Development Center Provides Educational and Workforce Training Opportunities for Agricultural Industry
Complements Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Farmers' Market and Commercial Production Kitchen Project
Project Supports Upstate Revitalization Initiative's "Southern Tier Soaring" Plan to Boost the Agricultural Industry in the Region
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Agriculture Development Center, operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, providing educational and training opportunities to farmers in the Southern Tier Region. In addition, the brand-new Taste NY Market located inside the Agriculture Development Center promotes the world-class food and beverage products found in the Southern Tier and around the State, driving local agri-tourism in the region.
"Our investments in the unique strengths and agricultural economy of the Southern Tier are moving the region forward, and these new projects will keep the momentum going," Governor Cuomo said. "A robust and competitive agriculture industry is key to the Southern Tier's success, and this initiative provides vital resources that promote future economic growth and job creation."
The Agriculture Development Center is a 3,200 square-foot addition to the original farm house that was built to serve as one-stop location, offering help to farmers with business planning and market development, as well as training on critical initiatives such as farmers' market nutrition programs and food safety. The Agriculture Development Center will also be used to provide workforce training to ensure a pipeline of skilled agricultural workers. The Ag Development Center has already been the site of half a dozen events, such as the State's Farm-to-School Summit and Regional Master Gardener training.
In addition, the project includes a Taste NY Market, which offers area visitors a variety of locally sourced food and beverage products from the region, sandwiches and other grab-and-go snacks, as well as an array of fresh products such as eggs, cheese, and produce. The Market also supports operations of the new Southern Tier Welcome Center, working together to bring local food and beverages to the greater region. Products available include food and gift items from New York State producers such as, Engelbert Farms, Finger Lakes Harvest, BobbySue's Nuts and many more. A full list is available here.
The Agriculture Development Center was provided $500,000 from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, through its Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement program, and $750,000 from the NYS Economic Development Program, secured by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. The Agriculture Development Center is a critical component of a larger project being developed at the same site by CCE-BC that includes a regional farmers' market and a commercial production kitchen. Together, these projects will serve as a Food Innovation Cluster and small scale Food Hub for the Southern Tier that will work with local farmers to increase crop production, provide education for small-scale food manufacturing, and identify organizations/institutions that can purchase local products or sell at local farmers' markets, regional markets, local grocery stores, and Taste NY markets and stores.
The Agriculture Development Center and Taste NY Market complement "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive blueprint created under the Governor's Upstate Revitalization Initiative to generate economic growth and community development. The Southern Tier's plan invests in agriculture as one of the four key pillars of the region's economy. The state has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region, including $30 million in agriculture-related projects, since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan. The Governor's $30 million Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement program has doubled the state's commitment to growing the agricultural industry in the Southern Tier.
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "I'm excited to help celebrate the grand opening of this facility, which will help our producers connect with critical resources and training opportunities. It also includes a terrific Taste NY store that will support the Southern Tier Welcome Center and bring a taste of more local products to New Yorkers and visitors."
Senator Frederick Akshar said, "A big part of improving our local economy is maximizing our strengths, and the agriculture industry is woven in to the fabric of our Southern Tier community. It's great to see the state make investments like this in our agricultural resources to help ensure that farming, food production and agri-tourism remain a vital part of Upstate New York's economy for generations to come."
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "We have worked over a number of years to grow and develop our agricultural sector by making it a central part of our regional economic development strategy. Our progress includes the Regional Farmers' Market and Commercial Kitchen, supports for farmers and processors, along with two Taste NY stores featuring all New York products. The Agricultural Development Center will play a vital role in our continued success; training future farmers and producers, while connecting new and existing businesses to markets. I'd like to thank all of the partners who believed that this project could become a reality."
Assemblyman Clifford Crouch said, "This is a great opportunity and tool for the many farmers in our region. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy in the Southern Tier, investing in our farmers and their products is an investment in our future. There is no doubt in my mind that the Agricultural Development Center will have a long-lasting effect on our economy and will play a vital role in the continued success of the Southern Tier as a major agricultural hub in the state."
County Executive Jason Garnar said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo for continuing to make investments to better Broome County. The new Agricultural Development Center is a game changer for this industry. Not only will it provide educational opportunities to support our farmers but also boost our economy and create much-needed jobs. I encourage everyone to stop by the Taste NY store to sample some of the best products made right here in Broome County and the Southern Tier."
Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County Executive Director Victoria Giarratano said, "Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County is proud to partner with our state and local leaders to continue to advance the mission of agriculture in Broome County. The Agriculture Development Center will provide a space for educational trainings and workshops for local farmers and producers, area students and the public. The Taste NY store on Upper Front Street provides our community and travelers with another opportunity to purchase local agricultural products and highlights our small businesses from the regions of New York. The economic impact as a result of the Taste NY has created business growth and sustainability to small businesses and local farmers."
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for 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.