New Farmers Grant Fund Now Accepting Applications from Farms of All Sizes
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1 million in funding is available to assist new and early-stage farmers through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund. Now in its third year, the program builds upon the success of 2015 when more than $743,000 was awarded to 25 early-stage farms across the state to support the continued growth of New York’s agriculture industry. To date, nearly $1.4 million has been provided to 41 farms throughout New York State to expand their operations and improve their profitability.
"New York's farmers are a rich part of this state's heritage and remain essential to the success of our economy," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will support the expansion of farms as they increase production and help ensure this remains a strong and sustainable industry for generations to come."
The $1 million New Farmers Grant Fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 50 percent being matched by the recipient. All owners of eligible farms must be within the first ten years of ownership and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Eligible project costs include the purchase of farm machinery, supplies and equipment, and construction or improvement of farm structures. Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the fund.
This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is now accepting farm applicants of all sizes. The application and guidelines for the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund are available online. The deadline for submission is January 27, 2017.
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie said, "Across our state, the New Farmers Grant Fund is providing people who are new to agriculture with the resources necessary to start their businesses, and those who are just starting with the support they need to continue on the road to success. I have been proud to advocate for funding of the New Farmers Grant Fund, which will continue to help to protect the future of our state’s leading industry, and encourage those looking to pursue careers in farming to apply for funding."
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee said, "It is important that we support beginning farmers with tools and training, and that we make available the resources they need to go forward with a career in agricultural production. The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund will benefit those who have the desire to farm, as well as everyone who has an appreciation for New York grown products, and I thank Governor Cuomo for incentivizing and encouraging careers in farming through these awards."
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "With two successful years and a third to come, the New Farmers Grant Fund continues to strengthen family farms and the agribusiness industry in New York State. This program is possible because Governor Cuomo recognizes the importance of the agriculture industry to our state economy, and I applaud his continued support for early-stage farmers as they grow excellent New York produce as well as their farming operations."
New York State Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "By providing support for our new and beginning farmers, the State is investing in the future of the agricultural economy in New York. The New Farmers Grant Fund has already assisted dozens of existing small farms expand their operations or buy the seed and equipment they need to take their business to the next level. I’m also proud that the New Farmers Grant Fund provides assistance to those who are looking to agriculture as a new career path."
New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton said, "Access to capital can be a major barrier for beginning farmers starting up an operation. The New Farmers Grant Fund can literally provide that seed money to buy new equipment, build a barn or grow an operation. The results benefit not only farm families across the state, but our rural economies as well, as the money is passed through to local agricultural suppliers and support businesses."
Additionally, the Department of Agriculture and Markets recently launched a resource page for new farmers interested in starting their own farm and early-stage farmers looking to diversify or expand operations. Resources for New Farmers, located on the Department's website, provides information on state regulations, job training, land ownership, farm financing, marketing and other areas critical to starting a farm operation.
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