Nearly 30 New York State Farms Will Receive Assistance Through New Farmers Grant Fund and Veterans Farmer Grant Fund
Announced During National Dairy Month, Funding Bolsters New York's Support for the Agriculture Industry
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $1 million has been awarded to New York State farmers through two grant programs designed to promote growth in the state's agriculture industry. The New Farmers Grant Fund assists new and early-stage farmers, and the Veterans Farmer Grant Fund supports farms owned and operated by military veterans. Since its launch in 2014, the New Farmers Grant Fund has now awarded $3.27 million to nearly 90 farms across the state. This is the first year the Veterans Farmer Grant Fund has been offered.
"Agriculture is the backbone of our local economies, and New York is committed to keeping these businesses running to protect the livelihoods of farmers across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "This critical funding will help early-stage farmers and military veterans get the jumpstart they need to develop or expand their farms into successful, profitable businesses that will positively impact communities throughout the Empire State."
"The agriculture industry is a major part of New York's economy, and we're planting the seeds for future success," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With this grant fund, we're supporting the next generation of farmers and farmers who are military veterans. New York's local products attract consumers from around the world, while providing jobs in our great state. We are committed to continuing to invest in the industry and ensuring the expansion and promotion of all the great products our farmers have to offer."
The New Farmers Grant Fund award recipients by region are:
- Hillard's Greenhouse, Albany County - $47,555: Construct a greenhouse to more efficiently grow flowers and vegetables.
- Sparrowbush Farm, Columbia County - $33,068: Purchase field equipment and cold storage to expand vegetable production.
- Reilly's Farm, Rensselaer County - $32,625: Renovate a barn and purchase field equipment to expand Christmas tree and maple syrup production.
Central New York
- Timothy J. Virgil, Onondaga County - $49,521: Construct and equip a livestock barn, install fencing and purchase field equipment to expand beef operation.
- Edward R. Berwanger, Wyoming County - $50,000: Construct a silo and barn addition, and purchase equipment to more efficiently feed dairy cows and increase milk production.
- Pacello Orchards, Wayne County - $34,474: Purchase field equipment to increase efficiencies at orchard.
- McCracken Farms, Monroe County - $23,150: Purchase field equipment to expand vegetable operation and increase sustainable practices.
- B.C. Ameele Fruit Farms, LLC, Wayne County - $17,404: Plant trees and trellis systems to expand apple orchard.
- Harbor Lights Oyster Co., LLC, Suffolk County - $50,000: Purchase equipment to increase oyster production and sorting capacities.
- North Fork Boutique Gardens Inc., Suffolk County - $50,000: Purchase equipment to increase efficiencies and expand production at plant nursery.
- Sun Sprout Farm, LLC, Orange County - $49,966: Purchase field equipment to extend vegetable growing season and diversify markets.
- Fable Foods, LLC, Westchester County - $41,042: Construct hoop houses with wash stations to diversify production and increase sustainable practices.
- Farm Tournant, LLC, Orange County - $28,122: Construct greenhouses, expand cold storage capacity, and purchase equipment to expand the agricultural season and advance food safety techniques.
- Wagon Wheel Farm, LLC, Orange County - $22,680: Purchase field equipment and supplies, increase refrigeration capacity, and improve high tunnel area to increase acreage in production.
- Lookin' Up Farm, Schoharie County - $22,250: Purchase silage baling equipment to improve livestock feed quality and increase field productivity.
- Patrick and Christina Miller, Otsego County - $21,500: Construct and equip a barn to house livestock and improve dairy farm efficiency.
- Jean and Alexander Stabinski, Montgomery County - $16,157: Purchase equipment to increase hay bale production and improve efficiency.
- Schiltz Farms, St. Lawrence County - $50,000: Install drainage tile to increase acreage in grain production and produce higher-quality yields.
