Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Richard A. Ball, Commissioner of Agriculture
November 2016

In this issue:

Though we are turning from autumn to winter, much is happening in the agricultural industry.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently held a Craft Beverage and Tourism Summit, where many top professionals got together and discussed how to make these industries better. There, the Governor announced $55 million to promote tourism, and another $2 million specifically focused on agritourism. 
The Governor also recently announced the formation of the State Fair Task Force, of which I will be a co-chair, to help transform the State Fairgrounds into a year-round attraction. As one of our best agricultural events of the year, I am confident that we can make this a successful space over the entire year.
As you will read below, there is also much more to be excited about. There are grants available for our new NYS Grown & Certified program, new Taste NY locations, and exciting news about New York companies.

We have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to be proud of here in New York. As we get ready for the holiday season, we celebrate the vibrant agricultural industry in New York State and recognize the hard work of our farmers who are a part of the one percent of our population that feed the remaining 99 percent. I encourage everyone to give thanks for the bounty of crops New York's growers produce for our communities and for our strong agribusiness community that together works to bring healthy, high-quality foods and beverages to the tables of New Yorkers in every corner of the state.

I wish you and your family a very warm Thanksgiving.
Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Department of Agriculture and Markets
New farmers $1 million grant fund GrantFunding
$1 million in funding is now available to assist new and early-stage farmers through the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund. Now in its third year, the program builds upon the success of 2015 when more than $743,000 was awarded to 25 early-stage farms across the state.
It will provide grants of up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 50 percent being matched by the recipient. All owners of eligible farms must be within the first ten years of ownership and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Eligible project costs include the purchase of farm machinery, supplies and equipment, and construction or improvement of farm structures.
This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is now accepting farm applicants of all sizes. The application and guidelines for the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund are available online. The deadline for submission is January 27, 2017. Learn more here.
Cheribundi expanding, creating 35 new jobs Cheribundi

New funding to help farms join NYS Grown & Certified program ResourceGuide

Cheribundi, Inc., which produces tart cherry juice, will expand its manufacturing operations and move to a new location in Geneva, Ontario County, investing more than $4 million to relocate its facilities to the former Tops Friendly Markets on New York State routes 5 and 20. This will directly support a key goal of the region's Finger Lakes Forward initiative by creating 35 new jobs and spurring further economic growth in the Finger Lakes region.

Empire State Development, New York State's economic development agency, will provide Cheribundi, Inc. with up to $700,000 in grants and performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits in return for job creation commitments. 

The news of Cheribundi's expansion follows a recent announcement by Governor Cuomo that the City of Geneva will be receiving $10 million dollars as part of New York's Downtown Revitalization Initiative. Learn more  here.
New funding is available to help New York fruit and vegetable farmers join the New York State Grown & Certified program. $1.5 million is available through the Environmental Protection Fund to help farms implement an Agricultural Environmental Management plan, and a reimbursement of up to $1,000 is available for growers who participate in a third party audit of safe food handling practices. Both of these types of programs are required to be eligible for New York State Grown & Certified. Learn more here.
More information about the Good Agricultural Practices certification process and how to apply for the grant is available on the new website. Cornell University is a key partner in training and education for farmers as part of the program, and holds online courses and in-person training throughout the year. More information is here
New York's County Soil and Water Conservation Districts are eligible to apply for the program on behalf of farmers. Project eligibility information and the Request for Proposals are available here. Applications are due January 20, 2017.
Commissioner Ball announces expansion of local school food program AppleCrunch
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball recently joined the 2016 Big Apple Crunch in New York City, sponsored by the FarmOn! Foundation, an agriculture-focused non-profit supporting educational youth programming. After the event, it was announced that the NY Thursdays program in schools across New York City will be expanded to include beef hamburgers. NY Thursdays kicked off last year and features locally-grown and produced foods on school menus, with the school system already purchasing more than 35 million local apples and 7 million gallons of New York State milk every year.
In addition to the event held at PS 96, dozens of Big Apple Crunch events were held throughout New York City and across the State. The New York Apple Association joined the NYC Food Policy Center at Hunter College for a Big Apple Crunch at La Marqueta. The event brought together hundreds of children to take part in fun and educational activities, and wrapped up with a record-breaking Big Apple Crunch.  The event also featured activity centers with apple art, games, tastings and nutrition education led by East Harlem organizations and small businesses. Read about the event here.
Taste NY opens new Welcome Center, unveils Amtrak partnership TasteNY
A 15,200 square foot state-of-the-art Welcome Center on Long Island, which promotes some of New York's best locally-made and produced food and beverage products, recently held its grand opening. Included in the Welcome Center is a Taste NY eatery and market, an outdoor farmers' market and an interactive I LOVE NEW YORK experience for L ong Island visitors to learn about the region's history and tourism destinations.
The Welcome Center is located off the Long Island Expressway at Exit 51-52 Eastbound. It is the site of a formerly underused parking area that has been completely transformed into a spacious, LEED-certified visitor's center with numerous amenities for travelers. In the event of a storm or catastrophic event, the community room can serve as a safe refuge for travelers and residents.
Taste NY is also partnering with Amtrak to bring New York-made products to travelers both in and out-of-state, and those visiting from across the globe. Through the Taste NY pilot program, Amtrak passengers traveling to destinations across New York State - New York City, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Albany - and outside New York to and from Toronto, Montreal and Rutland, Vermont can now enjoy locally-produced snacks and craft beverages on select Amtrak trains.
To kick-off this new partnership, New York food and beverage items will be available on the snack cars of 13 New York trains. Amtrak estimates that approximately 1 million passengers travel these routes annually.
New on-the-job agricultural training program for veterans Veterans

