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NYAA welcomes new officers

The New York Apple Association board of directors met in Geneva, NY, June 11 to elect officers and welcome new members. Returning to the role of board chairwoman is Sarah Dressel Nikles of Dressel Farms in New Paltz. Robert Brown III of Orchard Dale Fruit Farm in Waterport was elected to return to the position of vice chair and Karla Bailey of KC Bailey Orchards in Williamson was elected secretary and treasurer. The board also welcomed four new board members who were elected earlier this spring: Randy Hart of Hart Apple Farms LLC, Scott Seeberger of Windy Hill Orchard, Dominic Romero of Pavero Cold Storage and Christopher Oakes of LynOaken Farms Inc.nya

Hart is a third-generation apple grower with more than 20 years of industry experience. He is co-owner of Hart Apple Farms and grows apples on 250 acres for the fresh wholesale market. Hart is also active on the board of directors for the New York State Horticultural Society and serves on the Cornell Cooperative Extension Advisory Committee. He assumes the board seat held by NYAA board member Jay Toohill of Chazy Orchards in Chazy (District 1) who served two three-year terms in office.

Seeberger is a fourth-generation farmer who grows apples on 158 acres for the fresh wholesale market. He has 19 years of industry experience as a direct marketer and is the owner of Northeastern Apple Sales. Seeberger also owns a u-pick apple orchard/farm market in central New York where he markets apples and fresh pressed cider. A graduate of Hudson Valley Community College, he has an associate degree in computer science. He is also a 2016 graduate of the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts where he earned a degree in sustainable food and farming. Seeberger succeeds outgoing NYAA board member David Jones of G.W. Saulpaugh & Son in Germantown (District 2) who served two three-year terms in office.

Romero is a fourth-generation apple grower from the Hudson Valley who farms 800 acres of apples for the fresh wholesale market. He is orchard manager for Pavero Cold Storage where he is responsible for every facet of the operation from land preparation, spray applications, and all-around maintenance. Romero succeeds outgoing NYAA board member Kurt Borchert of Borchert Orchards in Marlboro (District 3) who served two three-year terms on the board.

Oakes is a fourth-generation apple grower who grows 250 acres of apples for the fresh wholesale market. Oakes grows many new varieties as well as varieties used to produce their own brand of hard cider. He serves on the board of directors for Orleans Cornell Cooperative Extension. He has a bachelor’s degree from Fredonia State University and is a graduate of Cornell University’s LEAD NY. Oakes succeeds board member Jason Woodworth of Lamont Fruit Farm in Waterport (District 6) who served two three-year terms in office, including a two-year term as chairman.