August 01, 2016

Gillibrand Urges USDA and ARC To Fund The Center For Craft Food and Beverage At Hartwick College In Oneonta

Additional federal funding for Center for Craft Food and Beverage would help solidify craft beverage industry in Central New York Earlier this month, Otsego County was added to the 2016 Base Barley Expansion list by USDA for insurance coverage

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) urging them to fund the Center for Craft Food and Beverage at Hartwick College located in Oneonta, New York. The Senator wrote to USDA Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack and ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl urging them to provide the federal funds necessary to purchase additional analytical equipment for grain testing, research, and processing specifically for farmers to cultivate value-added crops, including malting barley and other practices important to the craft food and beverage industry. The Center for Craft Food and Beverage aims to become a quality testing site and technical assistance center for craft food and beverage producers, focusing on locally-grown and locally-sourced material. Once the funding is approved, the Center will use the federal funds to purchase a laboratory scale micro-malting system.

“The demand for New York barley and other small grains from craft brewers continues to increase and testing labs like the Center at Hartwick College will be vital to help farmers get their products to beverage producers,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “Once the Center for Craft Food and Beverage is expanded, growers and small businesses will have the additional support they need to compete in the farm brewery and craft food and beverage industry. The Center will help lower the cost of production, ensure the consistent, high quality of New York grains, and help our producers build their brands and compete in New York and beyond.”


Earlier this month, Senator Gillibrand announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be expanding conventional barley crop insurance to 13 new counties this year and an additional 16 counties for crop year 2017. Additionally, RMA will begin offering coverage for malting barley in four counties beginning in 2017. Surrounding counties added to the conventional barley crop insurance include Oneida 2016 and Chenango and Broome in 2017. Otsego will be added to the malting barley expansion list in 2017.

Gillibrand’s letters to USDA Secretary, Thomas J. Vilsack and ARC Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl are included below.

The Honorable Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture

United States Department of Agriculture

1400 Independence Ave., S.W. 
Washington, DC 20250

 

 

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

 

            I write in support of the application submitted by Hartwick College for funding from the Rural Business Development Grant (RBDG) Program through the United States Department of Agriculture. This funding will help Hartwick College purchase additional analytical equipment to test and research the growth and improvement of New York State farming, malting, and brewing industries.

           

            Hartwick College is located in Otsego County, which is a rural area in upstate New York that is economically disadvantaged. In 2013, the Center for Craft Food and Beverage at Hartwick College opened to help facilitate the growth of the craft food and beverage products in upstate New York. The Center has a specific focus on locally-grown and sourced material and as the demand for local raw materials among craft brewers grows, testing labs like those at the Center for Craft Food and Beverage will become a necessity to assist farmers in getting their products to New York’s craft beverage producers.

 

            The requested funding will be used to support Hartwick College’s Center for Craft Food and Beverage’s purchase of more analytical equipment, including a laboratory scale micro-malting system. The Center needs new analytical equipment to continue to test and research the growth and improvement of New York State’s farming, malting, and craft brewing industries. This will also help ensure that local producers have access to affordable and accurate information about the value of their crops. By purchasing more analytical equipment, the Center for Craft Food and Beverage will lower costs related to the production of craft food and beverage, add value to craft food and beverage products, and promote New York State products.

           

Sincerely,

 

                                   

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator

                                                                       

 

 

Mr. Earl F. Gohl

Federal Co-Chair

Appalachian Regional Commission

1666 Connecticut Avenue, NY

Suite 700

Washington, DC 20009-1068

 

 

Dear Mr. Gohl,

 

            I write in support of the application submitted by Hartwick College for funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). This funding will be used to expand the services of Hartwick College’s Center for Craft Food and Beverage to include support for agriculture and grain testing, research, and processing.

           

            Hartwick College is located in Oneonta, New York, and enrolls about 1,500 students. Hartwick College’s location in the Catskill Mountains is the perfect location for a Center for Craft Food and Beverage due to the growth of craft food and beverage producers in New York State. Hartwick College opened their Center for Craft Food and Beverage in 2013 with the aim of becoming a quality testing site and technical assistance center for craft food and beverage producers while also focusing on locally-grown and locally-sourced material. As the demand for barley and other in-state raw materials among craft brewers increases throughout New York, testing labs will become a necessity to aid farmers in getting their products to the beverage producers.

 

            The requested funding will be used to expand the services of Hartwick College’s Center for Craft Food and Beverage to support agriculture and grain testing, research, and processing. Expanded services will allow farmers to access affordable and accurate information regarding their crops. The Center will also have quality specifications available for grain processors. Once the services of the Center for Craft Food and Beverage are expanded, growers and small businesses will have the support they need to compete in the farm brewery and craft food and beverage industry. The Center for Craft Food and Beverage will also decrease the expenses related to craft food and beverage production, add value to craft food and beverage products, and promote and build the brand of New York State products.

 

Sincerely,

 

                                                           

Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator

 


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