Friday, May 15, 2015
New York Veggie Growers Plant Cooperative Fund
From Cornell University:
A group of vegetable growers are helping pay for crucial research in breeding, growing and protecting vegetables across New York state.
Through the “Agriculture Research Fund” which was launched in 2014, the group of processing vegetable growers from Western New York put in about $100,000 to support the research. Their hopes are to improve vegetable growth and the production of vegetables in the state to produce more food for New Yorkers and increase their bottom lines.
“We’re hoping this fund will grow significantly, with additional support from the industry,” said Tom Facer, president of Oakfield-based Farm Fresh First and a former Birds Eye Foods executive.
Farm Fresh First includes growers and managers who work from Canada to the U.S. Midwest and Southeast. Facer said vegetable growers and processors throughout New York anticipate increasing demand as consumers choose healthy and locally grown food.
He said the industry also faces an “ever-changing” set of challenges – from new weeds and diseases to steadily increasing insect pressures. Facer said the Agriculture Research Fund’s supporters believe ongoing basic and applied agricultural research must be continued and expanded for growers to stay ahead of these challenges, stay in operation and continue to deliver top-quality produce to consumers.
He said it is the kind of work that has been going on for years at the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. Research from the experiment station is shared with producers throughout the state through Cornell Cooperative Extension.
“All of our efforts are for the improvement of the production of vegetables in New York,” Facer said. “This isn’t for marketing, this is for research and this is for growers; what benefits them.”