• Richard A. Ball
    Commissioner of New York State Agriculture & Markets

    Richard BallA native New Yorker, Mr. Ball has made a living in agriculture his entire life. His inspiration to become a farmer came from his grandparents, who were lifelong dairy farmers. At 18 years old, Mr. Ball began his career in agriculture as a farm worker at a vegetable farm in Rhode Island. He later became operations manager of that same farm. After 20 years in Rhode Island, Mr. Ball moved back to the Empire State with an opportunity to become a farm owner. For the past 20 years, he has been the owner and operator of Schoharie Valley Farms in Schoharie, NY, which consists of 200 acres and produces a wide range of vegetable crops, small fruits and greenhouse crops. The farm serves both retail and wholesale consumers through an onsite farm market known as “The Carrot Barn” and ships to brokers and restaurants in the local area as well as New York City. Mr. Ball has held a number of positions within agriculture and community organizations at the local, state and national level, including:

    • Vice President - New York State Vegetable Growers Association
    • Board of Directors, Member of Executive Committee, Member of Audit Committee, Chairman of Labor Committee - New York Farm Bureau
    • Member of Labor Committee (past Chairman) - American Farm Bureau
    • Representative for Schoharie County - Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council
    • Board of Directors (past President) - Schoharie County Farm Bureau
    • President - Schoharie Valley Association
    • Chairman - Schoharie Recovery, Inc., a non-profit formed to help the recovery effort from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee
    • Past President - Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce

    Mr. Ball, his wife Shirley, and his three children are actively engaged in farming with a growing number of future farmers among the grandchildren.

  • Barry Sample
    Chair of New York State Gaming Commission

    Barry Sample recently retired from Governor Cuomo’s Administration as Deputy Director of State Operations where he handled the day-to-day management of state government following nearly two decades in service to New York State. In addition to his most recent experience, Mr. Sample served as Deputy Director at the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, Deputy Director at the New York State Division of Budget, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Community Relations at the New York State Comptroller’s Office. Mr. Sample also taught at SUNY Albany, where he was involved in their Center on Minorities and their School of Criminal Justice.

  • Steve Jones

    Steve Jones owns Cameo Hills Farm and he and his family have built it into a premier Standardbred breeding and boarding facility located on 425 acres in Montgomery, Orange County, New York. He started the farm in 1982 with his father, the late Hall of Famer Hal Jones. It is home to approximately 100 broodmares, raises nearly 60 yearlings every year, and stands stallions Huntsville and So Surreal. Mr. Jones runs the farm with his wife Kathy and sons Tyler and Jake. Mr. Jones also actively serves on the board of both The Hambletonian Society and The Grand Circuit. As a longtime member of the Board of Directors at Goshen Historic Track, he has served as President since 2014. He has also been a member of the Board of Trustees at the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame since 2013.

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