March 18, 2015

Governor Cuomo Announces 11 Counties Eligible Under $30 Million Southern Tier Agricultural Economic Development Initiative

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces 11 Counties Eligible...

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that 11 counties will be eligible under the proposed $30 million Southern Tier Agricultural Economic Development Initiative, first announced by the Governor last week. Eligible counties under this initiative will include Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins and Tioga. The program, included in the Executive Budget, will make available $30 million for projects that help farms and agribusinesses grow throughout the area, with additional funding to assist targeted agricultural economic development projects. 

"Agriculture remains one of top industries that drives New York’s economy and with this initiative, every farmer and vendor in the Southern Tier will have a chance to shape the future of their business," Governor Cuomo said. "I am proud of the incredible products grown and made in New York State, and urge lawmakers to join us in making this proposal a reality."

Under the initiative, $25 million would help farmers increase agricultural production on farms and improve profitability, as well as support farmers in better managing environmental resources. Projects that are awarded state funding may receive up to $100,000, which will go toward funding up to 75 percent of an eligible project. Applicants are responsible for the other 25 percent, and all projects should be completed within one year of the contract.

Those eligible to apply for this program would include: people, partnerships, associations, cooperatives, corporations, or LLCs that manage a “farm operation” as defined in section 301 of Agriculture and Markets. Costs could include construction, renovation, irrigation, drainage, environmental enhancements, fencing, trellis systems and greenhouses. 

Eligible applications for the environmental management aspect of this program will be required to have, within the past three years, participated in an agricultural environmental stewardship program, such as the NYS Agricultural Environmental Management Program and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Conservation Program. 

$5 million of this funding would be allocated for targeted agricultural economic development projects, such as farmers’ market expansions and forest productivity projects, as well as investments to spur agribusiness job creation in locations such as food processing plants in the Southern Tier. 

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball, who announced these eligible counties at a press conference held today in Elmira, said, “Over the past week, I’ve received dozens of calls from farmers, agribusinesses and lawmakers asking which counties will be eligible under Governor Cuomo’s $30 million agricultural economic development proposal. After careful consideration and feedback from potential stakeholders, we feel that the counties included will strike the right balance between agricultural and geographic diversity. This initiative is going to be big win for agriculture in the Southern Tier.” 

Chemung County Executive Santulli said, “The Southern Tier has a rich agricultural heritage, hardworking farmers and great consumers ready to buy local. Governor Cuomo’s $30 million agricultural economic development plan will be good for both farmers and agribusinesses here in Chemung County and I look forward to working the Governor, Commissioner Ball and other leaders from throughout the region as this program gets rolling.”

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office

NYC Press Office: 212.681.4640

Albany Press Office: 518.474.8418