OCTOBER 2, 2023, WALTON, NY– The Watershed Agricultural Council (WAC) is announcing a new pilot grant opportunity through its Economic Viability Program that will encourage the implementation of activities that support farmers in the NYC Watershed who are seeking to expand agricultural production of fruits and vegetables.
In April 2023, the NYC’s Mayor’s Office released the City’s Climate Action Plan titled PlaNYC: Getting Sustainability Done. The three main objectives are to protect from climate threats, improve quality of life, and begin to build the green economic engine. On page 57 the plan states, ‘create an incentive program to support farmers in the NYC Watershed who expand agricultural production of fruits and vegetables.’ In partnership with and through funding made available by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the WAC developed a new grant titled Economic Viability Micro Grants Program: Fruit and Vegetable Expansion Pilot Grant in direct response.
- Greenhouse and/or Raised Bed Expansion Reimbursement which will support activities related to expanding and/or starting fruit and vegetable production to increase producer viability. Eligible activities include row cover support, winter season extension projects, small tunnel projects and operational expansion related items;
- Water Access Reimbursement which will support agricultural projects and purchases related to water management that aim to help agricultural producers expand and/or initiate fruit and vegetable production. Eligible activities include wash station support, irrigation needs and projects that relate to heavy storm events, overall rainfall and periods of drought; and
- Farm Structure Reimbursement which will support structural needs as related to the development of vegetable and fruit expansion of business operation. Eligible activities include insect and bird netting, deer fencing, cold storage, tables, bulk bins and crates necessary for transport and pest control.
Eligibility is for any NYC Watershed ‘farm operation’ as defined by Agriculture & Markets (AGM) CHAPTER 69, ARTICLE 25-AA, SECTION 301, Subdivision 11 meaning the land and on-farm buildings, equipment, manure processing and handling facilities, and practices which contribute to the production, preparation and marketing of crops, livestock and livestock products as a commercial enterprise, including a “commercial horse boarding operation” as defined in subdivision thirteen of this section, a “timber operation” as defined in subdivision fourteen of this section, “compost, mulch or other biomass crops” as defined in subdivision seventeen of this section and “commercial equine operation” as defined in subdivision eighteen of this section. Such farm operation may consist of one or more parcels of owned or rented land, which parcels may be contiguous or noncontiguous to each other. Preference will be given to WAC participants.
A request for applications will be issued via WAC social media and local publications on October 1, 2023. The total amount that can be applied for is $5,000. The application deadline for this round is November 30, 2023. Awards will be made within six months after the deadline. For application details and to apply visit: nycwatershed.org/economic-viability/fruit-and-vegetable-expansion-pilot-grant.
One of the benefits of the Economic Viability Program is its ability to explore innovative methods for enhancing economic viability in the NYC Watershed. For more information about the Economic Viability Micro Grants Program: Fruit and Vegetable Expansion Pilot Grant or other grants we offer please contact Kristan Morley, Economic Viability Program Manager, by phone at (607) 865-7090, via email at [email protected], or visit nycwatershed.org/economic-viability