FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 11, 2020
FONDA — Generating approximately $5 billion in revenue annually, agriculture plays a central role in New York’s economy and the economy of Montgomery County. With more than 60 local farms run by someone 35 years old or younger, and shifting marketplace conditions, farmers continue to need assistance to survive long-term.
To help them continue to thrive in a competitive international marketplace, the Montgomery County Business Development Center, in partnership with the Montgomery County Soil & Water Conservation district has begun issuing a second round of Agriculture Microenterprise Grants.
“Agriculture has long been a staple of our county’s economic success. While farming trends have shifted in recent years – with the introduction of new products and a more challenging marketplace for our dairy farmers – our farmers remains a significant part of our success. Ensuring farmers have the resources they need to support their operations ensures we continue to have a diversity of employers locally,” said Montgomery County Business Development Center CEO Ken Rose.
“The Montgomery County Agriculture Microenterprise Program (MCAMP) has enabled farms in Montgomery county to be able to receive essential financial assistance, to help keep their agri-business’s viable in a changing and challenging marketplace, for producers. Agriculture has always been a cornerstone for the counties economy, and it is extremely important that we continue doing all we can, such as providing opportunities like this, to help our Farmers to prosper and remain relevant,” said Montgomery County Soil and Water Conservation District Agricultural Economic Development Coordinator John Vanderwerken.
Grant funding during the second round of applications was awarded to:
- Bunkers Hemp: $25,000 for farm equipment
- Dygert Farms Creamery: $25,000 for milk processing equipment
- Family Traditions Tree Farm: $24,700 for farm equipment
- Harmony Farms: $25,000 for lamb handling equipment
- Hillside Farms: $20,000 for farm equipment
- Montgomery Poultry Hatchery: $8,000 for farm equipment
- Next Generation Dairy: $14,000 for farm equipment
- Plain View Dairy: $19,000 to increase herd size
- Yurkewecz & Son Cattle: $25,000 for farm equipment
Dygert Farms Creamery in Palatine Bridge used the $25,000 grant it received to purchase a new walk-in cooler that will help with its upcoming bottling operations. Farm co-owner Shannon Dygert, “We are so very thankful for the funding from the Montgomery County Micro Grant. This money has helped us purchase an energy efficient walk-in cooler to store our freshly bottled milk. Grants like this have helped us get one step closer to selling our milk in stores and delivered to homes in Montgomery County and beyond.”
During the first round of funding, the Business Development Center distributed about $175,000 in grant funds, resulting in projects totaling $225,000. Grant awards range between $5,000 and $25,000. Four of the seven businesses to receive funding were woman-owned-businesses, with two of the businesses adding an additional full-time equivalent job.