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New York State Grown and Certified Grant Program Launched

December 11, 2018

Peconic Land Trust will administer new capital investment program to assist farmers with food safety requirements

The Peconic Land Trust is pleased to announce a new grant program to assist all eligible farmers in meeting the food safety standards necessary to participate in the New York State Grown & Certified certification program.

The Trust received a $500,000 block grant, as part of the Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative, to administer the grant. The funding for the grant comes from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which oversees the NYS Grown & Certified program.

This cost-share grant opportunity offers up to $50,000 per producer for capital improvements to meet or maintain the food safety requirements of the Grown & Certified Program. Grant funds cover 90% of project costs, with producers matching 10%.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “There is a real excitement around the New York State Grown & Certified program and what it means for both our producers and for consumers. This funding will make it easier for our growers and producers to ensure safe food handling practices and join the Grown & Certified program. We thank our regional partners, like Peconic Land Trust, for their work in administering the program in their communities and supporting agriculture, which is one of New York’s largest economic drivers.”

“The Peconic Land Trust looks forward to working with our partners in agriculture on Long Island to provide opportunities to expand markets and provide access to capital to our local farmers. Long Island farmers face some of the highest cost for land and business expenses in the country. Grant programs like these provide an opportunity to off-set some of the other costs associated with maintaining and growing an agricultural business on Long Island – and helping to ensure that our rich, agricultural soils and waters produce food for our communities, now and in the future,” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust.

About New York State Grown & Certified

New York State Grown & Certified is a statewide, multi-faceted food certification program designed to strengthen consumer confidence in New York products, address food product labeling, and assist New York farmers so they can take advantage of the growing market demand for foods locally grown and produced to a higher standard. New York State Grown & Certified is open to New York producers who adhere to the best practices in safe food handling and environmental stewardship.

Launched in 2016 to help meet the growing consumer demand for local foods grown or produced to a higher standard, the program certifies New York State producers who adhere to high food safety and environmental stewardship standards. It is supported by a marketing campaign including on-product labels, promotional materials, such as the NYS Grown & Certified website, and sales materials.

Grant Application Process

The Peconic Land Trust will request and review applications for the Long Island region (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) based on commodity-specific criteria and award funding – up to $50,000 per farm operations and for up to 90 percent of the cost -- for capital improvements to meet and maintain the food safety requirements of the State’s program. The Trust is collaborating with GrowNYC and Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation to promote this program to growers throughout downstate New York, including New York City, Mid-Hudson, and the Capital Region.

Applicants are required to contribute 10% of the total cost in the form of cash equity.

Eligible commodities are produce, dairy, shellfish, eggs, beef, poultry, pork, goat, sheep, aquaculture fisheries, maple products, and beverage ingredients.

The Trust will administer the grant with recommendations from a review committee.

The New York State Grown & Certified program will be managed under the Peconic Land Trust’s Farms for the Future Initiative. For more information on the Grown & Certified Program, including a link to the application, visit www.peconiclandtrust.org/GrownAndCertified

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