- Blue Pepper Farm, LLC, Essex County - $16,000: Purchase equipment to process the farm's sheep's milk into yogurt and diversify operations.
New York City
- Rejuvenate Forever, LLC, Queens County - $33,000: Purchase growing equipment and refrigeration to expand vertical farm productivity and quality.
- Lilley Farms, LLC, Chenango County - $47,589: Build and equip a livestock barn and purchase field equipment to expand the farm's herd and increase sales.
- Justin Hinz, Allegany County - $50,000: Purchase field equipment to improve feed quality and quantity at cattle farm.
- Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Ltd., Niagara County - $29,739: Purchase field equipment to increase grape yields, and construct a barn for equipment storage.
- Groundwork Market Garden Inc., Erie County - $22,278: Renovate a building for a mushroom growing facility to expand and diversify urban farm's production.
The Veterans Farmer Grant Fund award recipients by region are:
- Linda and Patrick George, Wyoming County - $31,638: Purchase equipment to efficiently produce quality feed for dairy herd, and reduce farm waste.
- Mountain Side Farm, Sullivan County - $27,500: Purchase field equipment and construct a barn to increase the quality of hay produced at beef cattle farm.
- Robert Gary Lobdell, Chenango County - $50,000: Build and equip a new livestock barn, renovate an existing barn, purchase field equipment, and install fencing to expand beef production operation.
- Kenneth W. Miller, Tompkins County - $50,000: Renovate a barn for hay storage to increase production capacity.
- Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Ltd., Niagara County - $50,000: Construct and equip a grape crushing area and expand storage capacity to increase production.
Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, "Helping new farmers and military veterans grow their farm operations ensures sustainability for New York State's agricultural economy and builds the state's rich agricultural assets, which include nationally ranked milk and fruit production."
New York State Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "One of our priorities at the Department is to support our next generation of farmers through targeted technical and financial assistance. The New Farmers Grant Fund and Veterans Farmer Grant Fund, in just a few years, has helped dozens of farmers buy critical equipment or expand capacity to grow their young operations. With unpredictable weather and market conditions continuing to pose challenges to for the agricultural community, access to capital is needed more now than ever."
Division of Veterans' Affairs Executive Deputy Director Joel Evans said, "Agriculture and farming were the foundations for economies across our nation. In the past, when New York Veterans returned from their service they often committed themselves to farming to help support their families and communities and this practice remains true today. Governor Cuomo's New Farmers Grant Fund and the Veterans Farmer Grant Fund safeguards and builds upon this tradition by advocating for the people who have served this nation and return home to continue their service by nourishing and supporting all New Yorkers."
Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie said, “The future of New York’s agriculture industry depends on attracting new people to the profession. With another round of these programs, including my New Farmers Grant Fund, we are again providing those just starting and those who sacrificed so much for our country, with the support they need to achieve success in their new ventures. I am looking forward to seeing how these programs grow New York's leading industry and our entire economy."
Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Bill Magee said, "The Veteran Farmers Grant Program and New Farmers Grant Fund can help by giving a leg up to new farm operations as they build from the ground up to renovate barns or erect new greenhouses, construct fencing, and lay irrigation; this funding goes a long way toward helping the next generation of farmers to promote New York agricultural production."
Assemblyman Michael DenDekker, Chair of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs said, "I'd like to thank Governor Cuomo for creating these grants that affords the opportunity for veterans who are, or going into agriculture and farming. These grants, which provide growth, will be a much needed boon to our returning veterans who are in the farming industry. Another plus, it's a great way to offer locally grown organic foods to our residents."
New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, "The New Farmer and Military Veteran grants are a sound investment into the future of agriculture in New York. The money supports the growth of family farm businesses while also giving back to those who have served this country in the most honorable way. New York Farm Bureau appreciates the Governor's support of these important programs."
The New Farmers Grant Fund and Veterans Farmer Grand Fund are administered by Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. Nearly 60 applications were submitted for program funding this round, with applicants 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.