FREDONIA - The 46th Annual Fredonia Farm Festival had a special guest Friday afternoon.
Lt. Gov. candidate Kathy Hochul made an appearance to discuss what agriculture means to her and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Mayors Stephen Keefe and Anthony J. Dolce gave the introductions.
"The governor is so committed to Western New York that he kept a Western New Yorker to be his running mate," Keefe said. "A friend told me he sees her (Kathy Hochul) on a regular basis. Whenever he sees her she stops and talks and is a very good listener. She is a very good person to represent Western New York."
"When you think of Fredonia being the home of the Women's Temperance Union it is outstanding to have a representative who can reflect the same values as the founding women of the state," Keefe continued.
Dolce added it gave him great pride to introduce Hochul.
"Kathy Hochul is a Western New York success story," he stated. "She spent most of her life within a short drive of this very spot. Now Gov. Cuomo has selected Kathy to represent us as Lieutenant Governor. He did that as a sign of his commitment to Western New York. Kathy is an outstanding public servant."
Hochul announced to the crowd she loves coming to places like this.
"My husband and I love coming down to the Chautauqua Institution," she said. "We love coming down for the inspiration, to relax, and enjoy the beauty, the culture and the intellectual stimulation. We drive down to Dunkirk to have a drink by the water and escape Erie County. I have walked these streets before; this is not new to me.
"I love this county and I love what is going on here today. It is a celebration of truly one of our greatest assets in this state - our agricultural community," Hochul continued. "When I was in Congress I represented a very large agricultural area. I felt the pain of the farmers when they lost their crops. I walked through their fields."
Hochul wants everyone to know she and Gov. Cuomo are going to continue to stand for the farmers of the entire state.
"We need you, we need your food on our tables, and all the great jobs created through agriculture," she said. "We will be there for you as you are there for all of us in the community. I am here to celebrate farming."
Cuomo has had many summits to discuss the process of beer and wine breweries.
"He believes we need to do the best we can to promote our local agriculture products," Hochul said. "We are just beginning and there are great things ahead of us."
Hochul added it has been a tough year for local grape farmers.
"They had a tough hit with the loss of their grapes," she said. "We will bring money back to them as much as possible."
The still sensitive subject of the Carriage House was mentioned.
"We sent response teams to help people," Hochul said. "We want people to have an opportunity to look for jobs. They took a hard hit, and a lot of people did the best they could. StartUp New York has done a tremendous job so far in helping these people. The whole community benefits when we bring in more jobs."