Thursday, December 7, 2017

$2 Million Available to Reduce Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture

A grant of $2 million is available through round three of the Climate Resilient Farming grant program to help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for, and recover even stronger after, severe weather events. Since the launch of the program in 2015, a total of $2.9 million has been provided to 37 farms across the State to implement critical projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy savings, mitigate water and soil quality concerns, and increase on-farm resiliency to climate change.

"Extreme storms and severe weather are new normal in New York and across the nation, and this funding will continue to protect our farms from some of the unpredictable ramifications of climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "By reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing efficiency to promote energy savings, and protecting the health of our natural resources, these projects are valuable additions to New York's efforts to become cleaner, greener and more sustainable for the next generation."

Through the Climate Resilient Farming grant program, County Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. The funding will support agricultural projects which aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as help agricultural producers prepare for and better manage impacts of climate change: increased heavy storm events and periods of drought. Applications must be for one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and methane capture systems, water management systems, and soil health systems.

Funding will be directed through the 2017-18 Environmental Protection Fund, which thanks to Governor Cuomo's leadership, is once again funded at a historic $300 million.

The Request for Proposals for the Climate Resilient Farming grant program is located on the Department of Agriculture and Markets website under Funding Opportunities, which can be found here. Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m., February 26, 2018.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "New York State's farmers have faced two challenging years—a record drought in 2016 and this past year, an extraordinary amount of rainfall in the early summer.  The Climate Resilient Farming grant program is helping farmers better manage what mother nature sends our way, while also increasing their ability to be even stronger stewards of the environment."

Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie said, "From drought to flooding, one of the biggest challenges our state's hardworking farmers face is the uncertainty of weather. Through this funding, farmers can receive the vital support they need to not only help them more easily adapt to weather, but also to continue to be good stewards of the land that they work. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Ball for recognizing how important it is to support our farmers and in turn, continue to grow New York's leading industry."

The New York Department of Agriculture and Markets administers the Climate Resilient Farming grant program through its Land and Water Division, which works to protect New York's land and water resources through farmland protection, farmland conservation, and proactive environmental stewardship.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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