Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $80,211 in federal funding for two farms in Clinton County. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) Program. This funding is aimed at generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income for small and independent producers. Specifically, Mace Chasm Farm, located in Keeseville, will receive $30,707 to purchase supplies for the farm, market the farm’s butcher shop, and raise awareness about the farm’s new food truck business startup. North Country Creamery Clover Mead Farm, also located in Keeseville, will receive $49,504 to purchase a machine that will innovate their yogurt production as well as market their creamery and milk parlor.
“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. “These much-needed funds provide innovative avenues for our local farmers to expand production, increase sales and revamp marketing techniques to stay competitive in today’s information age. This direct USDA assistance will allow them to better generate economic revenue, making it a win-win for our agriculture industry and the entire Clinton County 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. “This is a great investment for these Clinton County farms and will help ensure they get the needed resources to bring their products to market and continue to drive economic growth in their region and across the state.”
Mace Chasm Farm will be splitting the funding between two projects. Half of its federal funds will be used to purchase supplies for the butcher shop including packaging, spices, casing for sausages, and ingredients for the meats. Money will also be allocated towards marketing for the butcher shop. The remaining half of these funds will be put towards financing a food truck that was recently started by the farm. The food truck serves prepared foods at farmers markets and other events throughout the county. The funding will go towards packaging for the food and marketing to raise awareness for Mace Chasm’s newest business venture.
North Country Creamery at Clover Mead Farm will utilize its federal funding to purchase a machine that will innovate its facility area by labeling yogurt containers. Currently, the yogurt containers are labeled by hand. This new machine will help speed up the packaging process so that the farm can meet their consumer demand. The funds will also go towards improving marketing strategies to promote the creamery and milk parlor at Clover Mead Farm.
“We are so excited to hear this money is coming through,” said Courtney Grimes-Sutton, Owner of Mace Chasm Farm. “We have already started the projects and did not expect to receive the funding. This will make a huge difference for us in cost of labor and supplies, we’re very happy to get it.”
“We tremendously appreciate this support for our small business and this funding will really help us fulfill the demand for our product in the local community,” said Ashlee Kleinhammer, Owner of the North Country Creamery at Clover Mead Farm.
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.