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The New Story of Agriculture and Markets: Your Food... its purity and honesty



The New Story of Agriculture and Markets: Your Food... its purity and honesty


Pamphlet published by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets describing how the department is working to ensure food purity, health inspections, and consumer services such as reports for availability, prices and nutrition.


New York (State). Department of Agriculture and Markets.


New York (State). Department of Agriculture and Markets.




Queens College Department of Special Collections and Archives (New York, N.Y.)


Between 1959-1-1 and 1972-1-7


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New York (State)


The New Story of Agriculture and Markets
Your Food... its purity and honesty
Department of Agriculture and Markets
behind the story of

The world is producing people faster than food.

That's why food is of such great importance today. That, plus the truism that each and every one of us must eat to stay alive. And food - your food - not just the production of it but the processing and transporting and retailing ... its purity and honesty . . . these are the primary concerns of your New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

That is what this Department is all about. To provide consumers with the best food services possible, is our main business. We perform many other consumer services too, but food is number one. All the way from the seeds to your table, from lush grasses to your cold glass of milk.

There are people who assume this Department works only with farmers and that our services apply almost exclusively to farmers. In an effort to correct this misconception and to set the record straight, this folder presents a pint-sized sketch of what Agriculture and Markets really is.

To understand the importance of our food services, it may be well to first grasp the meaning of "agriculture" as the word is used today. Once it was sort of a top level term for "farming." Now it's gone inclusive. "Agriculture" includes farming, of course, but to that has been added all the businesses supplying the farmer, the industries processing his crops to preserve them, to make them last in a wholesome and pleasant state, to make them more attractive, palatable, nourishing, available, to provide truthful information about them, to make you the consumer - happy with your purchases of New York State products.

[See document for chart]
In presenting this leaflet, we recognize that the world, and more particularly the food business in all its aspects, is in a state of change. Possibly it is not change itself that is as important as the rate of change. We believe this age of change is not for the unimaginative, the frightened, the timid. It is rather an age for the bold thinkers, the ingenious, the pace setters. And we further believe that it is to these pathfinders that success and all its fruits will accrue.
-DON J. WICKHAM, Commissioner
New York State Department of
Agriculture and Markets

* * * *

Service of the highest importance to the millions of consumers in New York State is the responsibility of the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

As consumer buying habits change, as technological advances are met at every turn in the big business of food, and as population increases, the services of Agriculture and Markets are called upon for corresponding changes of pace.

It is our duty to be prepared to meet these changes, to be ready for them when they occur. And they are occurring with a rapidity which could not have been imagined even a few years ago.

We estimate that 80 percent of our long list of services has a direct impact on the daily lives of the people of this State. That estimate is modest. Without doubt that figure is larger.

But the figure of 80 percent will serve to point up the contention that by far the great bulk of our work is performed not for a select few but for every man, woman and child within the borders of New York. Indirectly, for many thousands beyond our borders.

About our concern with sufficient supplies of food and plant life - wholesome, healthy food and disease-free plant life:

Certainly we are concerned with farmers, both as producers and consumers. For every farmer today is a consumer as well as a producer. We enter the picture even ahead of the farmer. We have a pre-farmer interest in the land of the farm, in the water for that land, in the application of many forms of research to the use of the land, in the seeds to be planted, in the material he uses to enrich his soil.

All this, however, is only in the initial stages of the meticulous care we must exercise before the ultimate user takes the resulting products of the land into his home or place of business.

It seems almost too well known to repeat that the Department of Agriculture and Markets combats pests preying on food, animal and plant life. Or that we inspect for impurities. Or that we insist on specifics of cleanliness in the food industry.

As we help the starving people of the world, our own supplies become less abundant. Less abundance here stimulates greater attention to the prevention of waste and spoilage, to the ravages of pests and diseases, to the development of strains resistant to attacks that spell destruction and loss.

The never ending search for those things which can injure the health of our people, the laboratory procedures for final examination, the details of the transportation complex and the distribution variances, honest treatment in consumer sales- are facts of life for this Department.

The swing of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets to consumer services has its counterparts in departments of agriculture throughout the United States.

It is necessary to comprehend this change to appreciate what the State, through Agriculture and Markets, is doing to serve business and business customers - the consumers - in the manner they richly deserve.

We grow more concerned with water availability and with the chemicals that have come to the aid of man in his production efforts as well as the ingredients we approve for food additives.

We who have become accustomed to surpluses and government warehouses bulging with foodstuffs for which we had no immediate use, must be mindful that the world is now facing food shortages.

The planning of our State government takes this situation into full consideration.

In an effort to assist the housewife, we have recently expanded our consumer information services on availabilities and costs. For several years we have issued a weekly report for the guidance of housewives. In this report our market reporters tell of current supplies of food and offer suggestions on "best buys."

But with public awareness of rising food prices it became essential to supplement this one report and its somewhat limited distribution. The mid-week report now includes a menu-of-the-week compiled by nutritionists basing their ideas on the food facts turned up by our market reporters.

Then we added a second weekly report for consumers, spacing it a few days from the original. And to these reports and menu, we then added a fourth - a retail price guide for the metropolitan area. Moreover, we arranged for much wider distribution of these reports.

Meat inspection in slaughtering and processing plants and wherever we may be called upon to determine the wholesomeness of meat, is one of the great consumer services of Agriculture and Markets. And a fairly new one. It is in addition to the National and New York City inspection plans.

The quality of all other foods and the conditions of the places where they are prepared and served to the public, come under our surveillance. We inspect and examine endlessly to assure compliance with the safeguards established by the State.

The State Food Laboratory is a part of Agriculture and Markets. Here in a well-equipped, ably staffed laboratory, continuous examination goes on for impurities and for anything present in food or milk that should not be there.

Animals supplying, or used for, food are another field of Department activities. They must be healthy and it is our job to detect any that aren't.

The food you eat, the plant life you purchase or enjoy in a variety of forms, must come to you honestly represented, correctly labelled, accurately weighed and measured, often graded for buying guidance. A great many foods are required to meet official standards. Moreover in assisting in the marketing activities of these products, we must determine and report on availabilities. We work with the distribution industry. We license thousands of firms and individuals after learning about their reliability and ability to provide the particular service or product they offer.

Statistics are highly important factors in this modern agriculture. The Department gathers reams of them. Reports and audits and inspections- everything must fall into the right place at the right time to save you, the consumer, from worry. We even compile data on foods available for a serious emergency.

We ask you to appreciate the careful training, hard work, technical skill, devotion to the public welfare and long experience of the hundreds of men and women involved in all the ramifications of this immensely important agricultural program so vital to your wellbeing. We're proud of Agriculture and Markets. We want you to share that pride.

Nelson A. Rockefeller, Governor
Don J. Wickham, Commissioner
Assistant Commissioners
Daniel M. Dalrymple- John H. Stone
Albany, New York 12226

Original Format

8.5 x 11 inches (216 x 279 mm)


New York (State). Department of Agriculture and Markets., “The New Story of Agriculture and Markets: Your Food... its purity and honesty,” Queens College Archives and Special Collections, accessed August 16, 2018,