Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus is reminding local farmers that financing is available through the New York State through the fifth round of the $1 million New Farmers Grant Fund.
The purpose of the New Farmers Grant Fund is 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.
“Orange County has a rich agricultural history and this important state funding will help new farmers develop or expand their farms into successful businesses,” Neuhaus said. “Our farms are an important part of Orange County’s landscape and the New Farmers Grant Fund ensures a bright future for farmers.”
The grant fund will help farmers improve farm profitability through one or both of the following goals:
- Expanding agricultural production, diversifying agricultural production and/or extending the agricultural season; and/or
- Advancing innovative techniques that increase sustainable agricultural production practices such as organic farming, food safety, reduction of farm waste and/or water use.
Grants may provide a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $50,000 for up to 50 percent of total project costs. The remaining 50 percent must be matched by the recipient. Eligible sources of recipient match are limited to 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.
Eligible farmers must meet the following criteria:
- A farm operation located wholly within New York State which produces an agricultural product as defined by the Guidelines.
- The farm operation must have a minimum of $10,000 in farm income from sales of agricultural products grown or raised on the applicant’s farm operation as reflected in either personal or business 2017 tax returns.
- All owners must be New York State Residents of at least 18 years of age.
- As of April 1, 2018, all owners must be in the first ten years of having an ownership interest in any farm operation.
- All owners must materially and substantially participate in the day-to-day production of an agricultural product grown or raised on the farm operation.
Applications and guidelines can be found at esd.ny.gov/new-farmers-grant-fund-program. For questions, contact Bonnie Devine at firstname.lastname@example.org.