ALBANY — Mechanical harvesters in apple orchards, solar powered weeders, drone and satellite imagery, diagnostic apps on smart phones, data analysis platforms; the range of tools available to a farmer for use has increased exponentially in the last few years. One of the challenges for today’s farmer is understanding which of the new options might make a difference to their operation and how to integrate the technology into their management system.
The New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) is seeking proposals for its competitive grant program. New this year, the organization is encouraging proposals that will accelerate the adoption of technology and help farmers make better use of data on their farm.
“There are so many new technologies being marketed to farmers. I think we would all benefit from projects that evaluate which approaches are most useful and cost effective.” said Mike Jordan chair of NYFVI’s Board of Directors.
“There are many ways to improve profitability for farmers and we continue to be interested in all of them” said David Grusenmeyer NYFVI’s Executive Director. “We’ve seen a strong interest in proposals that advance digital agriculture, and have long funded valuable work in this area” continued Grusenmeyer.
The projects may range from improving operational practices through applied research and education to developing new routes to market. Proposals up to $150,000 will be accepted. Awards will be announced in the spring with funding available to begin work immediately.
Proposals are welcome from any individual, business or organization seeking to build and share knowledge to improve the economic viability of New York’s farmers.
NYFVI funds projects that reflect the diversity of NY agriculture’s production sectors, farm sizes, production practices, and geographic regions. Projects are evaluated and discussed by review panels organized by commodity area. New this year will be a review panel to evaluate marketing proposals. The board of directors, who are also farmers, make the final funding decisions.
Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to read the full request for proposals. All applications must be submitted online. For questions or help with proposal development, applicants are encouraged to email or call NYFVI staff. All information can be found at www.nyfvi.org. Applications are due by November 13, 2017.
NYFVI staff will be conducting webinars to help project leaders understand the proposal requirements and develop successful applications. Currently, two webinars are scheduled, registration at www.nyfvi.org is required:
- Tuesday, September 26th at 9 a.m.
- Wednesday, October 11th at 2 p.m.
NYFVI receives generous support from the Governor and the New York State Legislature, through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. This request for proposals anticipates a funding appropriation in the 2017-2018 New York State Budget.
—New York Farm Viability Institute
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