New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that more than $21.3 million is being awarded to strengthen the state’s agricultural industry through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants program.

The 23 awarded projects will protect a total of 7,890 acres of valuable farmland. It is believed that it will help to keep agricultural land in production, encourage diversification, and ensure the long-term viability of New York’s farming operations.

Since 2018, New York State has made available more than $125 million for farmland protection statewide.

“Farming has long been a critical component of New York State’s economy – working to support our farmers and preserve our farmland makes good economic and environmental sense,” Governor Cuomo said.

He further said the awards given through this program will give farmers much-needed support to conserve land and diversify their operations to expand market opportunities. This, he said will allow them to continue to produce and sell some of the finest foods available.

The project is under the supervision of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. They administer the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants program and its associated grant opportunities.

Apart from the projects that have recently been awarded through three initiatives, over $6.6 million will permanently protect 2,966 acres of farmland on eight New York dairy farms through the FPIG Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative.

Dairy farmers continue to face challenges from prolonged low milk prices. This has increased the threat that viable agricultural land may be converted to non-farm development.

Thus, this grant, which is proceeds from the purchase of development rights on agricultural land will allow farmers an opportunity to diversify their operations or to transition their farms to the next generation at more affordable costs. It will also ensure the land forever remains used for agricultural purposes.

The project approved are listed below

Capital Region

Saratoga PLAN – $322,589 to protect Barber Brothers Dairy Farm in Saratoga County.
Agricultural Stewardship Association – $748,363 to protect Deep Roots Holsteins and Bentley Farm in Washington County.

Central New York

· New York Agricultural Land Trust – $4,239,305 to protect Hourigan Family Dairy Farm in Onondaga County; and EZ Acres North Farm and EZ Acres South Farm in Cortland County.

Finger Lakes

· Finger Lakes Land Trust – $589,715 to protect Christiansen Farm in Yates County.

· Genesee Valley Conservancy – $788,950 to protect Coyne Farm in Livingston County.

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