More than $1 million has been awarded to 27 new and early-stage farms through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said 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," said Cuomo.
"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," Cuomo said.
The New Farmers Grant Fund award recipients by region are:
- Blue Star Farm NY, LLC, Columbia County – $50,000
- Letterbox Farm, LLC, Columbia County – $31,000
- MX Morningstar Farm, Columbia County – $30,436
- 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
- Sannino's Bella Vita Vineyard, Suffolk County – $19,154
- Long Season Farm, Ulster County – $32,119
- Westwind Orchard, LLC, Ulster County – $48,619
- 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
- Black Rooster Maple, Essex County – $50,000
- Echo Farm, Essex County – $23,401
- Reber Rock Farm, Essex County – $35,065
- 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 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.