Tylutki hired as NYSDAM Senior Environment Analyst
by Tim Bigham
Kathleen “Kate” Tylutki (Ta loo key) has been hired to serve the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) as Senior Environmental Analyst in the Farmland Protection Division. She has worked with the department’s recently retired Bob Sommers since November of 2019 learning the significant role he played as advocate for New York’s farmers.
Kate grew up working on a dairy farm, then graduated with an Associate’s degree from SUNY Cobleskill. She worked an internship at Cornell Cooperative Extension. After working for a while as an assistant herd manager on a dairy, she decided she would like to go back to Cobleskill for her Bachelor’s where she graduated with an Animal Science and Dairy Production degree. She briefly considered being a veterinarian but steered toward helping farmers another way and landed at the department. She has spent her six years with NYSDAM assisting the state apiculturist in the plant division, working in the industrial hemp program and assisting Dr. Sommers with notice of intent proceedings and other duties in the Farmland Protection Division.
Kate has been interested in agriculture from a young age. As she was growing up she witnessed her father partake in a farming career. She shared how her dad’s choice of agriculture as an industry to spend his life was the inspiration for her life direction as well.
“I was inspired by watching him, his dedication and passion for an industry that can beat you down and make you the happiest person at the same time,” she said.
One way that her love of agriculture is evident is that Kate still resides in the rural town she grew up in and helps out on the farm when she can.
Kate knows that her new job will be challenging. She expects that it will be difficult navigating all of the local laws and she understands that every jurisdiction approaches even the same law differently. Nonetheless, like many of us who serve farmers she looks forward to the reward of being able to help farmers resolve problems. She feels well prepared to tackle this assignment, citing her combination of agricultural experiences for her confidence.
“Working with Bob (Sommers) has certainly been an asset too”, Kate tells me. “I think I’ve saved every email he could have sent me, particularly on the hot topics I expect will continue to be issues”, she adds.
It is Kate’s intent to continue to grow her ability to help too. She is going through the process to be a certified crop advisor so that she can become a planner.
“CAFOs have always intrigued me”, she stated. “The need and importance of a planner is incredible. To be able to have that certification would be helpful.” Kate is also looking to add a Master’s degree to her repertoire and is considering doing something online in the area of agronomy.
More than once while we were speaking Kate made sure that I knew of her desire to help the farmers of New York State.
“I like to help”, she implored. “If I can help them (farmers) resolve an issue and take one more thing off their plate, that will be satisfying.” She followed that up with, “I hope that any farmer that needs help will reach out to the Department for help. Any who run into an issue with neighbors or their local municipality and need help, I’d like to assist them.” So please consider that as an invitation to give Kate a call if you find yourself needing help.
Kate can reached at Kathleen.Tylutki@agriculture.ny.gov or at 518-457-2851