Gov. Cuomo: New York grants more than $1M to new farmers


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced this week that more than $1 million has been awarded to 27 new and early-stage farms through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund. Since its launch in 2014, the program has provided nearly $2.5 million to 66 farms across the state to expand operations and improve profitability.

“Agriculture remains a major New York industry, and with support from the New Farmers Grant Fund, we will be making investments that will pay dividends for future generations of farmers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Fund continues to provide access to capital to help new and early farms grow, while supporting the expansion of businesses statewide, and with this latest round of awards, New York will help increase production and support this critically important part of our economy for years to come.”

The New Farmers Grant Fund award recipients by region are:

Capital Region

Blue Star Farm NY, LLC, Columbia County – $50,000
Letterbox Farm, LLC, Columbia County – $31,000
MX Morningstar Farm, Columbia County – $30,436

Finger Lakes

Buttonwood Grove Winery, Seneca County – $50,000
Camman Acres, LLC, Monroe County – $18,021
First Light Farm & Creamery, Genesee County – $50,000
Hartway Brothers, Orleans County – $42,500
Lyman and Chelsey Rudgers, Wyoming County – $50,000

Long Island

Sannino’s Bella Vita Vineyard, Suffolk County – $19,154

Mid-Hudson Valley

Long Season Farm, Ulster County – $32,119
Westwind Orchard, LLC, Ulster County – $48,619

Mohawk Valley

Autumn Valley Farm, Otsego County – $39,900
Collins Farm, LLC, Oneida County – $50,000
Dygert Farms Creamery, Montgomery County – $37,500
Michael B’s Honey Co., Oneida County – $30,770

North Country

Black Rooster Maple, Essex County – $50,000
Echo Farm, Essex County – $23,401
Reber Rock Farm, Essex County – $35,065

Southern Tier

Bensvue Farms, LLC, Tompkins County – $46,118
Hemlock Ridge Farm, Steuben County – $50,000
Nanticoke Gardens, Broome County – $49,510
Shannon Brook Farm, Schuyler County – $44,000
Homestead Hog Farm, Steuben County – $38,741

Western New York

Black Bird Cider Works, Niagara County – $46,245
Bliss Dairy Company, Inc., Cattaraugus County – $50,000
Nathan & Sarah Nickerson, Chautauqua County – $16,660
Niefergold Dairy, LLC, Erie County – $50,000

The New Farmers Grant Fund is 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. Grant funds will be used for project costs associated with the construction of farm buildings, and the purchase of equipment and supplies.

The Fund provides 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. All eligible farm owners must be within the first ten years of ownership and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. This year, the program eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and accepted farm applicants of all sizes.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said, “We must continue to support those looking to be a part of the future of agriculture in this state. That includes meeting the challenges of accessing capital which can be a barrier for new farmers looking to start up or grow their farms. The goal of these investments is meant to jumpstart further growth and support the agricultural economy as a whole.”

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