In this issue:
Statewide News
Taste NY Updates
NYS Grown & Certified Updates
Funding Opportunities
Spotlight: Two Grant Opportunities Will Help New York Farmers Protect Soil and Water Quality
Commissioner Ball Delivers State of Agriculture Address and Highlights Governor Hochul’s State of the State Proposals
Commissioner Richard A. Ball delivered the State of Agriculture Address at the 190th Annual New York State Agricultural Society Forum on January 6. The Forum, which is traditionally the oldest and largest meeting of its kind in the State, took place at the OnCenter in Syracuse, New York.
In keeping with this year’s Forum theme of “Growing a Greener Planet,” the Commissioner spoke about the many actions that New York State’s agricultural industry is taking to mitigate the effects of climate change, including through the Climate Action Council’s Agricultural and Forestry Advisory Panel, the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program, and more. He also addressed the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York State agriculture and the State’s efforts to ensure a strengthened food supply chain through several programs and initiatives, such as the Nourish New York program, the Restaurant Resiliency Program, and the Food Supply Resiliency Report. He provided a look back at the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2021 and reflected on the lessons learned that will move New York agriculture forward.
In his address, Commissioner Ball also highlighted the many groundbreaking initiatives focused on agriculture that were presented during Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Address. Among them are creating new and enhancing existing tax credits meant to support food production; moving administration of the National School Lunch Program from the State Education Department to the Department of Agriculture and Markets; increasing support for Agri-Business Child Development Centers; funding the Urban Farms and Community Gardens Grant Program; establishing the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Farmer Engagement and Outreach Program; and more.
Read more from the Commissioner’s speech.
Nourish New York and Restaurant Resiliency Programs Continue Feeding New Yorkers in Need
With Nourish New York (https://agriculture.ny.gov/NourishNY) recently signed into law permanently in our state, the Governor’s Executive Budget proposes $50 million to continue the program in 2022 and beyond. 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.
Building on the great success of the Nourish New York program, the Restaurant Resiliency program (https://agriculture.ny.gov/restaurantresiliency) is slated to deliver 954,300 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 334 restaurants have been approved to participate in the program.
Food Supply Working Group Report Released
The Department is pleased to announce that the report from the members of the New York Food Supply Working Group has been released. The Working Group is made up of New York State Council on Hunger and Food Policy (https://agriculture.ny.gov/council-hunger-and-food-policy) members; farmers; representatives from the Department, Empire State Development, and Cornell University; and other institutional and industry stakeholders representing a wide swath of the state’s agricultural community. Beginning in March 2021, the group collaborated to provide recommendations to the State to improve the resiliency and self-reliance of the state’s farm and food supply chain.
The final report outlines recommendations in 12 major areas, including strengthening coordination between local, state, federal, and private stakeholders; developing urban agriculture and focusing on food justice; strengthening and reimagining existing food availability programs; embedding equity into New York’s farm and food system; ensuring labor availability and immigration reform; and others. Take a look at the report by visiting https://agriculture.ny.gov/new-york-state-food-supply….
Submit a Nomination for the 2022 AEM-Leopold Conservation Award
2021 Winners Table Rock Farm
Applications are open for New York State’s 2022 Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Leopold Conservation Award. Presented by the Sand County Foundation, the award honors a farm and its nominating Soil and Water Conservation District for extraordinary achievement in environmental stewardship. The $10,000 award is provided by the Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Department, American Farmland Trust (AFT), and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Applications for the New York AEM-Leopold Conservation Award are now being accepted, with county Soil and Water Conservation Districts applying on behalf of farms. Eligible candidates successfully incorporate AEM Best Management Practices into the management of the farm, which also assist the landowner in meeting business and environmental goals. Applicants should demonstrate conservation leadership and outreach in the agricultural sector and be an inspiration to other landowners.
Applications for the New York AEM Leopold Conservation Award must be received by the Department by May 1, 2022. Nominations will be reviewed by an independent panel of conservation leaders. Interested candidates should contact their local county Soil and Water Conservation District to learn more. The application can be found at www.sandcountyfoundation.org/ApplyLCA.
