The state has announced more than $1 million to support early stage farms, including one in Orleans County.
Hartway Brothers was approved for $42,500 in Orleans, one of 27 grants announced on Monday to support early stage farms.
Since its launch in 2014, the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund 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,” Governor Cuomo said. “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.”
Other nearby farms approved for funding include First Light Farm & Creamery, Genesee County – $50,000; Lyman and Chelsey Rudgers, Wyoming County – $50,000; Camman Acres, LLC, Monroe County – $18,021; and Black Bird Cider Works, Niagara County – $46,245.
The New Farmers Grant Fund is 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. 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 10 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.
“By providing these beginning farmers with the boost they need to expand their operations now, they’ll be able to grow their business and reinvest in their communities well into the future,” said Richard A. Ball, New York State Agriculture & Markets commissioner.