North Country food producers eligible for funding for marketing with ‘State Grown and Certified’ program
Monday, June 11, 2018 - 11:57 am

A new grant program has been established to help North Country food producers meet the safety standards necessary for certification in the New York State Grown and Certified Agriculture Producer’s program.

Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) has received a $500,000 grant through North Country Regional Economic Development Council to implement the program in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Clinton, Franklin, Essex and Hamilton counties.

The program is open to agricultural producers in the seven North Country counties who want to become certified in the NYS Grown and Certified Program. Eligible commodities are produce, dairy, shellfish, eggs, beef, poultry, pork, maple products, alcoholic beverages, and beverage ingredients. Applicants are required to contribute 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of cash equity. Eligible producers can apply for grant funding of up to $50,000 at https://evogov.s3.amazonaws.com/media/83/media/131795.pdf.

The NYS Grown and Certified Program was designed to strengthen consumer confidence in New York products and assist farmers so they can take advantage of the growing market demand for locally grown foods that are produced to a higher standard. Certified producers are able to use a special New York State seal that indicates the producer adheres to higher standards of food safety and environmental stewardship.

The funding comes from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, which oversees the program.

DANC has launched the North Country program in partnership with county Cornell Cooperative Extension and Soil and Water Conservation offices.

For more information or application materials, contact Michelle Capone, Director of Regional Development at the Development Authority, at 315-661-3200 or [email protected].

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “This grant program will go a long way in helping our producers make the upgrades they need on the farm to implement safe food handling practices. This not only protects consumers but it also allows more growers to participate in the GAP program and take advantage of the benefits of the NYS Grown & Certified program. Our producers are among some of the best in the nation, and we look forward to helping them meet the highest of standards in food safety.”