The Peconic Land Trust announced last week it has received a $500,000 block grant as a part of a Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative to assist eligible farmers in meeting food safety standards necessary to participate in the New York State Grown & Certified certification program.
The funding for the grant comes from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which oversees the NYS Grown & Certified program.
This cost-share grant opportunity offers up to $50,000 per producer for capital improvements to meet or maintain the food safety requirements of the Grown & Certified Program. Grant funds cover 90 percent of project costs, with producers matching 10 pecrent.
“There is a real excitement around the New York State Grown & Certified program and what it means for both our producers and for consumers,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “This funding will make it easier for our growers and producers to ensure safe food handling practices and join the Grown & Certified program. We thank our regional partners, like Peconic Land Trust, for their work in administering the program in their communities and supporting agriculture, which is one of New York’s largest economic drivers.”
“The Peconic Land Trust looks forward to working with our partners in agriculture on Long Island to provide opportunities to expand markets and provide access to capital to our local farmers. Long Island farmers face some of the highest cost for land and business expenses in the country. Grant programs like these provide an opportunity to off-set some of the other costs associated with maintaining and growing an agricultural business on Long Island – and helping to ensure that our rich, agricultural soils and waters produce food for our communities, now and in the future,” said John v.H. Halsey, President, Peconic Land Trust.
The Peconic Land Trust will request and review applications for the Long Island region, including both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Eligible commodities are produce, dairy, shellfish, eggs, beef, poultry, pork, goat, sheep, aquaculture fisheries, maple products, and beverage ingredients.