State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta), who has served in the New York legislature for over three decades, received national recognition Wednesday at the North American Agricultural Safety Summit for his tireless service to the farm community.

“Agriculture is New York State’s number one industry. It is vital to our economy and way of life,” said Senator Seward. “I have continually advocated for policies and laws to help our farmers and that includes crucial safety programs like the highly successful New York Rollover Protection System (ROPS) Rebate Program.”

Seward has been a champion for the ROPS Rebate Program in New York, founded through the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), a Bassett Healthcare Network program. He also successfully pushed to increase availability of health insurance for uninsured farmers, while working to decrease the cost of health insurance for small business owners.

“You cannot put a price tag on the health and well-being of our farmers and investments in safety pay dividends for years and generations to come,” said Seward, a long-time member of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee.

“Senator Seward has made marked contributions to the health and safety of New York farmers and serves as an example to other state senators,” says NYCAMH director Julie Sorensen. “He has demonstrated what is possible when farmers, researchers, health professionals and educators work collectively towards the common goal of worker health and safety.”

Originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, the awards ceremony and summit event programming was hosted online by the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Not only is safety important for individual employees, but it also is one of the key business excellence areas that determine long-term sustainability,” said Jess McCluer, board chair of ASHCA, and vice president of safety and regulatory affairs at the National Grain and Feed Association.