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New Farmers Grant Fund Program

Grants to New York Beginning Farmers
to Enhance Agricultural Operations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New York State - Empire State Development (ESD) and Department of Agriculture and Markets

Deadline Date:

01/26/18 Postmarked


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Grants ranging from $15,000 to $50,000 to New York beginning farmers to expand their operation and advance agricultural techniques. The purpose of this program is to assist beginning farmers who are actively participating in agricultural production within the state. By supporting new farmers, this program seeks to foster the growth of agribusiness and the concomitant tax revenues within the state.

Program goals are to improve farm profitability through one or both of the following goals:
-Expanding agricultural production, diversifying agricultural production and/or extending the agricultural season;
-Advancing innovative agricultural techniques that increase sustainable practices such as organic farming, food safety, reduction of farm waste and/or water use.

Eligible project costs include:
-The purchase of new or used machinery and equipment;
-Supplies; and/or
-Construction or improvement of physical structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes.

All project costs must be directly related to achieving Program Goals.

For construction projects, an applicant may perform the work themselves, but an applicant’s labor or employee’s labor, is not an eligible cost or match.

An applicant must have title to property at time of application to not be subject to Criteria for Projects Located on Leased Land.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177015

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants may provide a minimum of $15,000 and a maximum of $50,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Farm operation (all criteria below must be met):
-A farm operation located wholly within New York State which produces an agricultural product as defined by these Guidelines;
-The farm operation must have a minimum of $10,000 in farm income from sales of agricultural products grown or raised on the applicant’s farm operation as reflected in either personal or business 2016 tax returns;
-All owners must be New York State Residents of at least 18 years of age;
-As of April 1, 2017, all farm operation owners must be in the first ten years of having an ownership interest in any farm operation;
-All owners must materially and substantially participate in the day-to-day production of an agricultural product grown or raised on the farm operation.

-Business Corporations
-Sole Proprietorships
-Limited Liability Company
-Subchapter S Corporations
-Agricultural Cooperatives

Ineligible Applicants
-Not-for-profit organizations;
-Those delinquent on federal, state and/or local tax obligations;
-Those subject to any litigation, or against whom litigation is threatened, which will likely have an adverse effect on the applicant’s financial condition;
-Those in violation of federal, state or local laws or regulations with respect to labor practices, hazardous wastes, environmental pollution or operating practices; or
-Those in bankruptcy.

Ineligible project costs, include, but are not limited to:
-Costs incurred prior to March 1, 2018;
-Costs not directly related to the project;
-Land purchase or lease;
-Residential facilities;
-Automobiles, trucks, boats, trailers, and 4-wheelers;
-Educational programs;
-Retail enterprises;
-Livestock purchase, grooming, boarding and feed;
-Design expenses and permits;
-Applicant’s labor and farm employee’s labor;
-Marketing materials;
-Routine operation and maintenance costs;
-Tree removal; driveways; parking areas; ponds and collection basins;
-Septic, sewer, well or wastewater costs; and
-Extension of electrical utility lines or municipal/public water supply lines to a project site (tax map parcel) where a connection to such service/system is not already established.

Previous New Farmer Grant Fund Recipients:
Previous grant recipients may be considered for funding; provided, however, that no single farm operation may receive an amount that exceeds $50,000 cumulatively for all program years.

Pre-Application Information:

Grants may provide for up to 50% of total project costs. The remaining 50% must be matched by the recipient. Eligible sources of recipient match are limited to cash, lines of credit and loans. Other grant funds may not be used as matching funds. For any award the total project cost must be at least twice the grant award request.

Applications must be postmarked by January 26, 2018.

It is anticipated grant awards will be announced in late Spring/early Summer 2018.

Grant reimbursement is made upon project completion and submission of required supporting documentation.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Bonnie Devine

NYS New Farmers Grant Fund
Empire State Development
625 Broadway, 8th floor
Albany, NY 12245

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York