COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — The New York State Grown & Certified Program is designed to strengthen consumer confidence in New York products and assist farmers in meeting consumer demand for locally-grown foods produced to new, higher standards. Certified producers can use a special New York State packaging seal that signals consumers of producer adherence to higher standards of food safety and environmental stewardship.
New York State Dept. of Agriculture & Markets has awarded a $500,000 grant to implement the NYS Grown & Certified Program in the Mohawk Valley Region. Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County administers these funds for six counties: Fulton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Oneida, Schoharie and Otsego Counties, to help area producers meet the food safety and environmental standards.
The program is open to agricultural producers who want to become certified in the NYS Grown & Certified Program. Eligible commodities are produce, dairy, shellfish, eggs, beef, poultry, pork, maple products, alcoholic beverages, and beverage ingredients. Applicants are required to contribute 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of cash equity. Eligible producers can apply for grant funding up to $50,000 for farm business infrastructure improvements that directly impact a producer’s ability to increase market opportunities for their products.
Cornell Cooperative Extension offices throughout the six-county Mohawk Valley Region will provide technical assistance to producers, including assistance with Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training. Soil and Water Conservation District offices in the six counties also will assist grant recipients with the Agriculture Environmental Management (AEM) program.
For more information, Schoharie and Otsego County producers should contact Shannon Kirch, Ag Implementation Specialist, 607-547-2536 (x227), firstname.lastname@example.org; or David Cox, Ag/Hort Program Leader, 518-234-4303 (x119), email@example.com. For application materials, contact Linda Wightman, CCE Oneida County at 315-736-3394 (x124), firstname.lastname@example.org; or visitwww.cceoneida.com/agriculture/buy-local/new-york-state-grown-certified.
–Cornell Cooperative Extension
For more articles out of New York, click here.