Grants Assist 25 Early-Stage Farmers Across New York State
Program has Provided Nearly $1.4 Million to Farmers Since 2014
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the New Farmers Grant Fund will provide over $743,000 in grants to support 25 early-stage agricultural businesses across New York State. The purpose of the fund, now in its second round, is to assist early-stage farmers in improving their farm’s profitability, and as a result, adding to the diversification and growth of New York’s agricultural sector.
"Agriculture remains a critical component of the New York's economy and these grants will help ensure this industry's continued strength," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will support new and emerging agribusinesses as they expand their operations, develop and market high quality products and generate new growth in their communities."
Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the fund. More than 55 applications were submitted for program funding this round. Projects were scored competitively based on specific criteria, including demonstration of project readiness. Grant funds will be used for project costs associated with the expansion of production, construction of farm buildings, purchase of equipment and seed, or upgrades to increase efficiency and boost production.
The New Farmers Grant Fund award recipients are:
- Eastern Hay Company, LLC – Washington County: $45,485
- MX Morningstar Farm – Columbia County: $19,200
- Sparrowbush Farm – Columbia County: $16,932
Central New York
- Ingersoll Farms – Oswego County: $49,051
- Main Street Farms, LLC – Cortland County: $17,000
- Shared Roots Farm, LLC – Cortland County: $21,428
- Z’s Nutty Ridge, LLC – Cortland County: $17,334
- Blue Moon Bend, LLC - Wayne County: $20,250
- Bolton Farms, Inc. – Monroe County: $24,788
- McCracken Farms – Monroe County: $24,669
- Bhumi Farm, Inc. – Suffolk County: $22,943
- Alewife Farm – Dutchess County: $15,728
- Sawkill Farm – Dutchess County: $33,925
- Platte Creek Maple Farm – Ulster County: $26,289
- Jones Family Farm LLC – Herkimer County: $42,675
- Windy Hill Goat Dairy – Otsego County: $28,645
- Echo Farm – Essex County: $26,599
- Full and By Farm, LLC – Essex County - $16,000
- Juniper Hill Farm – Essex County: $49,783
- Mace Chasm Farm, LLC – Essex County: $50,000
- Michael & Carrie Higby – Lewis County: $18,000
- North Branch Farms – Jefferson County: $45,000
- Plowbreak Farm – Schuyler County: $21,404
- Van Noble Farm – Tompkins County: $40,362
Western New York
- Perry-Dice Organics – Cattaraugus County: $49,534
Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "The strong response we received underscores the importance of supporting New York State’s growing agriculture industry and the next generation of farmers. Thanks to the Governor’s leadership and the New Farmers Grant Fund, we look forward to seeing early-stage farmers expand operations, increase productivity and thrive across the state for years to come."
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "We are pleased to partner with Empire State Development to provide the resources these farms need to grow. The New Farmer Grant Fund program not only supports our new farmers who are starting out and expanding, but also encourages those looking for a new career path to explore a future in agriculture. There is a great pride in being a part of the one percent of the population that feeds the other 99 percent and the projects awarded today will help these farmers take their operations to the next level and ensure the success of the State’s agriculture economy."
The funding announced today builds on the success of the grant program last year, bringing the total amount provided to new farmers to nearly $1.4 million. Last year, 19 early-stage farmers received a portion of more than $610,000 to support the use of innovative agricultural techniques on commercial farm operations statewide.
Governor Cuomo and the legislature committed to invest an additional $1 million in the 2016-2017 New York State Budget to support the New Farmers Grant Fund program for a third year to continue to expand the agriculture industry in New York State.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie said, "The future of New York agriculture depends on encouraging people to follow in the footsteps of our hardworking farmers and take on the challenge of growing and producing the fresh, healthy foods that feed our state—and our world. Already, this program has helped new farmers across the state build solid foundations that are helping their agribusinesses to succeed. I’ve been proud to advocate for this program—and for our new farmers—and look forward to seeing how this year’s recipients of grant funding use the support to bolster New York’s leading industry."
Assembly Agriculture Chair William Magee said, "The New Farmers Grant Program will help to insure the profitability and sustainability of farming as a progressive industry in New York. Support of beginning farmers, through education initiatives and innovative farm techniques that increase production and distribution, is essential to the success of growing our agribusinesses and farm operations."
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