BINGHAMTON, NY – Members of the SUNY Business and Education Cooperative of the Southern Tier (SUNY BEST) will discuss the New York Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI) and how it will affect the food and agricultural industries at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, in Room 220 at the Binghamton University Downtown Center, 67 Washington St., Binghamton. This presentation is free and open to the public.

Binghamton University and the Southern Tier are among the winners in the Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), a competition among seven upstate regions for millions of dollars in funding to support projects identified by the Regional Economic Development Councils. Three of the seven regions deemed to have made the most compelling proposals for the funding have been designated "Best Plan Awardees" – including the Southern Tier – and each will receive $500 million.

One of the four major categories proposed in the URI is the food and agriculture industry. Speakers Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Jan Nyrop, professor of enomology at Cornell University, will discuss how the URI will help the Southern Tier work towards transforming into a world-recognized leader in agriculture technology and serve as a key food supplier for the East Coast of the United States.  According to officials, a strategic mix of projects will transform and grow agriculture and food production, processing and distribution across the region, while also strengthening links to growing tourism and manufacturing industries.

Pre-registration for this discussion is required through the SUNY BEST website at http://sunybest.binghamton.edu/. For additional information, e-mail sunybest@binghamton.edu