Saturday, October 21, 2017

Local Producers Can Taste Test Products at Fort Drum Commissary

Here is some important information from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County:

Are you a producer trying to market a value added product? 

As part of the Food Hub Initiative Cornell Cooperative Extension and Food Venture Advisors (FVA) invite you to participate in a taste-testing of your product to a potentially significant market – Military Commissaries in the North East.

Northern New York producers making/marketing eligible products will lead the way by showcasing their value added foods at a taste testing in the Fort Drum Commissary from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 17.

Food Venture Advisors is searching for high quality, value added products that can meet required year round quantity and food safety standards and which contain mostly locally produced ingredients.  Producers will be asked to supply samples of their products to FVA.   

Samples should be delivered to CCE – Jefferson no later than Nov. 1. Examples of value added products include locally produced cheeses, pickled vegetables, jams, jellies, meat jerky, mustards etc. 

Producers with products that meet the criteria will be notified and should deliver their samples and for-sale products to the FVA warehouse at 200 Howk St., Watertown on Nov. 14. 

Products will be evaluated to ensure the product meets required quality, ingredients, packaging, production history, estimated capacity, etc.  

On the day of the event, FVA will transport all products to the Commissary in refrigerated vehicles.   Any unused products can be returned to CCE Jefferson office for producers to pick up after the event.   

Producers are invited to attend and participate at the event and will be carpooled onto the Fort from CCE – Jefferson Office starting at 9 a.m. Producers will be allowed to sell their product during the tasting. However, samples are not reimbursable. 

Please bring your own sample spoons, cups, napkins, plates, signage, etc. The Commissary will provide: tables, trash, staff and marketing.

Products which attract significant interest at the event will be selected by the Commissary staff.  Selected products will be stocked on a limited basis and distributed by FVA to the Fort Drum Commissary.   

Note: as with any retail opportunity distribution fees and retail markups apply. However, Commissaries generally mark up products only 5 percent. 

For more information contact Remy Cline at (315) 789-0042.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Apply Now for Help With Water Quality Programs

From state Assemblyman William Magee

Assemblyman Bill Magee (D-Nelson) announced that livestock farms can now apply for state grants to help fund water quality projects that help comply with new environmental regulations. 
A total of $50 million is available through the Clean Water Infrastructure Act, which was included in this year’s state budget. As chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, Magee advocates for New York’s farmers and is dedicated to conserving our region’s soils and water resources.
“The agriculture industry is important to our region’s economy,” Magee said. “This funding ensures that farmers across New York can comply with new regulations designed to ensure our water remains clean. These water quality projects will keep our water safe for future generations.”
There are more than 500 farms in New York state with more than 200 livestock, most of which are dairy farms with more than 300 cows. This money will help livestock farms better store nutrients, such as manure, until there is ideal weather for application. 
Previously, farmers with insufficient storage would have to apply manure during rain or snowmelt, which meant that nutrients could run off and contaminate water supplies rather than be absorbed into fields and help crops grow.
This money is especially important this year. Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) have been confirmed at Craine Lake in Earlville and suspected in the DeRuyter Reservoir.
HABs are caused by several nutrient sources and environmental factors and have the potential to cause illness in people and pets, as well as impact fisheries and recreational opportunities on local waterbodies.
“I encourage livestock farmers to apply for this helpful funding,” Magee said. “This is one of many programs out there that could be an important boost to them. I’ll keep fighting to cut red tape, invest in innovative agriculture programs and spur economic growth.”
The first of three application periods is open now and will close Nov. 20. Awards for the first $20 million will be made by mid-December. 
An additional $15 million will be made available in both 2018 and 2019. County soil and water conservation districts can apply for the CAFO Waste Storage and Transfer System Program on behalf of eligible farmers. The maximum award amount per proposal is $385,000, which includes funding for engineering and construction expenses. 
The application link can be found right here