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$1.4M available to help NYS Grown & Certified farms implement environmental plans

The deadline for growers to apply is October 24, 2022

ALBANY — State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball has announced that $1.4 million is available to help New York fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop growers produce their products in an environmentally responsible manner through the Agricultural Environmental Management program (AEM). Farmers must be participants in the New York State Grown & Certified program to be eligible for funding to assist with the implementation of their AEM plans.  The Request for Proposals can be found hereThe deadline for growers to apply is October 24, 2022.

State Agriculture Commissioner Ball said, “The AEM program helps our growers produce products in a manner that reduces risk to our State’s precious natural resources. Farms that become New York State Grown & Certified have already pledged their commitment to growing and producing sustainably.  Now funding is available to help our farms keep those promises by further safeguarding our environment.”

Funding for the implementation of the Agricultural Environmental Management plan is provided through the Environmental Protection Fund, as part of the Ocean and Great Lakes Initiative. Assisting specialty crop farms to produce foods with the highest environmental standards will protect and improve New York’s natural resources, including water and soil quality.

New York’s County Soil and Water Conservation Districts are eligible to apply for the program on behalf of farmers.  The maximum award for a project is $50,000.  Funding for farms enrolled in the New York State Grown & Certified program will be made available statewide, with an emphasis placed on projects located within the Great Lakes Watershed or those farms with direct drainage to the Atlantic Ocean.

For growers, participation in Agricultural Environmental Management allows for greater access to programs, especially New York State Grown & Certified, which includes a marketing campaign to promote New York producers who meet the program standards. This includes on-product labels and promotional materials, such as a website, video and sales materials, to encourage program participation among producers and to educate retail, wholesale and institutional buyers on the value of the program.

In addition, NYS Grown & Certified will be launching a new digital advertising campaign that will run through the end of September. Later this year, the Department will also announce the details regarding funding available to NYS Grown & Certified farms through the NYS Grown & Certified Infrastructure, Research, Development and Technology Grant Program, as announced in Governor Kathy Hochul’s State of the State.

For more information about how to join NYS Grown & Certified, please visit www.certified.ny.gov.

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