New Events In 2022 Fuel Growth of New York State Fairgrounds’ Year-Round Business
At least 10 new public events and festivals will come to Upstate New York’s home of great events, the New York State Fairgrounds, in the first half of 2022 as the special events industry stages a robust economic rebound. In all, more than 50 public events are tentatively scheduled to take place on the Fairgrounds through June, with inquiries for open dates coming in almost daily.
New events coming to the Fairgrounds include:
the Cavalcade of Cars, March 26 – 27, a huge indoor classic car show that is expanding from its Buffalo base;
the International Taste Festival, April 9 – 10, featuring food, music and culture from around the world;
two dance competitions – the Royal Dance Competition in April and the Imagine Dance Challenge in May; and
the Iroquois Empire Volleyball Association Icicle Challenge, February 19 – 21, followed at the end of April with their Boys/Girls Regionals tournament.
In addition to the new events, the Fairgrounds’ largest regular shows, such as the New York Farm Show, Winter Fair, Jurassic Quest, the Central New York Home Show, and the Syracuse Nationals will return in 2022. Various promoters have also made plans to bring back perennial events such as RV shows, indoor auto racing and racing-related shows, outdoor sports shows, graduations, and craft shows. In addition, promoters of the New York State Blues Festival plan to return in June after moving their longtime festival to the Fairgrounds in 2021.
These events highlight the vital place that the Fairgrounds hold in Central New York’s economic landscape. Learn more about what the Fair has in store for 2022. https://nysfair.ny.gov/new-events-in-2022-fuel-growth-of…/
Take our Farmers’ Market Survey
The Department’s farmers’ market team has developed a survey tool to get feedback from shoppers at New York State farmers’ markets and farm stands, and their 2021 shopping experience.
The survey was developed in partnership with Cornell University and our Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Team, and is found online in English and Spanish at the Cornell FMNP website: https://www.human.cornell.edu/dns/fmnp/consumers.
The Department encourages everyone to take this survey and share it with your networks so that we have a wide breadth of responses to help us shape the 2022 farmers’ market season. The survey will be open until mid-February.
Industry Nominations Open for Marketing Order Advisory Boards
Nominations are open for positions on New York State’s Apple, Onion, and Cabbage Marketing Order Advisory Boards. Marketing Order Advisory Boards convene to recommend funding priorities to the Department’s Commissioner, inform the Department of industry issues, and ensure that funded projects are having the intended impact on New York State agriculture.
New York State’s Marketing Order programs are industry-initiated and provide critical funding for promotional and research-based projects aimed at improving the profitability of target crops statewide. The following Marketing Order programs are currently seeking nominations of industry professionals to serve on their Advisory Boards:
Apple Marketing Order – Current openings include one grower from eastern New York and one grower from western New York (nominations will also be accepted for processors and storage operators for future consideration).
Apple Research and Development Order – No current openings, however nominations for growers from eastern and western New York, processors, and handlers will be accepted for future consideration.
Onion Research and Development Order – Current openings include two growers from eastern New York and one grower from western New York (nominations will also be accepted for growers from eastern, western, and central New York for future consideration).
Cabbage Research and Development Order – One opening exists currently for a grower, processor, or handler from anywhere in the state; nominations will also be accepted for either designation for future consideration.
Nomination forms for each Board, as well as information on New York State’s Marketing Order programs, can be found on the Department’s Marketing Orders website https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/marketing-order…. Nominations must be submitted no later than Friday, March 11, 2022 to be considered for upcoming appointments to the boards listed here. For more information, please contact William Shattuck at William.Shattuck@agriculture.ny.gov or (518) 485-7306.
Dairy Margin Coverage Program Expanded
As part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to support dairy farmers and rural communities, the US Department of Agriculture has opened signup for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program and expanded the program to allow dairy producers to better protect their operations by enrolling supplemental production. This enrollment period enables producers to get coverage through this important safety-net program for another year as well as get additional assistance through the new Supplemental DMC.
