214 Projects to Increase Agricultural Production and Environmental Enhancements Awarded Across 11 Counties
Grants Advance Southern Tier Soaring – Region’s Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiative to Grow the Economy and Create New Opportunities
Funding Available For Second Round of Applications
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the first $18 million of awards of the Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program. The program helps farmers and agribusinesses expand and improve their operations, while promoting the responsible use and protection of the State’s natural resources. In this first round, 214 projects were awarded funding in 11 counties throughout the Southern Tier.
“These grants encourage sustainable agricultural development, which is key to growing the Southern Tier economy,” Governor Cuomo said. “By empowering hundreds of farms to expand their businesses and increase environmental sustainability at the same time, this funding will help secure the future success of the region for years to come.”
Eligible applicants were awarded on a first come, first served basis, and received up to $100,000 each for projects that help increase farm production and profitability and better protect or enhance natural resources. The funding will be used for costs associated with construction, renovation, irrigation, drainage, fencing, trellis systems, greenhouses, and environmental enhancements. A second round of applications will be accepted for the remaining funding, approximately $4 million.
Prior to submitting an application, awardees must have also participated in the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management program within the last three years. Agricultural Environmental Management is an incentive-based program that helps farmers meet their business goals while implementing best practices to protect the environment. Projects that are committed to increasing their environmental stewardship were also awarded an additional $10,000.
The Department of Agriculture and Markets is working in coordination with the County Soil and Water Conservation Districts to administer the program. The Soil and Water Conservation Districts will oversee the implementation of the following awards:
Number of Projects
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “These meaningful projects, made possible by this tremendous investment, will provide far-reaching benefits for the region, the industry, and the environment. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his commitment to the success of agriculture in New York, and I look forward to accepting applications for the second round of funding to further the impact of this program.”
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie said, “In every corner of our state, agriculture has a presence, and because of this, farming remains our leading industry and a tremendous source of economic activity and job creation for communities across New York State. I am pleased to see these investments in the future of farming in New York State, and look forward to seeing not only how they help to strengthen our agriculture industry, but also how they help our farmers continue their tradition of being good stewards of the land they use.”
Assemblyman Bill Magee, Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee said, "Continued investment in agriculture is critical to the economy of the state, and these grants will work to enhance the development, strength, and environmental integrity of our farms. Co-managed by Soil & Water Conservation Districts, these farm investments will promote environmental sustainability and ensure future production, and I appreciate the efforts of Governor Cuomo to secure this funding for the future of New York’s agriculture industry in the prolific Southern Tier.”
A second round of funding, approximately $4 million, will be awarded to projects in six counties including Broome, Cattaraugus, Chenango, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins. Applications and complete eligibility requirements are available through the Soil and Water Conservation Districts in those counties. Contact information for the SWCDs can be found here.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
“Southern Tier Soaring” is the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The state has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. 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 Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.
Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 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 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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