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๐‘ฐ๐’ ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’” ๐‘ฐ๐’”๐’”๐’–๐’†:
โ€ข Statewide News
โ€ข Taste NY Updates
โ€ข NYS Grown & Certified Updates
โ€ข Funding Opportunities
โ€ข Spotlight: New York’s 2022 Golden Owl Award Winners

๐—›๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—”๐—ฆ๐——๐—” ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ
In February, Commissioner Ball had the opportunity to collaborate with our state and federal partners at the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) 2022 Winter Policy Conference in Arlington, Virginia.

At the conference, members discussed agricultural supply chain issues; Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) students received a collective total of $21,000 in scholarships; NASDA members met to discuss policy issues such ranging from marketing and international trade to natural resources and the environment; and much more. Learn more about the discussions held at the Winter Policy Conference on NASDA’s website: https://www.nasda.org/2022-nasda-winter-policy-conference-post-meeting-documents.

๐—–๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—›๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—”๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜‡๐—ฎ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ ๐—ฆ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ
Three flocks in New York State have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). The Department is working closely with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a joint incident response. All of the flocks that have tested positive in New York have been non-poultry flocks consisting of backyard pet birds or upland game birds. Stay up-to-date with the latest information about HPAI on USDA’s website (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/emergency-management/hpai/fadprep-hpai) or the Department’s website (https://agriculture.ny.gov/animals/poultry).

According to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avianflu/spotlights/2021-2022/bird-flu-poses-low-risk-public.htm), these recent HPAI detections in birds do not present an immediate public health concern. No human cases of these avian influenza viruses have been detected in the United States. As a reminder, the proper handling and cooking of poultry and eggs to an internal temperature of 165 หšF kills bacteria and viruses.

The Department encourages those involved in poultry production to take extra steps to prevent their flocks from becoming infected. All poultry producers, from small backyard to large commercial operations, should review their biosecurity plans and take precautions to protect their birds. Poultry biosecurity materials and checklists can be found on the USDAโ€™s โ€œDefend the Flockโ€ website (https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/avian/defend-the-flock-program/defend-the-flock-program).
Best practices include:
โ€ข Discourage unnecessary visitors and use biosecurity signs to warn people not to enter buildings without permission.
โ€ข Ask all visitors if they have had any contact with any birds in the past five days.
โ€ข Forbid entry to employees and visitors who own any kind of fowl.
โ€ข Require all visitors to cover and disinfect all footwear.
โ€ข Lock all entrances to chicken houses after hours.
โ€ข Avoid non-essential vehicular traffic on-farm.
โ€ข After hauling birds to processors, clean and disinfect poultry transport coops and vehicles before they return to the farm.
โ€ข Report anything unusual, especially sick or dead birds, to the Department.

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, poultry owners should keep their birds away from wild ducks and geese and their droppings. Outdoor access for poultry should be limited at this time.
To report sick birds, unexplained high number of deaths, or sudden drop in egg production, please contact the Department’s Division of Animal Industry at (518) 457-3502 or the USDA at (866) 536-7593.

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐˜† ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ, ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ ๐—ž๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—™๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐—ข๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐Ÿณ,๐Ÿณ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฌ ๐—™๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ
Through New York’s Restaurant Resiliency program, Tara Kitchen in the Capital Region is cooking up 7789 flash frozen Halal meals that will go to families in need through the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York. Meals include lamb and chicken tagine with veggies and rice.

The Restaurant Resiliency program supports New York’s restaurants while getting more food to people facing food insecurity. So far, the program is slated to deliver 1,149,167 meals through the end of March. Restaurants involved in the program are in all regions of New York State and represent the diversity of the state, with many participating restaurants preparing Kosher and Halal meals and representing minority-and women-owned businesses. More than 354 restaurants have been approved to participate in the program so far. Learn more: agriculture.ny.gov/restaurantresiliency.

Additionally, the Nourish New York program (https://agriculture.ny.gov/nourishnyhttps://agriculture.ny.gov/nourishny) also works to connect New York foods with people facing food insecurity across the state. Through four completed rounds already, Nourish New York has helped New York’s food banks purchase over 48.9 million pounds of New York food products, or 41.4 million meals, to provide to New Yorkers in need. In the current fifth round, which started at the beginning of January, New York’s food banks have purchased more than 112,400 pounds of food, creating an additional 93,600 meals for households in need.

