Its purpose is to provide grants to support beginning farmers who have chosen farming as a career and who materially and substantially participate in the production of an agricultural product on their farm.
It’s hoped these grants will help new farmers improve profitability resulting in the growth of agribusiness and the concomitant tax revenues within the state.
The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund will help farmers improve farm profitability through one or more of the following goals:
- Expanding agricultural production, diversifying agricultural production and/or extending the agricultural season;
- Advancing innovative agricultural techniques that increase sustainable practices such as organic farming, food safety, reduction of farm waste and/or water use;
- Creating or expanding partnerships with other entities such as farm operations, institutions or regional food-hubs for processing, selling and/or distributing agricultural products.
Grants may provide a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $50,000 for up to 50% of total project costs. The remaining 50% must be matched by the recipient. Eligible sources of recipient match are limited to cash, lines of credit and loans. Other grant funds may not be used as matching funds. For any award the total project cost must be at least twice the grant award request.
Eligible Farmers/Farms (all criteria below must be met):
- A farm operation of one hundred fifty acres or less located wholly within New York State which produces an agricultural product as defined by the Guidelines;
- The farm operation must have a minimum of $10,000 in sales from products grown or derived from the applicant’s farm operation as reflected in either personal or business 2014 or 2015 tax returns;
- All owners must be New York State Residents of at least 18 years of age;
- As of April 1, 2015, all owners must 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 grown or raised on the farm operation.
Eligible costs include the purchase of new or used machinery and equipment, supplies, and/or construction or improvement of physical structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes.
Program guidelines and application can be found at the following links. When completing an Application be sure to consult the 2015 New Farmers Grant Fund Guidelines document which contains important program requirements.
Applications must be postmarked by January 22, 2016. Grant awards will be announced in the Spring of 2016.
Questions should be sent to Bonnie Devine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of Adirondack farm produce by Shannon Houlihan.