Farm-funding program to address climate change

ALBANY — Three farms in Essex and Jefferson counties will benefit from more than $238,000 awarded through round two of the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Launched in 2015, the program helps farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for and recover after extreme weather events.

"This funding will help protect and preserve New York's natural resources by supporting farms and addressing the unpredictable conditions and challenges of climate change," Cuomo said. 

As part of this funding, county Soil and Water Conservation Districts in six regions across the state were awarded a total of more than $1.5 million in grants on behalf of farmers in one of the following project categories: agricultural waste storage cover and flare, on-farm water management and soil-health systems.

The Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District received $184,130. The agency will work with one farm to incorporate agro-forestry practice systems including the construction of three ponds. 

The goal is to capture and store water during extreme weather events that will then be used for irrigation during times of drought and reduce the amount of flood water flowing to the Boquet River to benefit homes and businesses downstream.

Essex County Soil and Water Conservation District Manager David Reckhan said it's a great program for Essex County.

"Our new young farmers strive to be as sustainable and climate resilient as possible, and this program supports those efforts while allowing our farmers to remain competitive."


Climate-smart grants go to farms, businesses

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Adirondack Council and the Klipper Family Fund, working with a coalition of partner organizations, celebrated Earth Day by awarding its second round of Cool Farms/Healthy Park micro-grants to 23 Adirondack farmers and small-business owners.

The grants are designed to make local farms and small businesses more environmentally friendly while helping them to remain or become an important part of a sustainable Adirondack economy.

Among the winners were three businesses in Newcomb and another in nearby Indian Lake where tens of thousands of acres of newly acquired state Forest Preserve is likely to attract new visitors.

Other grants will help farmers to sustain pollinating bee colonies, for example, or water livestock without using fuel or increasing power costs or disturbing streams. Others will grow crops that will capture and store carbon in the soil.

“We received twice as many applications as last year, and I am happy to say we have more money to grant this year as well,” said Willie Janeway, executive director of the Adirondack Council.

“In all, we awarded more than $27,000 to help with some really exciting projects. Many of the grants are for solar-power projects while others funded energy-efficiency improvements and equipment to extend the length of the growing season. Business grants went to outfitters, tourist accommodations, a small internet provider and an ice-cream shop.”

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