New St. Lawrence County farmers can receive state help from $1 million New Farmers Grant Fund
Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 6:15 am

St. Lawrence County farmers just beginning their trade can get state help from $1 million in the state budget to the New Farmers Grant Fund.

The purpose of this grant is to support beginning farmers by awarding funds to help increase profitability either through increased production or by implementing sustainable practices such as organic farming, food safety, or the reduction of farm waste or water use.

Grants may be given for a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $50,000 for up to 50 percent of the total project cost. The grant recipient must match the remaining half of the cost.

According to the requirements listed on the website: https://esd.ny.gov/new-farmers-grant-fund-program, to be eligible to apply for the grant, the farm operation must be located entirely in NYS and have a minimum of $10,000 in farm income from agricultural products grown or raised on the farm in 2016.

Farm owners must be at least 18 years old and be in the first ten years of having an ownership interest in any farm operation. All owners must materially and substantially participate in the day-to-day production of an agricultural product on the farm.

Past awards have been given for projects such as purchasing forage equipment, renovating and expanding barns, installing drainage, installing fencing, and constructing greenhouses. Applications are currently being accepted and must be postmarked no later than January 26, 2018. The application requirements are fairly extensive and should be started well in advance of the deadline. More information about the grant as well as the application can be found at https://esd.ny.gov/new-farmers-grant-fund-program. Beginning farmers who would like assistance completing the grant application should not hesitate to contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at (315) 379-9192.