Program seeks to help people just starting out in New York’s agriculture industry
State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie is encouraging anyone just starting out in agriculture, or interested in pursuing a new career in the field, to apply for support through an initiative she created known as the ‘New Farmers Grant Fund.’
The $1 million ‘New Farmers Grant Fund’—now in its fifth year—provides grants of up to $50,000 to those who have started a farm business within the last ten years. The grants allow for the purchase of machinery, equipment, supplies and the construction or improvement of agricultural structures. Since the program’s launch in 2014, it has provided nearly $3.27 million to more than 90 farms across the state.
“If we want agriculture to remain as New York’s leading industry, we need to continue to attract new people to the profession—that’s the aim of the ‘New Farmers Grant Fund’, which helps provide those just starting out in agriculture with the support they need to be successful,” said Senator Patty Ritchie.
“I am encouraging anybody looking to join the ranks of our hardworking farmers to apply for this program and I can’t wait to see how this next round of grants boosts New York’s farming economy as a whole.”
Support for a new round of the ‘New Farmers Grant Fund’ was included as part of the most recent state budget, which included—for the fourth straight year—record investments in agriculture totaling $54.4 million. Funding is helping to support dozens of programs farmers depend on, as well as launching new initiatives designed to strengthen the connection between consumers and local foods.