Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1 million in funding is available to assist new and early-stage farmers through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund. Now in its third year, the program builds upon the success of 2015 when more than $743,000 was awarded to 25 early-stage farms across the state to support the continued growth of New York’s agriculture industry. To date, nearly $1.4 million has been provided to 41 farms throughout New York State to expand their operations and improve their profitability.
"New York's farmers are a rich part of this state's heritage and remain essential to the success of our economy," Governor Cuomo said. "This funding will support the expansion of farms as they increase production and help ensure this remains a strong and sustainable industry for generations to come."
The $1 million New Farmers Grant Fund will provide 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 owners of eligible farms 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. Eligible project costs include the purchase of farm machinery, supplies and equipment, and construction or improvement of farm structures. Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, administers the fund.
This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is now accepting farm applicants of all sizes. The application and guidelines for the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund are available online. The deadline for submission is January 27, 2017.