When faced with a vote on an agricultural issue, many an urban New York State Assembly member has asked, “What does Bill Magee think?” Assemblyman William “Bill” Magee has led through legislation for more than 25 years, advocating for agricultural research and extension while relying on research to inform policy making. His role as leader in the State Assembly in explaining food, farming, and the value of agricultural research and extension is unparalleled.
First elected to public office as the Town of Nelson representative on the Madison County Board of Supervisors in 1972, Magee has served in the State Assembly since 1990 and has been the chair of the Committee on Agriculture since 1999. There, he has championed agricultural education in high schools, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Agricultural Land Tax Cap, the Farmland Viability Act, and expanding the Pride of New York program. His support has been crucial for Cornell maple research and extension and the expansion of farm-based beverage businesses, among many others. For his work on behalf of the agricultural community, he received the 2015 Distinguished Service Citation from the New York State Agricultural Society and has been repeatedly named to the New York Farm Bureau’s Circle of Friends.
Magee has served on the Cornell Veterinary College’s Advisory Board and currently serves on the SUNY Morrisville College Foundation and the boards of directors of both Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, N.Y., and Crouse Community Center in Morrisville, N.Y.
Magee lives with his wife, Jeannette, in Nelson, N.Y.