U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $988,908 in federal funding for six wineries and small farms in the Rochester Finger Lakes area. The funding was allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Value Added Producer Grants program. Specifically, Potoczak Bee Farms, Inc. in Genessee County, Three Brothers Winery and Estates LLC in Ontario County, Brightly Farms LLC in Orleans County, Nyag, LLC in Wayne County, Vineyard View Winery in Yates County and Marquart Brothers in Wyoming County will receive this funding.
“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 six wineries and farms in the Rochester-Finger Lakes to generate increased economic revenue by hiring new workers, bringing new products to market and expanding their operations. Helping our local businesses and farms expand their business for consumers will be a win-win for our agriculture industry, Rochester Finger Lakes area residents, 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 Rochester–Finger Lakes farms and wineries 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.”
Potoczak Bee Farms, Inc. will receive $49,500 to produce, market, and sell a honey-based wine line. Three Brothers Winery and Estates LLC will receive $250,000 to market their Riesling wine product line. Brightly Farms LLC will receive $49,900 to hire 2-3 new employees and sell their canned good and pies at their new farm market. Nyag, LLC will receive $250,000 to market different types of New York-grown apples to wholesalers, stores, and customers. Vineyard View Winery will receive $139,508 to cover capital expenses for their startup winery product line. Marquart Brothers will receive $250,000 to help with capital needs for their new potato chip company, New York Chips.
“We’re really excited and grateful for the grant award! We’ll be using funds to help launch our Winery and Riesling brand onto a national platform,” said Erica Paolicelli, Partner at Three Brothers Winery And Estate LLC. “The opportunities in market that this grant award will help afford for Three Brothers will give our business the boost it needs to bring our Finger Lakes wine brand to the next level. We know that we can make world-class wine in the Finger Lakes, it’s time that the rest of the nation become aware.”
“This grant will allow us to not only hire more workers and expand national sales, but we will be able to purchase more local products, advertise with local companies, and create greater agro-tourism in our area. As we looked for ways to create less waste on our over 2,000 acre farm it only made sense for us to expand into a farm market with canned goods and pies .With this grant we will be able to get our products into more homes across the region and even internationally, we are thankful to USDA and Senator Schumer’s office for this opportunity,” said Dean and Betsy Brightly, Owners of Brightly Farms, LLC.
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.