U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,917,799 in federal funding for agricultural research and development at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. The funding was awarded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and will be used to increase food security and address workforce development in rural agriculture.
“New York’s farmers and the New York agricultural industry is the lifeblood of the state’s economy and our nation’s food supply,” said Senator Schumer.“This federal funding is an investment into our rural agriculture, helping New York State address food insecurity and workforce development, especially in a time of crisis. I am proud to secure federal support, and I will not rest until New York farmers have the resources they need to help Americans get food on the table.”
“Rural communities are at the heart of New York and this funding will strengthen rural economies by providing new opportunities for our farmers and producers,” said Senator Gillibrand, member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Cornell University, in Upstate New York, has been a great source of agricultural research for both New York State and the entire country. I will always fight for the resources needed to continue our legacy of research and exploration as we discover practical applications and solutions for our farmers and the food industry.”
Cornell University received $495,799 to launch a three-year project aimed at strengthening the Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) industry workforce by developing an associate degree program and training qualified personnel.
Additionally, $494,000 will be used to spearhead a new flash freezing system for liquid food so that frozen food items can be stored in practical, economical, and environmentally friendly conditions.
To help the food industry move away from synthetic food colorants, the university will use $468,000 in funding to study the effects of the high-pressure process (HPP) on healthier alternatives, like safe and natural food coloring agents.
Lastly, $460,000 of the NIFA funding will be used to study long-term solutions that utilize the by-products and waste manufactured as a result of the 15.2 billion pounds of annual dairy production in the United States.