DMC continues to offer protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed price (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. The 2022 DMC and Supplemental DMC enrollments are taking place now through February 18. Learn more: https://www.fsa.usda.gov/…/dairy-margin-coverage…/index.
Celebrate Valentine’s Day With Taste NY
Celebrate your loved ones while also showing appreciation for New York State farmers and producers this Valentine’s Day. From locally crafted chocolates and pastries to hand crafted pottery and knits, there are plenty of special options at Taste NY Markets to show your love this year! Visit taste.ny.gov (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/marketing-order…) to learn more.
Join Taste NY at the International Restaurant and Food Show
Interested in networking and connecting with buyers from the restaurant and food service sector? Taste NY has booth space available the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show at the Javits Center from March 6 to 8, 2022. Please contact Jessica.Henesy@agriculture.ny.gov with questions.
Gotham Greens Grows NYS Grown & Certified Produce All Year Round
Gotham Greens is a NYS Grown & Certified fresh food company farming with the future in mind. They build and operate sustainable greenhouses that are sun and wind powered for a year-round growing season. This means they can provide clean, sustainable and quality food to their communities – even during the cold winter months. The greenhouses are advanced, data-driven, climate-controlled facilities — the most efficient production systems available today. These greenhouses are some of the highest-yielding farms around and use less energy, less land, and less water than other farming techniques. Plus, advancements in machine learning and data analysis allow them to monitor crops’ health and progress, so they can deliver a fresher, more delicious product. As they say: happy greens make happy people. Learn more at GothamGreens.com (https://www.gothamgreens.com/).
Current Funding Opportunities
Check out our current funding opportunities:
RFP 0257 – Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Abatement and Control Program Round 28 (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/rfp-0257-agricultural-non…)
Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. local time, May 2, 2022.
RFP 0243 – Climate Resilient Farming Round 6 (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/rfp-0243-climate-resilient…)
Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. local time on March 28, 2022.
RFA 0238 – Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Round 18 – Conservation Easement Projects (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/rfa-0238-farmland…)
Applications are taken on a rolling basis.
RFA 0215 – County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/rfa-0215-county…)
Enrollment is open as of November 2019.
RFA 0216 – Municipal Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/rfa-0216-municipal…)
Enrollment is open as of November 2019.
RFA 0181 – Source Water Buffer Program (https://agriculture.ny.gov/…/rfa-0181-source-water…)
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: Two Grant Opportunities Will Help New York Farmers Protect Soil and Water Quality
Two grant opportunities totaling $21 million will help New York’s farmers reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy savings, mitigate water and soil quality concerns, and increase on-farm resiliency to climate change.
Climate Resilient Farming
The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program helps farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and address the impacts of extreme weather events resulting from climate change. The Department is now accepting applications for the program, with funding available to support agricultural projects and related equipment purchases that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help agricultural producers prepare for and better manage impacts of climate change, including increased heavy storm events, overall rainfall, and periods of drought.
The State’s county Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply on behalf of farmers for this competitive grant program. The application and additional information are available on the Department’s website at https://agriculture.ny.gov/funding-opportunities. Project proposals are due at 4:30 p.m. on March 28, 2022.
Agricultural Non-Point Source Pollution Abatement and Control Program
In addition to the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program funding, an additional $13 million is available to support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the State through Round 28 of the Agricultural Non-point Source Abatement and Control Program. The program awards projects that focus on either environmental planning or the implementation of best management practice systems to protect New York’s watersheds. Projects include conservation measures, such as nutrient management through manure storage, vegetative buffers along streams, and conservation cover crops.
The State’s county Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply on behalf of farmers for this competitive grant program, which is also funded through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. The application and additional information are available on the Department’s website at https://agriculture.ny.gov/funding-opportunities. Project proposals are due at 4:30 p.m. on May 2, 2022.