Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $40,150 in federal funding for two farms in Central New York to help revamp their marketing strategies, conduct research and create new retail opportunities. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program.
“This is great news for these Central New York 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.”
“Our goal is to get local meat to local consumers,” said Paul O’Mara Chairman of the New York Beef Farmers Cooperative. “We definitely owe a large gratitude to USDA for this funding, and we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing without their help.”
New York Beef Farmer’s Cooperative in Canastota is set to receive $36,500, and Guppy’s Berry Farm in West Monroe is set to receive $3,650. The New York Beef Farmers Cooperative intends to use the funding to draw up a business plan to conduct market research for a processing plant and a retail butcher shop. Today they launched a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) for their products.
The VAPG program is designed to help 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.