New York State has allocated $1 million in the 2015–2016 state budget for the second round of the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund. Its purpose is to provide grants to support beginning farmers who have chosen farming as a career and who materially and substantially participate in the production of an agricultural product on their farm.
According to the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, these grants will help farmers improve profitability resulting in the growth of agribusiness and tax revenues.
The New Farmers Grant Fund aims to improve farm profitability by expanding agricultural production, diversifying agricultural production and/or extending the agricultural season; advancing innovative agricultural techniques that increase sustainable practices such as organic farming, food safety, reduction of farm waste and/or water use; and creating or expanding partnerships with other entities such as farm operations, institutions or regional food-hubs for processing, selling and/or distributing agricultural products.
Grants may provide a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $50,000 for up to 50% of total project costs. The remaining 50% must be matched by the recipient with cash, lines of credit and loans. Other grant funds may not be used as matching funds. For any award, the total project cost must be at least twice the grant award request.
To be eligible, the farm must be 150 acres or fewer located wholly within New York State and must produces an agricultural product. The farm operation must have a minimum of $10,000 in sales from products grown or derived from the applicant’s farm operation. All owners must be New York State residents of at least 18 years of age. As of April 1, 2015, all owners must be in the first 10 years of having an ownership interest in any farm operation.
Eligible costs include the purchase of new or used machinery and equipment, supplies, and/or construction or improvement of physical structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes.
Applications must be postmarked by January 22, 2016. Grant awards will be announced in the Spring of 2016.
For more information or to apply, click here.