Northern New York Agricultural Development Program receives $600,000 in state funding for research
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has received $600,000 in the recently-passed New York State Budget for research to enhance the sustainability and profitability of farm businesses in the state’s six northernmost counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence.
The Northern New York agricultural industry contributes nearly $600 million in farm product market value to the local economy and has a local payroll of approximately $53 million.
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chairs Jon Greenwood, Joe Giroux, and Jon Rulfs acknowledged the leadership of New York State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie, Senator Betty Little, and Senator Joe Griffo as well as New York State Assembly Agriculture Chair Bill Magee, other North Country representatives and Agriculture Committee legislators for securing the state funding.
‘The North Country legislators in the Senate and Assembly truly understand the contributions that agriculture makes to the regional and New York State economies and how state funding to the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program leverages additional resources in support of the agricultural industry here,’ said NNYADP Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy farmer in Madrid in St. Lawrence County.
‘This 2014-15 budget funding makes new opportunities possible for Northern New York farmers to reduce costs and capitalize on the science needed to enhance agricultural stewardship and develop cost-effective solutions for emerging pest and disease problems,’ said NNYADP Co-Chair Joe Giroux, a dairy farmer in Plattsburgh in Clinton County.
Jon Rulfs, a dairy farmer in Essex County and partner in Rulfs Orchards in Peru, NY, was recently named a co-chair of the NNYADP. Rulfs says, ‘The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has a proven track record of practical real-world research that underpins the sustainability of existing farms across the region and encourages the growth of new agricultural enterprises.’
‘As Chair of the New York State Senate Agriculture Committee, I am thrilled to see such significant support for our hardworking farmers in the newly-enacted State Budget,’ said Senator Patty Ritchie. ‘Agriculture is the backbone of New York State’s economy, and funding secured for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program in this new spending plan will allow for expanded opportunities and stronger bottom lines for the people who feed our families and, increasingly, the world.’
NYS Senator Betty Little said, ‘I am pleased funding was secured in the state budget for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. I know this funding will be put to great use, helping our farmers with research they could not do on their own. This program is good for agriculture, beneficial for the environment, and important to our North Country economy. And, it helps put food on our tables making it very deserving of state support.’
NYS Senator Joe Griffo said, ‘The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program will use this state allocation to provide indispensable research which will allow farmers to extend their growing seasons, diversify, and protect their crops from pests. They support more than 4,200 farms that produce more than one-half billion dollars in agricultural products annually. This truly is a great return on investment and I am pleased to have helped secure these needed funds.’
NYS Assembly Agriculture Committee Chair Assemblyman Bill Magee said, ‘The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is leading the way in helping North Country farms to be more efficient and productive, and this funding will allow the program to continue its support of the growth and sustainability of Northern New York’s agricultural resources.’
Nearly 100 farmers participate as advisory committee members or commodity-focused subcommittee members with the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program; dozens of other farmers participate directly in on-farm research projects.
The Northern New York region has research farms located in Canton, Lake Placid, West Chazy and Willsboro; and research trials on farms throughout the six-county area. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program currently has 27 research projects underway and focused on:
· Agricultural environmental stewardship
· Continuing the Alfalfa Snout Beetle control project success with field crop producers and extending the project value to horticultural crops
· Crop and livestock pest and disease control
· Dairy production
· Enhancing field crop production under NNY conditions
· Livestock production and marketing
· NNY fruit and vegetable production in fields and high tunnels.
More information on the NNYADP is online at www.nnyagdev.org.