NY seed testing facility to be housed at the New York Food LabSeedLab
Announced this month, a new on-the-job training program for military veterans will help those interested in careers in the agricultural industry. This training opportunity will allow veterans to use their military benefits while obtaining useful job skills on the farm. With assistance from the Cornell Small Farms Program, Western New York's Kreher's Farm in Clarence has been approved as the first participating farm. Additional farms across the state are encouraged to apply to be in the program.
The New York State Beginning Farmers Workgroup, established by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2014, identified the need for an on-the-job training program for veterans who want to pursue careers in farming and agriculture. The result, this program, offers veterans rewarding career opportunities as they transition out of military service, while also providing employers with qualified workers. During their training, veterans are paid wages and also receive their Military Housing Allowance through their GI Bill benefits, which helps offset the cost of living. Learn more here
New York State's Seed Testing Laboratory, which assures that seed used in agricultural production is healthy and robust, will now be run by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and housed within its state-of-the-art New York State Food Laboratory in Albany. Currently, it is located at Cornell University's campus in Geneva, NY, but this transition will bring the state's diverse agricultural testing capabilities to one facility.
Established in 1882, the Seed Lab provides high quality seed results and reporting to residents, growers and seed companies. Since 1912, the lab has been operating as the regulatory laboratory for New York State, testing inspection samples to verify accuracy of product content and labeling for the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The lab performs critical functions for the agricultural industry, testing 800 samples annually to insure that seed purchased by New York State farmers and consumers is true to label claim, meets minimum germination standards and is free of noxious weed seeds. Learn more here.
New State Fair Task Force StateFairTaskForce
Earlier this month, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the appointment of a new task force that will provide recommendations to further improve the Great New York State Fair. The Task Force will recommend improvements for Phase Two of the State Fair Master Plan and evaluate options to maximize the State's historic investment and grow the region's economy.  

Specifically, the task force will focus on:
  • Improving transportation options between the amphitheater at Onondaga Lake to the fairgrounds, so fairgoers can make the most of this state-of-the-art facility during their visit;
  • Addressing public transportation and parking around the fair to better accommodate the increasing number of attendees and make it easier for people to get to and from the fair;
  • Building the partnership between the County and the village of Solvay to connect the work being done on Milton Avenue and along the Bridge Street corridor;
  • Ensuring the fair remains a world-class showcase for our TasteNY entrepreneurs and leveraging the state's beer, wine, spirits, yogurt, cheese, maple syrup industries.

Learn more here
Lt. Governor Hochul visits and promotes North Country maple MapleTour
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball recently participated in the Fall Maple Harvest and Tasting Tour in the North Country to support New York's maple producers and to highlight the state's promotional efforts to grow the industry.

Following a record season for New York's maple producers, Lieutenant Governor Hochul and Commissioner Ball joined members of the New York State maple community and state and local leaders to spotlight the state's maple producers and encourage the use of their products. A special Maple Showcase and honorary Maple Trail were created to extend the promotion of the industry year-round, beyond the traditional maple season in the spring. Learn more here.

Try this maple recipe for Mini Maple Meatballs, and be sure to use New York maple syrup!

  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 cup  dry bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tbs of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bottles (12 ounces each) chili sauce
  • 2 cups of maple syrup
  1. Heat oven to 400°F
  2. Stir together all ingredients except chili sauce and maple syrup
  3. Shape into 1-inch meatballs
  4. Place on ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches
  5. Bake uncovered about 20 minutes or until no longer pink in center and juice is clear
  6. Place chili sauce and maple syrup in crock pot, turn on high and stir in meatballs. Serve hot

Number of New York Farm cideries triples from 2014 CideriesTriple
The number of farm cideries operating manufacturing facilities in New York State has tripled, growing from 8 in October 2014 to 24 in 2016. This growth has been a direct result of Governor Cuomo's Farm Cideries Legislation, signed in October 2013.
The law established a new license for cideries that use crops grown exclusively in New York. It has strengthened the state's apple industry, promoted job growth, and boosted tourism throughout the Empire State. Learn more here

Upcoming Events UpcomingEvents
  • New York Produce Show (12/07/2016, Javits Center, NYC): The Department of Agriculture and Markets, featuring NYS Grown &Certified and state specialty crops, will be participating in the New York Produce Show. Visitors can enjoy samples, cooking demonstrations, and learn about Grown & Certified, our newest food safety program.
  • Come join us at the Taste NY Food & Craft Beverage Showcase at the 2017 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York (March 5-7, 2017, Javits Center, NYC): This is a unique opportunity for New York food and beverage manufacturers that produce and process in the State to gain exposure to the 16,000 East Coast foodservice community buyers who are specifically seeking businesses from New York State. The deadline to register is December 12, 2016. To register, email Sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association.
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets
10B Airline Drive, Albany, NY 12235