Your November 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: Dickman Farms

As we wrap up the harvest season on our farms, we are reminded of the incredible bounty of food that New York’s farmers produce for our families. As Commissioner, and as a farmer, I am proud of what our farmers contribute to our communities as the one percent that are fortunate enough to feed the other 99 percent. This time of year always brings me back to that, as we prepare to gather with our families—whether in person or virtually—and give thanks for our loved ones, our health, and the good food we can share together.

With that, it is my hope that we, as New Yorkers, also take a moment to celebrate the vibrant agricultural community in our state and recognize the hard work and contributions of our farmers and farmworkers, and for our strong agribusiness community that together works to bring delicious, high-quality foods and beverages to the tables of New Yorkers in every corner of the state. This year has continued to be a challenging one, yet we have come so far, and we still have so much to be grateful for.

Stay well, be safe, and Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Commissioner Richard Ball

Nourish New York and the Restaurant Resiliency Program Feed New Yorkers This Holiday Season
This holiday season, Nourish New York continues to bring New York State produced food to those in need. The fourth round of the Nourish New York initiative launched last 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 through the end of the year. 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 38 million pounds of food from local farmers and deliver more than 32 million meals to communities across the state. 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.

Many of the state’s food banks are hosting food distributions for the holidays. To find a food bank near you, please visit feedingnys.org/our-member-food-banks.

In addition, New York State’s $25 million Restaurant Resiliency Program is already enrolling restaurants and food banks are beginning to make purchases, providing relief to the restaurant industry and bringing healthy meals to New Yorkers in need. So far, 68 restaurants are participating in the program across the state. Stay tuned for more information on the program and planned distributions! Learn more about the program at agriculture.ny.gov/restaurantresiliency.

Division of Weights and Measures Assists in Investigation of Gas Station Skimming Scheme
Please join us in congratulating our Division of Weights and Measures for its work in helping to protect consumers from fraud at the pump. Most recently, Division staff and municipal inspectors’ work in detecting credit card skimmers at gas pumps assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Secret Service in the investigation of a federal case involving access device fraud and money laundering conspiracies at gas pumps in Albany, Broome, and Montgomery Counties. Read more from the United States Attorney’s Office.

Division staff across the state inspect everything from commercial scales and gas pumps to thousands of different packaged commodities for measurement accuracy. Because of this work, buyers can be confident that they will get what they pay for in New York and business owners can also be assured that they are participating in a fair marketplace.

New Cohort of Regional Navigators Announced
Farmland for a New Generation New York and American Farmland Trust New York have announced that 34 new and returning organizations are joining the statewide network of Regional Navigators. Regional Navigators are land access experts at Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, land trusts, and agricultural non-profits who serve as advisors to farmland seekers and landowners across every county in New York state. Regional Navigators provide tailored support to farmers and landowners to connect them with each other and any resources they need to find land or keep their land in farming. They will collectively receive $439,000 in grant awards to support their work.

Launched in October 2018 and funded in the state budget, Farmland for a New Generation New York offers a cohesive suite of information and services for farmers and landowners across the state, including a website that hosts farm, farmer, farm job and event listings; training materials and model documents; the statewide network of Regional Navigators; and a first point of contact with American Farmland Trust’s expert staff. All these components work together to provide landowners and land seekers crucial one-on-one support throughout the lengthy and complex land transition and access process to ultimately make land available to a new generation of farmers.

Within three years, Farmland for a New Generation New York has provided one-on-one support to 3,128 landowners and land seekers, and facilitated 91 matches of farmers to 4,345 acres of land. The Regional Navigators are a critical component of the Department’s mission to assist farmers and connect them with the resources they need for success, and we’re proud that New York State can lend its support. Learn more about the Regional Navigators program: https://www.morningagclips.com/a-growing-network-of-support-for-farmland-access/.

“Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species” Documentary Premieres
November marks the premiere of a documentary from our partners at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). “Uninvited: The Spread of Invasive Species” is an exciting and informative 55-minute film by Westfield Production Company. The documentary introduces the concept of invasive species and highlights some of the species threatening New York’s environment and economy, while also showing some innovative ways that New York State is combatting these threats. “Uninvited” features the collaborative work of DEC, our Department, the eight Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISMs), New York State Invasive Species Research Institute (NYISRI), and more.

Premiere week viewing parties will be held around the state this week. Check out a list of premiere parties (https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/114620.html), or make a plan to watch online.

Apply Now for the Pandemic Response and Safety Grant Program
USDA is currently accepting applications for the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program. Applications must be submitted electronically through the grant portal at https://usda-prs.grantsolutions.gov/usda by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, November 22, 2021. Approximately $650 million in funding is available for the PRS grants.

Small businesses and nonprofits in the following industries can apply for a grant to cover COVID-related expenses, such as workplace safety measures (e.g., personal protective equipment (PPE), retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety, shifting to online sales platforms, transportation, worker housing, and medical costs:

Specialty crop producers
Shellfish farming, finfish farming, aquaculture, apiculture
Specialty crop, meat, and other processors
Farmers’ markets

Contact information for providers offering technical assistance on this grant application is available on the AMS PRS grant webpage under ‘Additional Resources’: https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/prs.

Choose Taste NY This Holiday Season
Taste NY is fall-ing for the upcoming holiday season! This month, Taste NY Markets are featuring New York State made food items like jams, preserves, and baking supplies to round out your Thanksgiving treats. Plus, find craft beverages (including ciders made with New York State apples in select locations), warming coffees, and teas, and of course, locally crafted gift items for those who are hosting, and custom and themed gift baskets for loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Find a market near you at https://taste.ny.gov/.

NYS Grown & Certified Welcomes Issa’s Pita Chips
The NYS Grown & Certified program is excited to welcome Issa’s Flame Baked Pita Chips to the family! Issa’s uses NYS Grown & Certified wheat in their pita chips, which is grown by Hemdale Farms in Seneca Castle and milled by The Birkett Mills in Penn Yan.

Issa’s began in 2016 at Cedars Bakery in Buffalo, New York. Their pita chips are now on a journey to the shelves of local grocers throughout New York State and the surrounding area. Issa’s pita chips are baked in a flame-lit oven giving them a unique appearance, texture, and taste.

Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, Issa’s offers a healthy way to snack! Plus, since they are #NYSCertified, you know that they were made with food safety and environmental best practices at the forefront of the process. Visit https://www.issaspitachips.com/ to find a retailer near you, so that you can experience their delicious flavors for yourself – like classic, za’atar & thyme, and cinnamon sugar!

Current Funding Opportunities
RFA 0238 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 18 – Conservation Easement Projects: https://agriculture.ny.gov/land-and-water/rfa-0238-farmland-protection-implementation-grants-round-18-conservation-easement
Applications are taken on a rolling basis

RFA 0215 – County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants: https://agriculture.ny.gov/land-and-water/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: https://agriculture.ny.gov/land-and-water/rfa-0216-municipal-agricultural-and-farmland-protection-planning-grants
Enrollment is open as of November 2019.

RFA 0181 – Source Water Buffer Program: https://agriculture.ny.gov/soil-and-water/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. https://agriculture.ny.gov/funding-opportunities

Spotlight: Dickman Farms
Auburn, New York’s Dickman Farms has been named the 2021 Medal of Excellence Operation of the Year by Greenhouse Grower Magazine!

This award is presented annually to a greenhouse business that has exhibited excellence in all facets of its operation and serves as an example for the nation’s growers.

From its strong family legacy to its focus today on innovation, leadership, and meeting consumer needs, the team at Dickman Farms is always looking to make things better, not just internally but for the entire horticulture industry. We congratulate them on this well-deserved honor! Learn more about Dickman Farms’ history and legacy of innovation: https://www.greenhousegrower.com/production/how-dickman-farms-built-a-legacy-of-leadership/.