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Region’s ag industry gets $1.1 million in funding

The agricultural industry in the Finger Lakes is getting a $1.1 million boost.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that the funding—approved by the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority—would strengthen the research, promotion and development of the state’s agricultural industry.

The funding will be used toward upgrading equipment at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, to developing a marketing plan for the Lake Ontario Wine Trail and to boosting the craft beverage industry.

The funding supports the following nine projects:

New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua—$192,000 for the purchase of audio visual equipment and new kitchen equipment, food truck improvements; 2017 CSA Fair, guest chef events and marketing and promotion material and collateral.

New York Wine & Grape Foundation—$195,000 to support the NY Drinks NY program.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orleans County—$25,675 to establish a teaching kitchen at the Orleans County fairgrounds.

Lake Ontario Wine Trail—$27,750 to implement the Lake Ontario Wine Trail Marketing Plan.

New York Apple Association—$82,701 to assess the economic contribution of the apple industry in New York and to enhance the industry’s economic development activities.

New York State Agricultural Experimental Station: $100,000 for plant growth chamber renovation and purchase of a bench top refractometer; $220,000 for research to support accelerated production of organic grains, corn and soybeans; $200,000 for the third year of a multiyear plan to research malting barley production; and $56,874 to support the development and testing of apple varieties for the production of hard cider.

Over the past five years, the Genesee Valley Regional Market Authority has awarded more than $6.5 million to 60 projects in the region through the Agriculture Development Grant Program.

The authority, in cooperation with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, solicits applications each year to assist in the development of agriculture and agriculture-related businesses in nine counties in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions: Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates.

The Finger Lakes produces roughly one-quarter of the state’s total agricultural output and the industry supports 19,000 jobs in the region, officials said.

“Agriculture remains a key economic engine for New York and we must do all we can to ensure its continued strength,” Cuomo said. “This funding will support the thousands of farms and agricultural businesses that call the Finger Lakes home, as well as the research that has been critical in the growth of New York’s craft beverage industry.”

 (c) 2016 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.

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