Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in four decades, today announced a $20,000 federal grant for the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District to purchase new equipment that will help the Jones Family Farm expand their operations in Herkimer. Federal funding was allocated through the USDA’s Rural Economic Business Enterprise Grant program (RBEG), which provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses.
“This federal funding is so important for Mohawk Valley farms,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Small businesses and family farms are among the most important economic engines we have. When we invest in rural small businesses, we can help them grow and expand, support job creation and revitalize rural communities.”
“We are very pleased that a rural business involved with agriculture will be benefiting from these grant monies,” said Stephen R. Smith, CFO of the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District. “Agriculture is such a big business in our area and it’s great that the Jones Family Farm uses local dairy farms for the milk to manufacture their cheeses.”
The Mohawk Valley Economic Development District will use the $20,000 federal grant to help upgrade equipment at the Jones Family Farm, including a draining rack, vacuum sealer, dry ingredient storage room, anti-microbial shelving and a dishwasher to help expand the farm’s cheese-making operation. The Jones Family Farm will also use the grant to purchase a new freezer, cooling system and blast freezer to support their new gelato production.