Washington, DC – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $100,000 in federal funding for the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC). HVADC is a non-profit organization that works to enhance the agricultural sector in the Hudson Valley and Capital District.
The federal funding was allocated through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, and will be used to provide technical assistance for the HVADC’s Farm & Food Funding Accelerator program. The program is designed to help farmers and food entrepreneurs develop the skills to scale their business through a program of intensive mentoring and training. These regional and national expert mentors help producers expand their capacity to meet the high consumer demand for local foods in places like the New York City metropolitan region.
“New York is home to some of the finest farmers and growers in the nation, and sustaining our vital agricultural sector is one of my top priorities,” said Senator Schumer. “This important federal investment will help plant the seeds for a long, prosperous future for the state’s agricultural industry by increasing access to locally-sourced food and products. Increased access to locally-sourced food benefits both our local farmers and our residents– making it a win-win for New York’s agricultural industry and the community as a whole.”
“One of the best ways to support economic development in New York is by helping local farmers and agricultural companies take advantage of market opportunities to sell their products and grow their existing businesses, said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We all benefit from having more locally sourced food and more local products, and I am proud to have fought for this funding to support programs that foster the development of the agricultural sectors in the Hudson Valley and the Capitol District.”
“Our first Farm and Food Business Accelerator Program allowed us to provide intensive technical and business training to a varied group of food and agricultural businesses, including producers of value-added agricultural products,” said Todd Erling, Executive Director of the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation. “The make-up of the group reflected the wide variety of market opportunities for agribusiness here in the Hudson Valley. However, along with the opportunities, there are challenges, most specifically, preparing a business to grow and accessing the capital necessary to achieve scale. The FFBA program has been successful in cultivating its participants to develop their business models to meet those challenges. The EDA funding will enable us to expand into the Farm and Food Finance Accelerator program in terms of the type of businesses we help, and in attracting a wider group of instructors, mentors and potential capital sources for our FFFA Peers to access.”
The U.S. Economic Development Administration provided this grant through its Local Technical Assistance Program, which assists eligible recipients in developing economic development plans and studies designed to build capacity and guide the economic prosperity and resiliency of an area or region. More information can be found here.