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More than $1 million for new and military veterans farmers in New York

Staff Writer |
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.

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.

The New Farmers Grant Fund award recipients by region are:

Capital Region

- 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.

Finger Lakes

- 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.

Long Island

- 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.

Mid-Hudson Valley

- 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.

Mohawk Valley

- 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.

North Country

- 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.

Southern Tier

- 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.

Western NY

- 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:

Finger Lakes

- Linda and Patrick George, Wyoming County - $31,638: Purchase equipment to efficiently produce quality feed for dairy herd, and reduce farm waste.

Mid-Hudson

- 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.

Southern Tier

- 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.

Western NY

- Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Ltd., Niagara County - $50,000: Construct and equip a grape crushing area and expand storage capacity to increase production.


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