Your October Monthly Harvest is here from the 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: New York State Teacher of the Year

$25 Million Restaurant Resiliency Program Will Support Restaurants and Families in Need
Governor Hochul has announced the launch of the $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program to provide relief to the restaurant industry, which continues to face severe challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. The program, proposed by the legislature, will build on the State’s successful Nourish New York initiative. It will provide funding to New York’s network of food banks and emergency food providers to purchase prepared meals from New York restaurants and deliver them to families in need.

The Restaurant Resiliency Program will award funding, which was passed as part of the 2021-22 New York State Budget, from the New York State Department of Health to New York’s network of ten food banks across the State. The list of food banks and their award amounts can be found here.

Emergency food providers will work directly with restaurants who are deemed eligible for the program by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. They will need to show capacity to create meals aligning with MyPlate.gov standards, be up to date with licensing requirements, and have passed all health inspections. Participating restaurants are encouraged to use New York ingredients where possible. Additional information and an application for the program can be found here.

Fourth Round of Nourish New York Launches
The fourth round of the Nourish New York initiative launched this month, allowing New York’s emergency food providers to continue to purchase surplus products from New York farmers and dairy manufacturers to deliver to New York families in need through the end of the year, including the holiday season. Since its launch during the height of the pandemic in May 2020, Nourish New York has helped New York’s network of food banks and emergency food providers purchase 36 million pounds of food from local farmers and deliver more than 30 million meals to communities across the state.

Funding for this fourth round of the program, which was passed as part of the 2021-22 New York State Budget, will be reallocated to participating food banks and emergency food providers through contracts extending to December 31, 2021. Emergency food providers can spend the money allocated to them by:

– Setting up food-drive through events/giveaways;
– Distributing dairy vouchers that can be redeemed in grocery stores for products like cheese, yogurt, milk, sour cream, and butter, throughout the state, and/or;
– Purchasing products directly from New York dairy/food manufacturers for their feeding programs.

A total of $85 million has been invested in Nourish New York to date through four rounds of funding. The program provides funds directly to the state’s emergency food providers to help them buy New York agricultural products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and produce, meat, seafood, and eggs. It also funds the delivery of these goods to New Yorkers through large drive-through distributions, food box and school meal programs, food pantries, and soup kitchens. In addition, the program supports the state’s farmers and producers who lost markets for their products due to the pandemic. Through the food banks’ purchases, 4,178 farms have been impacted.

Commissioner Ball Elected President of NASDA
Commissioner Ball has been elected to serve as the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) 2021-2022 President. Commissioner Ball officially accepted the designation at NASDA’s 2021 annual meeting, which took place in September in Louisville, Kentucky.

As president, Commissioner Ball will help guide the implementation of the policies adopted during the meeting, which include expanding emergency food supply networks; emphasizing the importance of free interstate commerce; growing the hemp industry; and promoting agricultural workforce reform. This is in addition to NASDA’s priority issues, which are trade, food safety, food systems, workforce development, infrastructure and capacity, and climate resiliency. As president, Commissioner Ball will also host the 2022 NASDA Annual Meeting in Saratoga Springs, New York, on September 26-29, 2022.

“I am honored to be elected NASDA’s new president and to lead as our states work together to ensure that agriculture continues to grow and thrive,” said Commissioner Ball. “I have long valued the opportunity to gather with some of the best minds in agriculture, our commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture, as well as our community partners, collaborating through NASDA to advocate for and implement change that will have a lasting impact on our shared industry. The policies set forth and implemented by NASDA this year will deliver on our collective commitment to address the most important and pressing agricultural issues of today while strengthening our farms and food supply for the future.”

Spotted Lanternfly Update
The Department continues to reach out to New York State residents and industries to provide updates on Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) to slow the spread of this invasive species.

The Department is asking residents to destroy any SLF found in New York City. People living in any of the five boroughs do not need to report SLF sightings to the Department or collect samples at this time. Since SLF are known hitchhikers, the Department is also asking NYC residents who are doing any traveling outside of the city to thoroughly inspect their cars or personal items for SLF to be sure not to inadvertently transport them to a new area.

If you live outside New York City, you can help the Department by reporting SLF immediately after it is found. Follow these steps:

– Take a photo.
– Collect a sample and place it in a freezer or in a jar with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
– Contact the SLF responders: https://agriculture.ny.gov/ReportSLF.

Later in the fall, the public can help further by scraping off and destroying SLF egg masses. For more information, please visit agriculture.ny.gov/spottedlanternfly.

