Press-Republican

December 14, 2012

Funds to promote agricultural research


Press-Republican

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Thursday announced $1 million in federal funding to enhance the competitiveness of New York’s agricultural products.

The funding will support the research, development and promotion of specialty crops, including fruits and vegetables, tree nuts and nursery crops and includes $200,000 to help support the growth of the state’s wine, beer and spirits industry.

Locally, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County will receive $57,988. The money will be used for best-management practices to enhance yield, extend the growing season, protect crops from weather extremes and manage pests and diseases.

A good share of the money will go to programs being developed by Cornell University.

“As part of being an entrepreneurial government, New York is partnering with the private sector to establish our state as a leader in the production of a wide array of goods, from Greek yogurt to craft beer,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“With a robust, diverse agriculture sector, these awards will help our state join together with these rapidly growing industries to create new jobs and spur economic development in all corners of New York.”

At Cuomo’s Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit in October, industry leaders said that more research and development is needed to continue the rapid growth of the industry here in New York. Of the $1 million in funding, $200,000 will go toward this effort.

The release included reaction from area representatives:

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer: “Grapes, apples, onions, and a host of other specialty crops are a huge part of the Upstate and Hudson Valley agriculture economy, and this federal funding will increase research and development in those fields.”

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: “This is another smart investment for New York. Investing in the quality and growth of our specialty crops, craft breweries and wineries will help strengthen our regional economies, helping to create jobs throughout New York.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Owens: “Specialty crops play an important role in Clinton County and all throughout New York’s agriculture economy. Today’s announcement will help ensure these farms have every opportunity to succeed down the road.”

U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson: “Ensuring specialty crop farmers across Upstate New York have the resources they need to remain competitive has been a priority of mine on the House Agriculture Committee. We are blessed in New York to have a diverse network of family farms, and it is critical we support their efforts.”