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In This Issue:

Statewide News
Taste NY Updates
NYS Grown & Certified Updates
Funding Opportunities
Spotlight: The Great New York State Fair

Honoring Hunger Action Month

September is Hunger Action Month, providing an opportunity to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity in our communities. Proudly, New York State has long been committed to the fight against hunger, launching several groundbreaking initiatives and programs in recent years, including the Council on Hunger and Food Policy, Vital Brooklyn, and the No Student Goes Hungry initiative, to combat hunger, improve access to healthy, locally grown foods, and bring New York-grown foods and beverages to underserved communities. Most recently, the Department’s Nourish New York initiative, which was created to address food insecurity during the pandemic, has brought millions of pounds of New York produced foods to New Yorkers who need it most.

We encourage everyone to show their support by wearing orange on Hunger Action Day, recognized this year on September 17, 2021. Additionally, take action by visiting https://www.feedingamerica.org/take-action/hunger-action-month to find out more about how to help this month and year-round. Many of New York’s food banks are participating with special food drives and events, so be sure to check out your local food bank and see how you can help.

Department Releases Diversity and Racial Equity Report

It is more urgent now than ever to increase, sustain, and diversify farming and land access across the country, including in New York. As part of those efforts, the Department released a report from the members of the Diversity and Racial Equity Workgroup, which provides recommendations on actions we can take to develop a more equitable agricultural industry and empower Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) farmers across New York.

The Workgroup is made up of New York State farmers, advocates, and other institutional and industry stakeholders representing a wide swath of the state’s agricultural community. The 21 recommendations detailed in the report were developed in collaboration with these BIPOC leaders who have been advocating, developing solutions, and building the groundwork for this report for decades.

The plan focuses on four key areas:

Access to Infrastructure and Resources
Access to Education and Training
Access to Capital
Access to Land

The joint expertise and unique experiences of the Diversity and Racial Equity Workgroup members will help New York to take steps toward a stronger, more resilient, and more equitable agricultural community in New York State. Read the full report.

Table Rock Farm Receives AEM-Leopold Conservation Award

Table Rock Farm is the 2021 winner of New York’s annual Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM)-Leopold Conservation Award! Table Rock Farm, along with the Wyoming County Soil & Water Conservation District, was selected for this distinguished award, which honors a farm for its extraordinary efforts to protect the environment through the preservation of soil and water quality while ensuring farm viability for future generations.

Table Rock Farm is a family-owned, 1,150 cow dairy farm. The farm produces almost 33 million pounds of milk annually, which is made into Great Lakes Cheese Company cheeses in Cuba, NY. The farm also grows 1,800 acres of corn and alfalfa to feed its herd. Table Rock Farm is deeply dedicated to environmental stewardship and uses an innovative manure storage system, crop rotation, conservation tillage, and cover crops to promote soil health, prevent erosion, and protect water quality. We congratulate Meghan Hauser, Maureen De Golyer, and the entire Table Rock Farm family for their dedication to agriculture and to their focus on protecting the environment.

Learn more about the award and this year’s recipients.

Invasive Species Alert

Spotted Lanternfly
The Department needs your help combatting the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia that can be devastating to New York agriculture, particularly grape vines. First found in New York State on Staten Island in August 2020, SLF has now been observed in all New York City boroughs. While inspectors continue to work to slow the spread of the SLF population, the Department is asking residents to do their part:

Residents living in the five NYC boroughs should:
Destroy SLF adults when found. Later in the fall, the public can help further by scraping off and destroying SLF egg masses.
Reach out to Cornell University’s Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) to learn about control measures or a certified pesticide applicator for treatment options to help combat SLF.
Thoroughly inspect vehicles, luggage and gear, and all outdoor items for egg masses and adult SLF before leaving the New York City region.

Because the Department is aware of the population in the five boroughs, it is asking NYC residents to forgo reporting sightings of SLF at this time.

For residents living outside of New York City, on Long Island or in Upstate New York, the Department is urging New Yorkers to:

Take a picture of the SLF and report sightings, using the web reporting tool found here. Reporting on Long Island and Upstate New York is critical, helping inspectors identify any newly impacted areas.
Scrape off and destroy SLF egg masses.
Reach out to the New York State IPM Program to learn about control measures to help combat SLF.
Allow surveyors access to properties where SLF may be present. Surveyors will be uniformed and will always provide identification.

