.  She made history when she became the first woman to chair the influential Senate Standing Committee on Finance that leads the Senate’s role in crafting the state budget and initiating other major policy initiatives.

Senator Young also served as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and founded the Legislative Wine and Grape Caucus. She sponsored legislation that created the New York State Council on Food Policy and co-chaired the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources.

She grew up on a third generation dairy and grains farm in Livingston County, and her fondest childhood memories are of working alongside her father and grandfather.  She currently lives in Olean with her family.

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