Your June Monthly Harvest is here from NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

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In This Issue:
• Statewide News
• Taste NY Updates
• NYS Grown & Certified Updates
• Funding Opportunities
• Spotlight: Bring on the Berries!

Celebrating June is Dairy Month
We are excited to celebrate Dairy Month, beginning with World Milk Day, which is today, June 1! Dairy Month provides us all an opportunity to recognize our tremendous dairy farmers and dairy manufacturers who are producing and processing some of the very best dairy products in the world.

At the Department, we are looking forward to spotlighting New York’s dairy industry all month long with exciting events, spotlights on our dairy inspectors, fun giveaways, and interesting facts about dairy farms around the state. We are proud of our efforts to support our dairy community, especially over this difficult past year. The Nourish New York initiative continues to grow and quickly move surplus milk and dairy products to consumers in need. Over 37,425,940 pounds of milk has been moved off the farm during the first year of the program, representing over $14,655,000 dollars spent to support dairy farmers. To date, 40 percent of the purchases made through Nourish NY have been dairy products.

Additionally, Taste NY Markets and Welcome Centers across New York will be featuring local dairy producers in their regions throughout the month of June and will be offering different specials on dairy products to encourage consumers to support their local dairies. Learn more in the Taste NY section below.

The vitality of New York agriculture relies on dairy. It is the State’s leading agricultural sector and it’s responsible for employing tens of thousands of New Yorkers and for providing our families with wholesome and nutritious foods. So stop at a Taste NY store for some delicious New York dairy items this month, or look for the New York Grown & Certified label or plant code 36 on your favorite dairy products at the grocery store; we encourage everyone to support New York’s dairy industry during June is Dairy Month!

Nourish New York Continues to Support Farmers and New Yorkers in Need
The Nourish New York program continues to address food insecurity and provide a boost to our farmers in New York State as we combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Nourish New York helps farmers to sell their products to food banks, who in turn distribute these healthy, delicious New York products to populations in need.

Food banks are reaching significant program milestones in every region of the state. One great example is Foodlink in the Finger Lakes region. Since the start of the pandemic, Foodlink has purchased more than 3.6 million pounds of agricultural products from New York farms and served more than 190,000 households through their drive-thru food distribution events. Additionally, the food bank has partnered with Byrne Dairy to provide families with weekly boxes of dairy products, including cheddar cheese, sour cream, and 2% milk. Foodlink has provided 9,350 dairy boxes so far for families to receive the delicious, essential nutrients in dairy! Learn more.

As of this week, the Nourish New York program has helped New York’s food banks and emergency food providers statewide deliver more than 5 million pounds of meat and eggs, 12 million pounds of produce, and 10 million pounds of dairy products to New Yorkers. To learn more about Nourish New York and the latest news from the program, please visit agriculture.ny.gov/NourishNY.

Honoring World Food Safety Day
The third annual World Food Safety Day will be recognized this year on Monday, June 7. World Food Safety Day was created to draw attention and direct educational efforts to reducing the approximately 600 million cases of foodborne illnesses that occur annually across the globe.

Our Department staff works to maintain the safety of the food supply from producer to consumer, including licensing retail food and food manufacturing establishments, conducting inspections, testing food samples, and collaborating with partners on innovative approaches to food safety. Watch the Department’s social media pages in the coming days to learn more about our efforts to keep the food supply safe for all to consume. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

AEM-Leopold Conservation Award Finalists Selected
Greenfield Farms of Skaneateles, Honorone Farm of Canajoharie, and Table Rock Farm of Castile have been selected as finalists in the second annual New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Leopold Conservation Award! This prestigious award honors a farm and its nominating Soil and Water Conservation District for extraordinary achievement in environmental stewardship, with a prize of $10,000.

The three finalists are utilizing AEM Best Management Practices, meeting environmental goals to ensure long-term viability for future generations, and inspiring other landowners. For example, Greenfield Farms has adopted no-till and cover crop conservation practices to reduce erosion and build soil health in the Skaneateles and Owasco Lake watersheds. Honorone Farm has specific grasses on their land to retain soil and provide higher quality feed for their cattle. Lastly, Table Rock Farm is a long-time participant in many research studies to improve soil health and developed an innovative manure storage system.