Box Tree Moth
The box tree moth has been detected in parts of Western New York, near the Canadian border in Niagara County. Box tree moth is a highly destructive pest that is a threat to the health of our boxwood plants, an ornamental shrub that is a valuable part of the U.S. nursery industry.

The Department is asking residents to help aid in efforts to find the box tree moth so that our inspectors can better assess impacted areas and reduce its spread in New York State. You can help by following these steps:

Check any boxwood plants you have for signs of box tree moth life stages.
If you find any signs of infestation, take a picture, and report it to https://arcg.is/1Df8Se.
Please cooperate with agriculture officials if asked for permission to access your property for visual inspection of boxwood plants or for placement of a box tree moth trap.

2021 Dairy Products Competition Winners Announced at the Great New York State Fair
On August 26, Commissioner Ball announced the winners of the 2021 Dairy Products Competition in celebration of Dairy Day at the Great New York State Fair. Twelve cheese manufacturers were awarded this year, including Old Chatham Creamery, from Tompkins County, which earned the Grand Champion award for its Camembert cheese. Upstate Farms was honored with gold for the state’s top-scoring milk, with Stewart’s earning silver.

Check out a video of the ceremony:
Other highlights from the competition include:
Upstate Farms also won gold in the Flavored Milk category.
Stoltzfus Family Dairy, from Oneida County, took home gold in the Small Processors Fluid Milk category as well as the Chocolate Milk category.
Upstate Niagara earned the most medals overall, with a total of 19. They received the gold in the Flavored Milk, Dip, Buttermilk, Mozzarella, Ricotta, and Sour Cream categories.
Great Lakes Cheese won gold for its Cheddar and Aged Cheddar, earning a total of six medals.
HP Hood won gold for its Full Fat and Low-Fat Cottage Cheese and also earned the Award of Excellence for its Full Fat Cottage Cheese.
Entries were submitted for 25 categories, including fluid milk, various types of cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, dips, and cottage cheese. Cheese classes were evaluated by 11 expert judges. This year, the Chief Judge was Alicia Heannings from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ Division of Milk Control.

We congratulate our winners and all of our participants for making the most delicious and nutritious dairy products for all of us to enjoy. New York’s dairy farmers and processors are among the best in the country and their commitment to the agricultural community is reflected in the great milk, cheeses, sour creams, cottage cheeses, and more they take such pride in producing. See the full list of winners.

Celebrate National Honey Month With Taste NY
Did you know? Each year more than 60,000 bee colonies in New York State pollinate agricultural crops like apples, pumpkins, and grapes. Taste NY Markets are celebrating National Honey Month with fresh, delicious New York State honey products this September. Visit Taste NY Markets the weekend of September 24 – 26 to shop for local honey and apiary products and celebrate these bee-utiful producers!

Look for NYS Grown & Certified Promotions at Your Local Grocery Store
The Department wants to help shoppers find the very best food for their families so we created the NYS Grown & Certified program, which makes it easy to identify foods you can trust, and that are locally and responsibly grown. Just look for the New York State Grown & Certified seal. The seal indicates that the farms your products come from have been inspected for safe food handling protocols and environmental stewardship. The label lets you know that your food was grown right, right here in New York State.

Want to know where to find high-quality New York State Grown & Certified products? Connect with producers, retailers, and distributors at certified.ny.gov/wheretobuy.

Current Funding Opportunities
RFP 0260 – Erosion and Sediment Control Implementation Grants for the Genesee River and Finger Lakes Watershed Round 2
Proposals are due by 4:00 pm on October 25, 2021.
RFP 0237 – Saturated Buffers Pilot Project
Proposals are due by 4:00 pm on October 25, 2021.
RFA 0238 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 18 – Conservation Easement Projects
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 0181 – Source Water Buffer Program
Applications are taken on a rolling basis.

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

Spotlight: New York State Fair Closes Another Great Season

The 2021 Great New York State Fair has come to a close after 18 great days that showcased the best of New York agriculture, along with delicious food, excellent entertainment, family-friendly activities, and so much more. After a year of uncertainty and trying times, we were happy to have brought back a little bit of joy and familiarity to so many of you who look forward to the Fair each year. Check out some photos of fun at the Fair this year, below. We look forward to seeing you in 2022 for all that the Great New York State Fair has to offer!