NY has $1.4M available for climate resilient farming

Staff Reports Posted 15 October 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers  – This file photo from April 2014 shows a flooded field along Presbyterian Road.

The state is making $1.4 million available in a pilot program for “Climate Resilient Farming,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced.

The funds will support projects that mitigate the environmental impact of agriculture-related activities and increase the resiliency of farms throughout New York State in the face of a changing climate.

“New York State is a leader and national model when it comes to dealing with the effects of climate change and this funding further strengthens that standing,” Cuomo said. “This first-ever grant program addresses the need to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of farms, while also enhancing the ability of those farms to recover after severe weather events which have become an all too frequent reality.”

The funding is being made available to agricultural projects which develop and implement best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration. Additionally, funding is available to projects that help agricultural producers prepare for and better manage the impacts of climate change like increased heavy rain storm events and periods of drought.

County Soil and Water Conservation Districts will apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. Applications must be submitted for one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare systems; on-farm riparian, floodplain, and upland water management systems; and soil health systems.

Funding for the Climate Resilient Farming grant program comes from the 2015-2016 New York State Environmental Protection Fund and is administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

“The Soil and Water Conservation Committee is proud to work with our partners, including the Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and most importantly farmers to build on the strengths of our Agricultural Environmental Management framework to enhance resiliency and reduce emissions on farms across New York State,” said Le Roy dairy farmer Dale Stein, chairman of the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.

Applicants for the Climate Resilient Farming grant program must submit their proposals by 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. For more information, click here.

“As large agricultural producers, we must also be mindful of our environmental footprint, and this funding will help our state’s farms develop procedures which reduce detrimental environmental impact without damaging the farms’ ability to grow produce and livestock,” said State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia. “This is a victory for our environment, as well as farmers who could use increased funding to protect their livelihoods from flooding and drought.”