New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced that more than $42 million awarded through Governor Cuomo’s 2018 Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative will support the growth of the New York’s farms and food and beverage industries across the State. The REDC awards were announced by the Governor on December 18, with more than 80 agriculture-related projects identified as key to advancing the State’s ten regional economies. The full list of those projects supported by REDCs across the State is available here.
Commissioner Ball said, “We have a dynamic and diverse agricultural industry in New York State and some of the best food and beverage businesses in the world. These operations are driving our economy and creating jobs, especially as we look toward high-tech innovations that are helping these businesses increase capacity and ensure environmental sustainability. I thank Governor Cuomo, Empire State Development and the Regional Councils for recognizing the importance of agriculture and for investing in the future of this industry.”
Since the Regional Councils were implemented in 2011, more than $391 million has been awarded to 544 agricultural projects. Awards were made this year to projects supporting farm operations and expansions, food storage, packing and processing facilities, promotion of the State’s agri-tourism destinations, craft beverage production, farmers’ markets, commercial kitchens and incubators, agricultural training programs and marketing opportunities.
A snapshot of the projects awarded in Round 8 of the REDC initiative includes:
Western New York – $498,600 was awarded to AgriAmerican Fruit Products to support the purchase of equipment for a revitalized former grape juice factory in Chautauqua County, the largest grape-producing county in New York. The project will allow the company to manufacture and store different strength juices made from locally grown grapes for distribution to multiple markets. It will result in job growth in the fruit farming, distribution, construction, and retail sectors.
Finger Lakes – $2 million was awarded to Yancey’s Fancy to provide capacity for the company to expand cheese production.
Southern Tier – $320,000 was awarded to Tiberio Custom meats (TCM). The company will establish dual USDA-certified meat processing facilities to better meet the needs of NYS agricultural producers and NYC-based markets. TCM will provide direct marketing services for producers, and custom processing and access to locally raised meats to NYC retailers, restaurants and consumers.
Central New York – $1 million was awarded to WoodBayr Farm to develop a new state-of-the-art organic dairy facility, which is being designed as a Smart Building and will include a bedding pack barn utilizing high efficiency ventilation, lighting, and ultramodern robotic feeding, milking and cleaning systems. The project includes installation of renewables combined with an existing solar array, for Net Zero energy performance. The facility will have an educational center for meetings and seminars to train 4-H and other agricultural groups on modern organic dairy farming.
Mohawk Valley – $5 million was awarded to Empire State Greenhouses, which will construct the world’s most sophisticated controlled-environment food growing technology. The 290,000 square feet of vertical greenhouses and packing space will be constructed on land adjacent to SUNY Cobleskill’s campus, with energy requirements met by solar and a biogas digester.
North Country – $40,025 was awarded to the Thousand Islands Land Trust (TILT). TILT will begin a planning phase to assess and develop plans for the revitalization of the Dairy Barn at Zenda Farms Preserve and create land-use plans for the surrounding campus. The goal is to develop a community space that provides opportunities for agricultural exhibits and demonstrations and supports environmental and agricultural programming.
Capital Region – $945,662 was awarded to the Capital Region BOCES. The project will provide a Shared Food Service program to component districts under the direction of a central Food Services Supervisor (FSS). The FSS will be responsible for annual federal and state compliance for free and reduced-price lunches, menu development, nutrition analysis, central kitchen preparation, cooking, and delivery for the partner districts.
Mid- Hudson Region – $361,000 was awarded to Arrowood Farms for its brewery expansion project, which will expand production capacity, reduce product costs, and implement a marketing plan that will bring additional visitors to the farm. This will allow the business to meet increased demand, expand distribution and create new jobs.
Long Island – $400,000 was awarded to the Town of East Hampton. The municipal hatchery and nursery facilities will be consolidated to one site adjacent to their existing nursery system in East Hampton.
New York City – $122,500 was awarded to Square Roots, an urban agriculture and technology company, to expand its Brooklyn location by constructing a 7-unit farming cluster. Using state of the art equipment and the latest techniques in hydroponic farming, this project will create new jobs and continue the company’s mission to bring local, real food to people in cities by empowering next-generation leaders in urban farming.
About the Regional Economic Development Councils
The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.
After eight rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.1 billion has been awarded to more than 7,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 230,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.