The AEM-Leopold Conservation Award Program in New York is supported by American Farmland Trust, the Sand County Foundation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Ida and Robert Gordon Family Foundation, Farm Credit East, the New York State Agribusiness Association, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Department. Learn more about the award and last year’s winner.

We wish the best of luck to all the finalists!

Reminder: New York State’s COVID-19 Recovery Programs
Farmers, restaurants, and small businesses of all kinds: stay up-to-date with the latest information about New York State’s critical recovery programs. These may be just what you’re looking for as we begin to build back.

Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program
The $800 million COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program provides grant funding to small and micro businesses and for-profit independent arts and cultural organizations impacted by the pandemic. The grants will be flexible and can be used for a number of different business operating expenses, including payroll, rent or mortgage payments, taxes, utilities, PPE or other business expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and April 1, 2021.

Restaurant Return-To-Work Tax Credit
The $35 million Restaurant Return-to-Work Tax Credit Program provides an incentive to COVID-impacted restaurants to bring restaurant staff back-to-work, and to increase hiring at NYS restaurants. Qualifying businesses are eligible for a tax credit of $5,000 per new worker hired, up-to $50,000 per business. The program is open to small, independently owned restaurants within New York City or any area in New York State designated by the NYS Department of Health as either an Orange or a Red zone for at least 30 consecutive days.

New York Forward Loan Fund
The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is an economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords. NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small residential landlords that have seen a loss of rental income. NYFLF is providing working capital loans so that small businesses, nonprofits and small residential landlords have access to credit as they reopen. These loans are available to small businesses and nonprofits that did not receive a U.S. Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program of greater than $500,000 or an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19 of greater than $150,000, and small landlords. The loans are not forgivable in part or whole. The loans will need to be paid back over a five-year term with interest.

Apple Marketing Order Seeks Proposals
The Department is seeking proposals on behalf of the State’s Apple Marketing Order (AMO) Advisory Board to enhance the competitive position of New York’s apple industry, identify new or emerging market opportunities, or develop innovative promotional initiatives to increase the sale and consumption of New York apples.

Organizations capable of performing market research or those with experience implementing marketing strategies to increase produce sales are eligible for this opportunity. Any proposal(s) selected through this request process will be funded by the AMO, which collects approximately $2 million annually from apple growers. Interested parties must submit a Letter of Interest to the AMO Advisory Board by June 17, 2021. Learn more and submit your proposal.

Help Combat Spotted Lanternfly in New York State
Join us in taking action against invasive species during Invasive Species Awareness Week, June 6 – 12.

Do you love wine, beer, or maple syrup? If so, take note! Spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive pest that feeds on many plants including grapes, hops, and maple trees – and we need your help to find it in New York. Finding infestations when they are small is the key to preventing SLF from becoming widespread. Keep an eye out for dime-sized black nymphs this time of year (red nymphs and adults begin to appear in July), and report any sightings online.

New York State is seeking volunteers like you to look for SLF and tree-of-heaven. You can help protect New York’s agriculture and forests by knowing what to look for and how to report these species to New York’s official invasive species database, NY iMapInvasives. The next training will be held virtually on June 7th. Learn more and mark your calendar.

Apply to the Grow-NY Competition
Have you heard about the Grow-NY Food & Agriculture Business Competition?
It’s a competition that identifies, supports, and funds the top food, beverage, and agriculture innovations across the globe and includes a $1 million top prize, along with mentorship, training, business development support, and tax incentives.

#GrowNY is open to all startups located in any state or country in the world that meet the Grow-NY definition of ‘Food and Agricultural Field’. Eligible startups must be early-stage and have a scalable business model.

Each year, Grow-NY awards $3 million in prize money to seven winners, all payable in stages based on business milestones. Applications close July 15. Don’t miss your chance to win! Learn more.

