MADISON CO., N.Y. — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County partners with many different types of agricultural businesses and County/State/Federal Agencies to assist farmers in accessing funds, garnering grants, and creating business plans.
The work of CCE Madison and our Agricultural Economic Development team during COVID resulted in several million dollars’ worth of economic impact to the agricultural community of Madison County. This was accomplished in several different ways. We worked with Donna Purdy of the USDA Farm Service Agency on the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the Small Business Administration on Paycheck Protection Program funds, our partners at SCORE for business mentoring, and our partners at the Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College to help agricultural businesses plan for shifts in work and distribution via expansion and differentiation.
The USDA Farm Service Agency Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Round 1 alone brought in more than $5 million to nearly 200 farm businesses in Madison County. Donna Purdy, Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Hamilton had this to say about our partnership, “The partnership between Madison County CCE and Madison County FSA has insured local producers are aware of the CFAP program. Both agencies are in unchartered waters for outreach and had to rely on mail, email, electronic newsletters and Zoom meetings to reach the four corners of the county. Outreach efforts have proven successful and the CFAP program has helped our producers financially and brought funding into our small communities. I encourage producers to talk to their neighbors and help us make sure every eligible person contacts our office for enrollment.”
The next round of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program started at the beginning of October and we are encouraging every agricultural business to contact CCE to ask about how they too can benefit from this economic recovery program. We are encouraging all our faithful readers to speak with their friends and family who are in agriculture and suggest that they take advantage of the money that is distributed by the USDA with no strings attached.
We were able to bring the strength of the New York State Cornell Cooperative Extension Network to several virtual meetings to discuss and explain the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This assistance to farmers resulted in more than $2 million in fully forgivable loans from the Paycheck Protection Program alone.
Agriculture is a major economic engine in Madison County and Cornell Cooperative Extension is here to partner with every farmer or other agricultural business to help them succeed in this difficult environment.
–Myron Thurston III
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County
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