Projects Will Mitigate Environmental Impact of Agriculture-Related Activities and Strengthen Resiliency of New York Farms
2016-17 State Budget Includes Additional Funding For Round II Through the Environmental Protection Fund
Local Investments Complement “Central NY Rising” – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative Blueprint to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1.4 million in award funding for the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture-related activities and increase the resiliency of New York State farms. The grants, which were announced during Earth Week, will support 11 projects on farms across five regions and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy savings and mitigate water and soil quality concerns in the face of climate change.
“New York leads the nation in environmental protection and this funding builds on that progress to create a cleaner, greener, more resilient state,” Governor Cuomo said. “This first-ever grant program will guard and protect New York’s natural resources, while also ensuring the continued strength and viability of our farms for decades to come.”
The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program is funded through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund and was first announced in October as part of Governor Cuomo’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda. The 2016-17 New York State Budget includes additional funding through the EPF to build on this first round and provide assistance to help agricultural producers prepare for and better manage the impacts of climate change like increased heavy rain storms and periods of drought.
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts were awarded the grants on behalf of farmers for one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare; on-farm water management; and soil health systems. For complete project details visit: www.agriculture.ny.gov
Central New York Region
- $268,350- Cortland County Soil and Water District
- $102,127- Onondaga County Soil and Water District (2 projects)
Finger Lakes Region
- $429,929- Wyoming County Soil and Water District
- $199, 55- Genesee County Soil and Water District (2 projects)
- $157,160- Wayne County Soil and Water District (2 projects)
Western New York Region
- $141,500- Erie County Soil and Water District
Hudson Valley Region
- $75,000- Orange County Soil and Water District
- $26,705- Albany County Soil and Water District
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The projects funded by this grant program will offer benefits that reach far beyond our farms. Not only will they allow growers and producers to be better environmental stewards, but many of these projects will also add another layer of protection to our surrounding natural resources during extreme weather conditions, and reduce the impact to New York's communities.”
Chairman of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee Dale Stein said, “The Soil and Water Conservation Committee is deeply concerned about the potential impacts of climate change on the agricultural community. We are proud to work with our partners, including the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and most importantly farmers to build on the strengths of our Agricultural Environmental Management framework to address this important issue by enhancing resiliency and reducing emissions on farms across New York State.”
Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO and co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council said, "Governor Cuomo's Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program will support and enhance Central New York's long-standing agricultural industry and our rural communities, an important driver of our overall regional economy. These investments are critical to efforts to connect the region's abundant natural resources to innovative technologies that strengthen the dairy, fruit and vegetable industries.”
Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president, said, “Farmers, by their nature, make environmental stewardship a priority. The grants will support those efforts and work to address the challenges farmers may face with climate change.”
Amanda Barber, Cortland County Soil and Water District said, “This program has created a new opportunity for Districts to promote and implement conservation practices. The perspective that farms are doing more than just protecting the environment, but that they can be more resilient in the face of changing weather patterns and conditions is very compelling.”
Greg McKurith, Wyoming County Soil and Water District said, “This is an exciting program that looks to have a lot of local benefits not just in Wyoming County but across the state.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie said, “Farmers face a long list of challenges that other business owners don’t face—namely, having to adjust to a changing climate and respond to extreme weather events. I’m pleased that New York State is again investing in this program, which will not only help to support our hardworking farmers, but also strengthen the agriculture industry and protect our vitally important natural resources.”
Assemblyman Bill Magee, chairman of Assembly Agriculture Committee, said, “Our State’s farmers rely on good weather, good soils, clean air and clean water. They want to help protect the natural resources around them and protect themselves from dramatic changes in climate. This program will help farmers find cost –effective ways to reduce emissions from their farm and reduce the impact on the farm from more frequent floods and other severe weather. I want to commend the Governor, Commissioner Ball and my legislative colleagues for supporting this funding.”
The Climate Resilient Farming Grant pilot program was first announced in October 2015. Several other new climate-focused initiatives were also announced last year during New York State’s Climate Week from September 22-29. These included $175 million for five large-scale clean energy projects to increase electricity generation from renewable energy sources, a $35 million project to make Roberto Clemente State Park’s Harlem River waterfront greener and more storm-resilient, and a $3 million clean energy competition for colleges and universities in New York State.
Funding for the Climate Resilient Farming grant program comes from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund and is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Accelerating Central NY Rising
This investment complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested nearly $3 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy.
Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.
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