By Senator Patty Ritchie
As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and someone who grew up on a family farm, I know that farming is hard work.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce that funding is available for grants through a program I started, known as the New Farmers Grant Fund, which provides those just starting out in the industry with the support they need to be successful.
Through the New Farmers Grant Fund, $1 million will help provide grants of up to $50,000 to new and beginning farmers for the purchase of equipment, supplies and other necessities essential to an agricultural business.
Once again this year, I was proud to fight for funding to make the program, which is now in its third year and to date has allocated $1.4 million in grants to 41 farms across the state, possible.
This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is accepting applications from agricultural operations of all sizes.
Full guidelines for applying can be found on my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov.
The deadline to apply is January 27, 2017.
If we want to protect the future of New York’s leading industry, it’s critically important that we find creative, innovative and helpful programs that will provide young and new farmers with opportunities to remain on the family farm or start new agricultural careers.
Across our state, the New Farmers Grant Fund is doing just that; providing people who are new to agriculture with the resources necessary to start their businesses, and those who are just starting with the support they need to continue on the road to success.
The New Farmers Grant Fund is just part of the work I’m doing to encourage the continued growth of New York agriculture.
In 2016, for the second year in a row, I was proud to have successfully secured record funding to support New York’s agriculture industry, averting millions of dollars in proposed cuts to farm programs and strengthening efforts to recruit the next generation of New York farmers.
If you’re interested in joining the ranks of New York’s hardworking farmers or are just starting out in your agricultural career, I encourage you to apply for support through the New Farmers Grant Fund.