New York Apple Association executive assistant Joan Willis (from left); NY State Dept. of Agriculture & Markets Commissioner, Richard Ball; NYAA president Cynthia Haskins; New York Apple public relations manager, Tami Bacon; and vice president of Northeast Agribusiness & Feed Alliance John Clark, recognize the efforts of the apple association. ( New York Apple Assn. )

The New York Apple Association started the year on a high note, earning the Business of the Year award from the New York State Agricultural Society.

The annual award, given during a Jan. 4 ceremony in Syracuse, recognizes quality, leadership and innovation, according to a news release.

“NYAA is pleased and honored to receive this notable acknowledgement,” Cynthia Haskins, New York Apple Association’s president and CEO, said in the release. “To be recognized by the New York State Agricultural Society is one of our association’s finest highlights and we are proud with gratitude.”

“This award recognizes qualities New York growers, board members and staff demonstrate daily in their commitment to promoting New York apples,” Jason Woodworth of Lamont Fruit Farm and NYAA board chairman, said in the release.

The award originated in 2001, and recipients have included Wegman’s Food Markets, a winery and dairy cooperatives.