Funding Encourages New Farmers to Grow and Expand, Supporting the Sustainability of New York's Agriculture Industry
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that nearly 30 farms across New York have been awarded funding through the New Farmers Grant Fund, which assists new and early-stage farmers. Since its launch in 2014, the New Farmers Grant Fund has now awarded $4.2 million to 114 farms across the state.
"Farms are vital to our economy and quality of life by preserving open space and producing fresh, wholesome products," Governor Cuomo said. "New York farmers are recognized nationally for their great land stewardship, while producing world-class foods, beverages and specialty products. These awards will help new farmers further our state's longstanding agricultural traditions."
"Our agricultural economy is an important part of the New York identity, delivering local products to kitchen tables across our state and around the world," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "We know supporting start-up businesses is a great way to ensure long-term success. This new grant program will invest in job creation and the future of farming across New York."
The New Farmers Grant Fund award recipients by region are:
- Tiny Hearts Farm, Columbia County - $28,567: Purchase field equipment and supplies to increase acreage in flower production.
- David & Kelly Lendrum, Albany County - $21,300: Purchase equipment to expand hay production.
- Battenkill Valley Farms, Washington County - $20,525: Purchase equipment to diversify crop production.
- Common Hands Farm, LLC., Columbia County - $16,288: Purchase field equipment to increase crop yields.
- On the Farm, Columbia County - $15,750: Construct a barn to expand hay making capacity.
Central New York
- Elly's Acres Farm, LLC., Onondaga County - $50,000: Purchase equipment to expand sheep farming operation.
- Sunswick Farm, Cayuga County - $50,000: Construct a structure to increase honey production.
- Cayuga View Farm, Cayuga County - $25,500: Build a barn to increase the quality and quantity of hay production.
- Shared Roots Farm, LLC., Cortland County - $20,778: Purchase equipment to expand cold storage and vegetable farm operations.
- Flowerwell, LLC., Monroe County - $50,000: Construct a new processing building to expand production.
- Fire Creek Farms, Livingston County - $50,000: Build a barn and purchase equipment to expand hay production.
- Preston's Farms, Orleans County - $50,000: Purchase field equipment, trees and supplies to expand production acreage.
- Strickland Farms, Wayne County - $50,000: Construct a barn to protect equipment and store apples.
- Robinson Family Farms, LLC., Wayne County - $49,990: Purchase rootstock, tools and equipment to establish a farm nursery and expand operations.
- Bonnie Castle Farms, LLC., Wayne County - $36,267: Purchase field equipment to improve fruit production.
- William & Emily Smith, Wayne County - $33,810: Construct a livestock barn to more efficiently house animals and manage manure.
- Valley View Devons, Livingston County - $28,651: Purchase equipment and add portable storage facilities to store hay and improve livestock feed quality.
- Stein Seafoods, LLC., Suffolk County - $38,710: Purchase equipment to increase oyster farm production and operational efficiency.
- Rose Hill Farm, 1798, Dutchess County - $21,912: Plant apple trees and install a trellis system to diversify available fruit for cider production.
- Grape Hollow Farm, Dutchess County - $21,356: Extend infrastructure to greenhouses and orchard to increase production capacity.
- Long Season Farm, Ulster County - $17,136: Purchase equipment to increase production and extend the agricultural season.
- Lovin' Mama Farm, Montgomery County - $22,560: Purchase greenhouses, equipment and supplies to expand production and extend the agricultural season.
- Windy Hill Goat Dairy, Otsego County - $21,355: Buy equipment to produce higher-quality livestock forage.
- Michael B's Honey Co., Oneida County - $19,230: Purchase equipment to facilitate honey processing.
- North Country Creamery, LLC., Essex County - $50,000: Purchase processing equipment to produce value-added products.
- Cupola Ridge Farms, LLC., Tioga County - $49,150: Build a barn for livestock and hay storage, and purchase equipment.
- Berry Brook Farm, LLC., Delaware County - $16,500: Construct a greenhouse and increase cold storage to expand production.
- McCollum Orchards, LLC., Niagara County - $29,411: Build a greenhouse, renovate a wash/pack station, and purchase equipment and supplies to expand production.
- Meyer's Homegrown, LLC., Erie County - $27,802: Purchase equipment to expand production.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "New York's strategic support for new farmers, allowing and encouraging them to invest in their operations, is an investment in the future of our agricultural economy around the state."
State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Supporting our new and beginning farmers is critical to the future growth of agriculture in New York State. These grants will help these farms expand their operations and better compete in the marketplace."
"A third of New York farmers are 65 and older," said Senator Jen Metzger, Chair of Committee on Agriculture. "It's important that we support the future of farming and our rural communities by investing in the success of the next generation of farmers. This modest financial assistance can make a tremendous difference for newer farmers, like Sam and Erin at Long Season Farm who are providing fresh organic produce year-round using sustainable low-till practices, or Patrick and Eleanor at Berry Brook, who came to upstate New York to farm and raise a family, and have created a growing market of local consumers and restaurants for their diverse selection of organic produce."
Assembly Member Donna Lupardo, Chair of Committee on Agriculture, said, "New York recognizes the value of supporting new farmers and has prioritized programs to help grow their businesses. The New Farmers Grant Fund complements other initiatives such as Farmland for a New Generation and the Regional Navigator programs that were championed during this year's budget. Support for new farmers ensures that New York's farming legacy will remain strong."
The New Farmers Grant Fund is administered by Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Applications are scored based on specific criteria, including demonstrating how the project expands or diversifies agricultural production. The funds 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.