๐—จ.๐—ฆ. ๐—–๐—น๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—”๐—น๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ
Along with the Department, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) have announced the findings of a U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) report titled โ€œEconomic Impacts of Investing in Climate Mitigation in New York Forests and Agriculture.โ€ The report found that investments in reforestation, afforestation, and dairy farm manure methane management in New York would provide significant contributions to rural economies, greenhouse gas mitigation, and ecosystem health. The announcement supports New York State’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (Climate Act) goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050.

Commissioner Ball said, โ€œNew Yorkโ€™s farmers are known nationally for their environmental stewardship and have long been dedicated to defending our land and water. The findings of the U.S. Climate Alliance report released today illustrate how smart methane management practices will further our farmersโ€™ work to protect the environment, mitigate the impacts of climate change, and will bring increased economic benefits to farms and rural communities. These practices will help New York State continue to lead the way in the United Statesโ€™ efforts to tackle climate change.โ€

๐—Ÿ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ป ๐—”๐—ฏ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—™๐—ฆ๐— ๐—” ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฅ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—”๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ช๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ
Members of New Yorkโ€™s grower community: save the date for an upcoming to discuss the new FSMA Proposed Rule on Agricultural Water. During the webinar, FDA officials will provide an overview of the proposed rule and will be available to answer questions you may have. The webinar will take place on March 11 at 11:00 am. Email Steve.Schirmer@agriculture.ny.gov and Aaron.Finley@agriculture.ny.gov to learn more and find out how to join the meeting.

Learn more about the proposed rule at fda.gov/food/food-safety-modernization-act-fsma/fsma-proposed-rule-agricultural-water.

๐—”๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ก๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—จ๐—ฆ๐——๐—”’๐˜€ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—น๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—˜๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—บ
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Meat and Poultry Processing Expansion Program (MPPEP) provides grants to help eligible processors expand their capacity. USDA Rural Development designed the MPPEP to encourage competition and sustainable growth in the U.S. meat processing sector, and to help improve supply chain resiliency.

Grant funds can be used to expand processing capacity by supporting activities such as:
โ€ข Building new processing facilities or modernizing existing processing facilities
โ€ข Developing, installing, or modernizing equipment and technology
โ€ข Ensuring compliance with packaging and labeling requirements
โ€ข Upholding occupational and other safety requirements
โ€ข Modifying facilities or equipment to protect food safety
โ€ข Paying for voluntary grading services on value-added processed products
โ€ข Offsetting costs associated with becoming an inspected facility
โ€ข Supporting workforce recruitment, training, and retention

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/business-programs/meat-and-poultry-processing-expansion-program.

๐—ช๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„๐˜€
Please join us in congratulating New York State’s network of Weights and Measures staff across the state for their continued work in helping to protect consumers from fraud at the pump. Most recently, Weights and Measures staff in Greene County confirmed that a gas hose was leaking at a Catskill fuel station, leading to it being shut down for repairs and keeping the community safe (https://wrrv.com/fuel-leak-hudson-valley-gas-station/). Additionally, a gas station customer in Norwood, New York was overcharged for diesel fuel, prompting an investigation by the St. Lawrence County Weights and Measures department (https://www.northcountrynow.com/business/motorists-urged-watch-prices-pumps-after-slc-man-overcharged-buying-gas-0314832).
60 county and city weights and measures departments across New York State provide services to their communities. Additionally, the Department’s Weights and Measures 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.

๐—ฉ๐—ฒ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—š๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€: ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—น๐—น ๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ ๐—š๐—ถ๐—ณ๐˜ ๐—–๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ
Calling all New York State vegetable growers – help Cornell University build more resilient food systems! Cornell researchers are trying to understand how your social connections – cooperation with fellow farmers, family, local government etc. – have influenced your farming and marketing operations since the pandemic. They believe this will help us understand how to strengthen community responses to local food systems in times of economic shock. As a producer of diversified vegetable crops in the State of New York, your insight will be immensely helpful. Plus, you could win a $15 Amazon gift card for your participation! Learn more: https://cornell.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_86Ph1bXx1SdPNJQ.

