Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce more than $190,000 in Federal USDA Value-Added Producer Grants for Trinity Valley in Cortland County

Nov 16, 2015

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $192,000 in federal funding for Trinity Valley LLC Cortland County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program. This funding was created to promote growth for small, independent producers, by allowing them to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income overall. Specifically, Trinity Valley LLC will expand the customer base for their line of fluid milk and milk products produced and processed at the family dairy.

“Ensuring that agriculture is able to flourish – and the unique needs of New York agriculture are considered in federal programs – has always been a top priority of mine,” said Senator Schumer. “This direct USDA assistance will allow Trinity Valley LLC in Cortland County to generate increased economic revenue by expanding their customer base and marketing their dairy products. Helping our local farms grow their business will be a win-win for our agriculture industry, Cortland County consumers, and the entire regional economy.”

“We need our farmers to thrive if we’re going to have a strong and growing economy in New York,” said Senator Gillibrand, first New York Senator to serve on the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly 40 years. “These federal funds through the USDA are an investment in Central New York’s agricultural industry that will help producers earn more from their crops by expanding processing and marketing opportunities which will continue to drive economic growth in the region and across the state.”

“The grant that we received is going to be used to help give our business a boost in production,” said Branden Brown, Trinity Valley LLC Processing Plant Superintendent. “As with all small businesses buying supplies and material to make our products can be very taxing. To buy right and keep costs down we need to buy in big quantities. Well $10,000 for a load of jugs is not that easy to come by. The money will also be spent on paying for workers to help take some of the work load off of our family’s shoulders. Seeing we are a fairly new business marketing and advertising is not on the top of the list, so with the grant money it will help pay for some of that as well.”

The USDA Value Added Producer Grants program helps agricultural producers to process their crops into more profitable forms and market their goods to the general public. Grants are awarded through a national competition each fiscal year; designed to boost 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. This year, the USDA will allocate $30 million to farms and agricultural producers nationwide. In turn, these companies will hire additional workers and sell their products, which will help generate local economic growth and bring new jobs to their respective regions.