Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $333,179 in federal funding for five local Hudson Valley farms to help expand their market opportunities and grow their businesses. The funding was allocated through the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program.
In September 2011, Senator Gillibrand wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging him to support Maple Shade Farm’s application for a VAPG grant to expand their Berkshire Hog operation.
“This is great news for these Hudson Valley farms,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. “We need our farmers to thrive if we’re going to have a strong and growing economy in New York. 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.”
“Agriculture and the related components of our regional food system is an integral part of the Hudson Valley economy,” said Todd Erling, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corp. (HVADC). “The USDA VAPG Program awards will assist in growing this vital industry. HVADC recognizes Senator Gillibrand as a leader for agriculture and our local economy.”
“As a new farmer this program will allow me to develop diverse market opportunities,” said Chris Dagele, of Dagele Brothers Produce. “I would like to thank Senator Gillibrand and the teams of HVADC, Orange County Cornell Cooperative Extension, NYC Council and Speakers Office and NYS Ag & Markets for assisting me thorough the process.”
Edgwick Farm in Cornwall is set to receive $120,000; Catskill Dudukju LLC inWurtsboro is set to receive $49,000; Food Gems, LTD in Middletown is set to receive $35,004; Maple Shade Farm in Delhi is set to receive $49,750; and Dagele Brothers Produce is set to receive $79,425.
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.