Governor Cuomo announced $30 million for conservation easement projects
By Diego Flammini
New York dairy producers are eligible to apply for grants aimed at keeping farms in production.
Governor Cuomo announced US$30 million through the Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program.
“New York’s dairy industry is critical to local economies across the state and we must ensure that our dairy farmers have the resources they need to thrive among the challenges of the current marketplace,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement Thursday.
These grants will help dairy producers continue to operate while diversifying the farm, converting to a non-dairy farm or transitioning ownership to the next generation of farmers.
The funding comes at an opportune time as dairy producers are faced with low prices, said David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau.
The state grants “open the door to different options for dairy farmers who are still dealing with low milk prices” and “give dairy farmers some flexibility to manage their resources in this challenging time,” he said in a statement Thursday.
Dairy farming is crucial to the state’s economy.
The sector contributes about US$2.5 billion to New York’s economy and is the largest of the state’s agricultural industries.
New York is home to 4,500 dairy farms and about 620,000 cows, which produce approximately 14.9 billion pounds of milk annually. The dairy industry also supports nearly 26,000 jobs.
New York is the third largest state in the U.S. in terms of dairy production, and is the country’s top producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream.
Producers interested in receiving a grant must complete an online application.
Farms.com has reached out to the North East Dairy Producers Association for comment on the program.