Announcing a Revitalized Great New York State Fair in 2022
In September, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the Great New York State Fair will return in 2022 as a 13-day event, allowing for greater participation of fairgoers and vendors at not only the New York State Fair, but also at a number of the State’s county fairs that had coinciding schedules.

The Governor also directed a review to assess support, growth, and revitalization opportunities for all fairs in New York as the State moves into the next fair season. The Department will work with county fairs to evaluate ways to increase marketing and promotion of county fairs, as well as opportunities to improve youth and agricultural programming initiatives at all fairs statewide, including the State Fair. The review will also examine the State Fair’s smoking policy, considering fairgoer feedback and experience.

Governor Hochul said, “Returning to a 13-day schedule next year ensures that fairgoers can once again experience all of their favorite shows, exhibits, vendors, and attractions around the New York State Fair while also supporting greater coordination with our county and youth fairs. This will provide an increased economic benefit to more communities and encourage New Yorkers to experience the best of agriculture and entertainment across the State. We are ready to help and support all fairs, and to do what’s best for everyone to enjoy them.”

Chobani Donates New York Products to Families in Need
During Hunger Action Month in September, New York State-based food maker Chobani helped families affected by Hurricane Ida and evacuees from Afghanistan housed on U.S. military bases by donating and delivering nearly 300,000 products, including New York yogurt. Commissioner Richard A. Ball joined representatives from Chobani and the Center for Refugees in Utica on September 14 to help load a trailer that delivered relief to Mamaronek, New York, which was in the path of Ida, and to encourage other New York businesses to assist where possible.

Chobani sent approximately 100,000 products, including New York-made yogurt, by truck to food banks in metropolitan New York City and the surrounding areas, and an additional 100,000 products to Louisiana, all to help those who were in the path of devastation left by Hurricane Ida. In addition, in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO), Chobani sent a truckload, nearly 100,000 cups of product, including New York-made yogurt, from its plant in Central New York to Fort Lee in Virginia and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, where Afghan evacuees are being housed and supported by US service members. Learn more.

We thank Chobani for leading the way in donating healthy, delicious New York dairy products to families in need.

USDA Assistance Available to New York Farms Impacted by Hurricane Ida
New York agricultural operations have been significantly impacted by Hurricane Ida and related weather events. The USDA has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers recover. Impacted producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure and livestock losses, and damages. Learn more.

Explore New York Agritourism This Fall
With autumn well underway, the time is ripe to take advantage of all the great agritourism opportunities that New York State has to offer. From pumpkins, to apples, to corn mazes, and so much more, New York farms are offering fun for all ages this fall. Many u-pick farms are open for business across NY, so call your local farm and get outside to have some family fun and support your local farmer today.

Celebrate National Apple Month With Taste NY
Taste NY Markets are taking a shine to New York apples! October is National Apple Month and New York is the second-largest apple producing state in the country – in fact, New York State produces 29.5 million bushels each year! To celebrate, from October 15-17 Taste NY Markets across the state will offer specials, showcase local U-pick information, and feature various other promotions to “apple-aud” our growers’ efforts. Visit Taste.ny.gov for a list of locations.

Celebrate Cider Week With NYS Grown & Certified Producers
Mark your calendars for fall Cider Week New York, taking place from October 22 through the 17, 2021! With events ranging from cider tastings to orchard tours to chef and cider pairings to dinners and more, there are plenty of ways to celebrate cider across the entire state. For more information and to be kept in the loop on the full listing of events and where to enjoy cider, cider lovers can sign up at www.ciderweeknewyork.com.

Choose NYS Grown & Certified cider this month as you celebrate Cider Week and all things fall! By choosing #NYSCertified cider, you know that your delicious cider was grown right, right here in New York State. Visit certified.ny.gov/wheretobuy to find a cidery near you.

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 Teacher of the Year
We have a lot to be proud of when it comes to New York State agriculture and that includes our tremendous agricultural teachers who are working every day to educate our young people about the opportunities in the industry. One of those amazing teachers, Carly Santangelo of Cuba-Rushford Central School District, has been recognized for her extraordinary work and has been named the 2022 New York State Teacher of the Year!

Mrs. Santangelo is an agriculture teacher who engages students, colleagues, and the community by connecting academic content to life-long skills through school-wide, hands-on projects. She actively pursues opportunities to expand the walls of her classroom through grants, field trips, community connections, and guest speakers. She believes in service learning and works alongside her students to give back to the community in and outside of school.

Mrs. Santangelo was awarded this distinguished recognition at a special ceremony held in September by the New York State Department of Education. Thanks to her hard work, and the work of teachers like her, the future of New York agriculture is bright. Congratulations!