Upcoming Events
Stay up-to-date with these exciting virtual and live events about agriculture happening throughout New York this month:

• Urban Exploration Days at Randall’s Island: Explore one of New York City’s urban farms, growing a variety of crops, rice paddies, fragrant herbs, and more. The exploration days are held every Saturday and Sunday in June from 10 am to 4 pm. Learn more.
• Compost & Farm Site Tour at Queens Botanical Garden: This tour highlights the state-of-the-art composting facility in the botanical garden. Participants will learn about composting and the techniques used to process food scraps. The tour will be held on Sunday, June 6 from 10 am to 3 pm. Register here.
• Farming in Dutchess Virtual Series: Beginning in February 2021, the Dutchess County Agricultural Advisory Committee has hosted sessions about agricultural topics concerning the community. In June, the topics that will be discussed are Social and Land Development Pressures and Ag Education. Learn more and register here.
• Ideal Dairy Farm & Argyle Cheese Tour: Visit Ideal Dairy Farm and the Argyle Cheese processing plant to learn about what goes into producing delicious and nutritious dairy products! This event will be held on June 29 from 2 pm to 4 pm. Learn more and register here.
• Introduction to Organic Transition at Sang Lee Farms: Join NOFA-NY to tour Sang Lee Farms! The tour provides a visual understanding of how the farm transitioned from a conventional farm, selling strictly to terminal markets, to a certified organic farm, selling direct-to-consumers through their highly successful CSA. The tour will be held on June 29 from 5 pm to 6 pm. Register here.

Celebrate New York Dairy With Taste NY
June is Dairy Month! The Taste NY Markets will be featuring delicious New York State dairy products all month long, including Ronnybrook milk, Roc Star ice cream, Trinity Farm cheese curds, Ithaca Milk yogurt, and so much more!

Plus, visit Taste NY Markets across New York to meet Flat Bessie! Flat Bessie has traveled across the state learning fun dairy and regional facts that she’s ready to share with you. You can vote for your favorite Flat Bessie on social media – the winner will be announced at the end of the month!

Enjoy Delicious NYS Grown & Certified Oysters
Along the coast of Long Island, producers and processors are farming oysters, scallops, and other shellfish all year round. Areas along Long Island’s North Fork, including Peconic Bay, Noyac Bay, Moriches Bay, and Gardiner’s Bay, are especially known for their oysters.

Two great examples are Violet Cove Oysters and Yennicott Oysters. Violet Cove Oysters, located in Moriches Bay, is located between two ocean inlets, which gives the oysters their briny goodness. Yennicott Oysters, located in Shelter Island Sound and Peconic Bay, focuses on cultivating oysters with no supplemental feeding or chemicals. Violet Cove Oysters and Yennicott Oysters are both proud members of NYS Grown & Certified, which connects consumers to New York State’s agricultural producers using safe food handling and environmentally responsible practices. Shop for Violet Cove Oysters and Yennicott Oysters all summer long!

Current Funding Opportunities
• RFA 0238 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 18 – Conservation Easement Projects
• Applications are taken on a rolling basis
• RFA 0224 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 17B – Farm Operations in Transition Farmland Protection Initiative
• Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
• RFA 0215 – County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants
• Enrollment is open as of November 2019.
• RFA 0216 – Municipal Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants
• Enrollment is open as of November 2019.
• RFA 0219 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 17 – Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative
• Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
• RFA 0181 – Source Water Buffer Program
• Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
• RFA 0175 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 15B – Transaction Costs for Donated Agricultural Conservation Easements
• There is no deadline for applications.
• RFA 0168 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 15 – Option Agreement Projects
• There is no deadline for applications.

For more information on these or other funding opportunities, please visit our Funding Opportunities page.

Featured Funding Opportunity: Ag Non-point Source Abatement and Control
The Department has made available $13 million to support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state. The Agricultural Non-point Source Abatement and Control program provides farms with funding to plan or implement Best Management Practices to protect New York’s waterways and help preserve the environment.

Now in its 27th round, the program prioritizes projects that protect water quality and offer other environmental benefits, such as carbon sequestration, habitat development, and improved soil health. Past projects include conservation measures, such as nutrient management through manure storage, vegetative buffers along streams, and conservation cover crops.

County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply on behalf of farmers for the competitive grant program, which is funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. The application and additional information are available on the Department’s website, with project proposals due at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 28.

Spotlight: Bring on the Berries!
June is National Fresh Fruit Month! Summer is almost here, which means an abundance of luscious fruit is getting ripe and ready to be picked! Strawberries are the first locally produced fruit of the year in New York State and are a fantastic fruit to eat and cook with in June.

There are so many fun recipes to try at home with your fresh strawberries like rhubarb crumble pie and yummy cheesecake to enjoy all summer long. Visit your local farm or farmers’ market to pick the juiciest sweet strawberries! You can also check out the NYS Berry Growers Association for more information on local producers: https://www.nysbga.org/locations.