๐—–๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐— ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜๐—ต ๐—ช๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐—ง๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—ฌ
Sap is flowing and Taste NY is celebrating Maple Month! New York State is home to over 2,000 maple sugar makers, and Taste NY markets across the state are offering sampling through a special Maple Madness promotion all month long. Stop by any market, sample different products, and fill in a bracket to vote for your favorite New York maple product. Find a list of markets at https://taste.ny.gov/. You can also shop for New York State maple from home on https://shoptasteny.com/. Save 10% on your order during March with the code โ€œMapleMadnessโ€.

๐—–๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ผ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ก๐—ฌ๐—ฆ ๐—š๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜„๐—ป & ๐—–๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐— ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜€
March brings with it the first agricultural crop of the year: maple! New Yorkโ€™s maple producers will be working around the clock this month to turn sap into the sweet syrup we all know and love. New York’s annual Maple Weekend is a chance to learn about the maple sugar making processes and traditions and an opportunity to taste pure maple syrup in its many forms โ€“ right from the source. This event is organized and sponsored by the New York State Maple Producersโ€™ Association. Visit https://mapleweekend.nysmaple.com/ to learn more about maple weekends.

Commissioner Ball will also be participating in several tree tapping events in March, including on a NYS Grown & Certified maple farm, helping to highlight the importance of maple to the agricultural industry and to the New York State economy. New York is the second-largest maple syrup producer in the country.

Additionally, there are more than 70 maple producers participating in the NYS Grown & Certified program! NYS Grown & Certified producers abide by food safety and environmental sustainability standards and help people to recognize and choose local products. Learn more about Grown & Certified and find maple products in your community: https://certified.ny.gov/.

๐—–๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—™๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ข๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜€
Check out our current funding opportunities:
โ€ข RFA 0262 – County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Planning Grants
Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
โ€ข RFP 0263 – Municipal Agriculture and Farmland Protection Planning Grants
Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
โ€ข RFP 0254 – Land Trusts Grants Program Round 4: Appraisals for Proposed Conservation Easement Projects
Proposals are due June 24, 2022.
โ€ข IFB 0269 – Printing Services for the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs
Proposals are due on March 8, 2022.
โ€ข RFP 0257 โ€“ Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Abatement and Control Program Round 28
Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. local time, May 2, 2022.
โ€ข RFP 0243 โ€“ Climate Resilient Farming Round 6
Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. local time on March 28, 2022.
โ€ข RFA 0238 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 18 – Conservation Easement Projects
Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
โ€ข RFA 0215 – County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants
Enrollment is open as of November 2019.
โ€ข RFA 0216 – Municipal Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants
Enrollment is open as of November 2019.
โ€ข 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.

๐—ฆ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐˜๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜: ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐˜„ ๐—ฌ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ’๐˜€ ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿฎ ๐—š๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ข๐˜„๐—น ๐—”๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ ๐—ช๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€
In February, Commissioner Ball visited Schoharie Central School District to help honor Mrs. Taylor Bogardus, one of the many amazing ag teachers and New York FFA Association advisors who have been selected for this yearโ€™s Golden Owl Award in New York State.
The Golden Owl Award highlights teachers with a high level of dedication to ag education and who have had a great impact on their students. Through her work at Schoharie’s Junior/Senior High School, Mrs. Bogardus has shown a tremendous commitment to empowering our next generation of agricultural leaders. As a finalist for Nationwideโ€™s Golden Owl Award, she was presented with a $500 cash prize and plaque and now has the chance to be crowned as New Yorkโ€™s 2021-2022 Ag Educator of the Year.

Other New York State teachers who received the Golden Owl Award this year include:
Crystal Aukema from Marathon FFA
Charles “Chip” Ax from SUNY Morrisville FFA
Johanna Bossard from Hamilton FFA
Matthew Bryant from SCT Future Conservationist FFA
Todd Eick from Medina FFA,
Chloe Fuentes from John Bowne FFA
Tina James from Windsor
Melvin Phelps from Lowville FFA
John St. Mary from Brushton-Moira FFA
Patricia Walker from Randolph FFA

Please join us in congratulating Mrs. Bogardus and all of this year’s Golden Owl Award winners! Learn more about the award: https://www.nysffa.org/ny-ffa-golden-owl-award.