Our Work / Farms for the Future

Agricultural Capital Equipment Grant Program

Farmers For The Future: Agricultural Capital Equipment Grant Program

The Peconic Land Trust is pleased to announce the successful completion of its Farmers for the Future Capital Program (aka the Long Island Agricultural Capital Equipment Grant Program) funded by a $1 million grant from the Long Island Regional Economic Development Council (LIREDC), through Empire State Development (ESD).

Launched in 2015 and administered by the Trust with support from the Long Island Community Foundation, this three-year program awarded $1 million in funding to 57 new and established farmers across Nassau and Suffolk Counties for capital improvements and equipment necessary to begin production, diversify crops, and meet safety and regulatory standards.

This Empire State Development catalyst grant incentivized farmers to invest over $5 million in the agricultural industry on Long Island. The program reimbursed farmers for 20% of their expenditures, up to $50,000, toward the purchase of new and used capital equipment and infrastructure. The farmers and their capital expenditures were carefully verified and vetted for eligibility and suitability for cost sharing by the Trust and its partners.

The grants ranged from a few hundred dollars to $50,000 and included 16 new farm operations, 22 operations in transition, and 18 expanding operations. Investments included tractors, deer fencing, refrigerated containers, irrigation equipment, green-energy upgrades, generators, motors, high tunnels, oyster cages, seeders and spreaders, road upgrades, wash facilities, and more.

Click here for the May 29, 2015 press release on the program.

For more information, please contact Jessie Marcus or Melanie Cirillo at 631-283-3195 or email to: AgGrant@PeconicLandTrust.org

The Farmers for the Future Capital Program was managed under the Peconic Land Trust’s Farms for the Future Initiative. We are especially thankful to the Long Island Community Foundation for supporting the Trust’s administrative costs related to this program.

Testimonials from our Farming Community

Wölffer Estate Vineyards

At Wölffer Estate, we have always had the goal to produce the highest quality product while protecting the land that we grow on. This mission led us to become one of the founding members of Long Island Sustainable Winegrowing and to constantly challenge ourselves to evolve business and farming practices to incorporate more robust sustainable practices into day-to-day operations. To do so take a great deal of human and capital investment which is why we applied for the grant.

Through the program, we were able to purchase two new tractors. One will play a key role in kicking off a composting program on the estate; the other will not only alleviate the use of an older tractor but will also expand our acreage capabilities. We also secured a new cultivator which will help us to reduce the need for herbicides in the future. We were also able to invest in winemaking equipment. Our new stainless steel tanks enable us to keep up with production demand here on the estate while simultaneously applying our rigorous quality standards.

We are thrilled that New York agriculture is getting such great support and we hope investment continue to ensure that farmers across the East End have the resources to maintain their operations and continue to produce high quality, local product.