More than $238,000 Will Help Three Farms Reduce Their Environmental Impact and Better Prepare for and Recover From Extreme Weather Events
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that three farms in Essex and Jefferson counties will benefit from more than $238,000 awarded through round two of the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program. Launched by the Governor in 2015, the program help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for and recover after extreme weather events.
"This funding will help protect and preserve New York's natural resources by supporting farms and addressing the unpredictable conditions and challenges of climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "As New York continues to lead the nation in environmental protection, these grants not only build on our efforts to create a cleaner, greener, more resilient state – they address the needs of hard-working farmers in Essex and Jefferson Counties."
As part of this second round of funding, County Soil and Water Conservation Districts in six regions across the state were awarded a total of more than $1.5 million in grants on behalf of farmers in one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare, on-farm water management, and soil health systems.
Projects awarded in the North Country region includes:
Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District
- $184,130 – The District will work with one farm to incorporate agro-forestry practice systems, including the construction of three ponds. The goal of the project is to capture and store water during extreme weather events that will then be used for irrigation during times of drought and reduce the amount of flood water flowing to the Boquet River to benefit homes and businesses downstream.
Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District
- $54,273 – The District will work with two farms to implement soil health practice systems, including conservation tillage and cover crops to improve soil health and improve resiliency to the farm during periods of flood and drought.
Projects awarded focus on flood water management, and promoting soil health. One of the awarded projects focuses on water management to mitigate the effects of drought on crops and livestock following last summer’s severe dry conditions.
The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program is funded through the State's Environmental Protection Fund and was first announced by Governor Cuomo's Opportunity Agenda. During Earth Week in April 2015, the Governor announced $1.4 million in awards through the first round of the program to support 11 projects on farms across five regions. All 11 projects are currently underway to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate water and soil quality concerns.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "This past summer, New York farms saw unprecedented drought conditions, with many suffering crop loss and increased costs. This grant program will help farmers better manage for droughts and floods that are becoming more common, while reducing their environmental footprint and protecting our surrounding natural resources."
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie said, "Farmers across the state were severely impacted by last year’s devastating drought and are still recovering from its effects. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ball for recognizing the need for this critical funding, which will allow farmers to better prepare themselves with the necessary tools for any extreme weather they may encounter."
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee said, "As they continue to prepare for and adapt to the changes in their environment, New York farmers facing the challenge of climate change will better be able to manage the detrimental effects of extreme weather conditions such as flooding and drought with a leg-up from the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program."
Chairman of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee Dale Stein said, "The Climate Resilient Farming program is an innovative program that helps New York’s farmers adapt their farms to the changing climate. Through the program, farms are able to implement projects that help them manage through periods of extreme weather, from severe storms to severe drought, and that reduce greenhouse gas production and promote increased soil health. New York State is leading the nation in helping farms preserve, protect and promote the environment for the generations that follow us."
New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "Farmers have long dealt with whatever Mother Nature throws at them, but weather conditions in recent years have been tough and extreme. The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program will help new York farms continue to lead the way on environmental stewardship while at the same time improving their ability to weather both the wet and dry conditions that can threaten their livelihoods."
Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager David Reckhan said, "This is a great program for Essex County. Our new young farmers strive to be as sustainable and climate resilient as possible and this program supports those efforts while allowing our farmers to remain competitive."