U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $256,517 in federal funding for two farms in the Southern Tier. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Value Added Producer Grants program. Northern Timber Harvesting, LLC in Allegany County will receive $10,000 in order to complete an independent feasibility study of producing value-added wood products from raw roundwood logs. Magnale, LLC in Otsego County, also called B&B Ranch, will receive $246,517 to fund capital needs associated with processing and marketing their Piedmontese cattle, Berkshire Pigs, and Spanish Goats throughout Central New York.
“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 two farms in the Southern Tier generate increased economic revenue by bringing new products to market and studying how to expand their operations. Helping our local farms grow their business will be a win-win for our agriculture industry, Southern Tier 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 from 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 USDA Value-Added Producers Grant will play a key role in the continued growth of our business. The B & B Ranch is proud to be a part of the growing agricultural tourism sector here in Central New York. We feel strongly that agricultural, tourism, and value-added production will continue to be the economic engine for high-wage job growth here in Central New York and are grateful that we can continue to contribute to this growing business sector. We thank Senator Schumer for his leadership and support,” said James Giombetti, owner of B & B Ranch.
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. 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.