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State Commissioner of Ag and Markets to Speak At Morrisville State College

Patrick Hooker is a 1982 graduate of the college
MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— Patrick Hooker, New York state’s newly confirmed commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, will make a stop at his alma mater, Morrisville State College, on March 6 to speak to current and prospective students during the college’s Destination Days event.

Hooker, who graduated from Morrisville in 1982 with an associate degree in agricultural science, will speak at 1 p.m. in the Little Theater in the John W. Stewart Center for Student Activities.

“We’re honored that Pat is taking the time to spend with students at Morrisville,” Ray Cross, Morrisville State College president, said. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with him, and I know that our students will benefit from his knowledge and example.”

Destination Days” is designed to provide academic and career information to students through a series of workshops, panel discussions and presentations.

Accepted students can register to spend the day with a current Morrisville State College student in their major, attend classes, see what campus life is like, and take part in other activities.

Current and prospective students may also take part in the Destination Days job fair, taking the opportunity to meet with area employers to discuss current openings and future industry needs.

As commissioner, Hooker oversees the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, addressing agricultural economic development, environmental stewardship and food safety issues to ensure agriculture remains a significant contributor to New York’s economy and quality of life.

He previously worked for the New York Farm Bureau for 16 years as director of the Public Policy Division. He has also worked in the state legislature – first for State Assembly Minority Leader C.D. "Rapp" Rappleyea as a Rural Affairs Advisor, and later as the Director of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, chaired by State Senator John "Randy" Kuhl.

Hooker grew up working on a neighbor’s dairy farm in Nelson. He was an active member of the Madison County Junior Holstein Club and the FFA, where he held various local and county offices before being elected State FFA President in 1979. He was later named National Chairman of the International Committee and received his American Farmer degree.

After graduating from Morrisville, Hooker attended Cornell University, where he received a B.S. in Agricultural Education in 1984.

Hooker and his wife, Karen, have two children, Erika and Mitchell. Together, they own a 360-acre farm in Richfield Springs in southern Herkimer County, where they grow hay, board horses and produce maple syrup.

For more information about Destination Days, or to register or see a schedule, visit or contact Heather or contact Jones at joneshr@morrisville.eduor 315-684-6275.

Morrisville State College offers more than 70 bachelor and associate degrees. Considered to be one of the most technologically advanced colleges in the nation for its ThinkPad University program and wireless technology initiative, the college recently became the first in the nation to comprehensively replace landlines in residence halls with individual cellular phones. Morrisville State College was also chosen as one of the top five colleges in the nation for campus activities by Campus Activities magazine. The Morrisville State College Norwich Campus also offers programs in business, computer technology, office administration, liberal arts/education transfer, early childhood and nursing to Chenango County area residents and employers.