Press Release

Gillibrand Announces Nearly $395,000 in Value-Added Producer Grants for Western New York Farms

Feb 3, 2012

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $394,499 in federal funding for three local farms in Western New York to help revamp their marketing strategies and develop new products. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. 

“This is great news for Western New York farms,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. “These federal grants will help ensure that our small farms and independent producers have the resources they need to bring their products to market and continue to drive economic growth in their region, and across the state.” 

“I am very pleased to hear this news,” said Dominic Varallo of Spring Lake Winery. “We plan to use the funds to start a new advertising campaign as well as create a new product line in an effort to appeal to a younger crowd.” 

“Growers is pleased to have been selected to receive this funding to promote the sales of our new line of locally grown Concord Grape based retail products at the Grape Discovery Center,” said David C. Momberger, General Manager of Growers Cooperative Grape Juice Co. Inc. 

“We are thrilled and grateful to have received this value added producer grant,” said Kris Kane of Olde Chautauqua Vineyards, LLC. “As a new winery, we have many ideas as to how to promote and market both our wines as well as the grapes we receive from Olde Chautauqua Farms. It will be exciting to start implementing everything that we outlined in the grant throughout the coming years. This will go a long ways to help develop a new business in a region deep in agricultural history. By providing us with this opportunity we feel we can help to further develop and strengthen a region with great diversity. With this we will be able to help bring more jobs to the community which will also help support the other businesses in the region.” 

Spring Lake Winery in Lockport is set to receive $49,500; Old Chautauqua Vineyards, LLC in Portland is set to $299,999; and Growers Cooperative Grape Juice Co., Inc. is set to receive $45,000. 

The VAPG program is designed to boost farms’ income and productivity by increasing access to capital, providing technical assistance, and developing new marketing strategies for independent producers to increase exposure and broaden their customer base.