Programs make state, county money available for Schoharie County farms
SCHOHARIE COUNTY Updated business plans will play an important role in money being offered to farmers looking to expand or plan for future operations.
Business plans are being required under two programs announced this week: a $1 million pot of money from the state and $400,000 in matching grants offered in Schoharie County.
State funding announced by the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo will bring the departments of Environmental Conservation and Agriculture and Markets together to allot grants of as much as $5,000 to write up a business strategy and as much as $6,000 to establish a plan for managing waste on dairy farms.
In Schoharie County, the post-hurricane Agriculture Assistance Grant program is heading into its second round and offering as much as $5,000 to eligible farms still catching up from the loss of revenue and equipment that accompanied the 2011 disasters.
Updated business plan are considered critical in any business, and the time involved in the complicated process can lead some farms to run without them.
“It can be a very overwhelming task to write a business plan,” said Sarah Blood, Schoharie County’s economic development marketing coordinator.
A business plan yields peace of mind and an advantage in the field of grants and matching funds, she said.
Schoharie County’s grant program is open to all farmers except those who received $50,000 allotments in the first round of the program. The money can be used to pay for half of purchases for equipment, updated technology or inventory and working capital.
The state money announced Tuesday under the new Dairy Acceleration Program is geared toward the development of plans for business operation and environmental management — such as what to do with animal waste.
“Dairy farms are a major component of New York’s economy, and through smart planning these farms can incorporate important environmental protections into their operations,” New York state DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a news release.
Farmers can learn more about the Dairy Acceleration Program at http://ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairy_acceleration.
Schoharie County is also looking to boost knowledge about crop insurance for farmers interested in funding, holding a class from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Sept. 6.
Schoharie County farmers interested in learning more about the county grant program can contact the Planning Department at 295-8770.