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$743,000 in grants to support Empire State agribusiness

Staff writer |
The New Farmers Grant Fund will provide over $743,000 in grants to support 25 early-stage agricultural businesses across New York State.

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The purpose of the fund, now in its second round, is to assist early-stage farmers in improving their farm’s profitability, and as a result, adding to the diversification and growth of New York’s agricultural sector.

Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the fund. More than 55 applications were submitted for program funding this round.

Projects were scored competitively based on specific criteria, including demonstration of project readiness.

Grant funds will be used for project costs associated with the expansion of production, construction of farm buildings, purchase of equipment and seed, or upgrades to increase efficiency and boost production.

The funding announced today builds on the success of the grant program last year, bringing the total amount provided to new farmers to nearly $1.4 million.

Last year, 19 early-stage farmers received a portion of more than $610,000 to support the use of innovative agricultural techniques on commercial farm operations statewide.

Governor Cuomo and the legislature committed to invest an additional $1 million in the 2016-2017 New York State Budget to support the New Farmers Grant Fund program for a third year to continue to expand the agriculture industry in New York State.