Press Release

Schumer, Gillibrand Announce Nearly $63,000 In USDA Rural Business Grant Funding For Tug Hill Vineyards In Lewis County

Sep 24, 2014

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $62,924 for Tug Hill Vineyards in Lewis County. The federal funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG) and will be used to purchase essential equipment needed to efficiently increase wine production at Tug Hill Vineyards. 

“This is federal funding is great news for Lewis County and Tug Hill Vineyards,” said Senator Schumer. “This funding will provide Tug Hill the funds needed to help them to expand and provide more consumers with their quality products. Making sure we support our agricultural businesses in Upstate New York will always be a priority of mine.”

“New York’s world-class vineyards produce some of the finest grapes, grown by hard-working farm families,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee who wrote to USDA in support of Tug Hill’s project. “This investment in the Tug Hill Vineyard will help ensure they get the resources they need to expand their business with the purchase of critical equipment. This will help bring their products to market and continue to drive economic growth in their region.”

“Increasing the diversity of agricultural production and adding value to the crops grown in Lewis County are key components of economic development.  The economic impacts associated with Tug Hill Vineyards’ growth and success impacts all of Lewis County,” said Larry Dolhof, President, Lewis County Development Corporation.  “The Vineyard is directly responsible for an increase in local employment, retail sales of wine and berries, and tourism related to the wine industry and the vineyards special events capacity.”

“We are so pleased to receive this funding to support the expansion of Tug Hill Vineyards,” said Sue Maring, owner of Tug Hill Vineyards. “We look forward to procuring state of the art equipment necessary for increased wine production.”

Tug Hill Vineyards was established in 2007 and consists of twenty acres of grapevines on a forty acre estate. Tug Hill Vineyards produces red and golden raspberries as well as blueberries in addition to grapes. They also produce a variety of wines both dry and sweet.

USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grants are available to towns, State agencies, tribes and non-profits. They are used to support development of rural small businesses, distance learning networks and adult job training education programs. The RBEG program’s grants finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses to grow the economy.

A copy of Senator Gillibrand’s letter is attached.