The HVADC Cultivator
HVADC and Clients Awarded
Regional Economic Development Council Grants
When New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball announced that nearly $30 million had been awarded to support the growth of New York’s farms and food beverage industries in early December, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) and four of its clients, Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms Corp., the Troy Waterfront Farmers Market, Hudson Valley Seed Company and Capital District Regional Market were among those receiving funding. Those grants were made through the latest and largest round (Round IX) of Regional Economic Development Council (REDC), with 58 agriculture-related projects identified as key to advancing the State’s ten regional economies.
HVADC received a $50,000 grant for a collaborative plan to conduct a market analysis of regional opportunities for distribution of broccoli that will establish a competitive foothold in the marketplace for New York farmers. By helping farmers take advantage of a $1 billion market opportunity for this crop, the focus of the study also includes examining the cooling and product handling infrastructure needed to get broccoli from farms to market. The project leverages $10 million in USDA funding and research conducted at Cornell University that addressed the challenges of growing broccoli in New York.
In Columbia County, HVADC client Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms Corp. received combination grants of $334,000 to invest in a new atmosphere controlled refrigerated storage facility that will be used for storing and packing apples and other fruit. The new packing space will also support improvements required by the Food Safety Modernization Act. HVADC has worked with Klein’s as part of it Incubator Without Walls Program, with HVADC advisor, Brian Zweig of Business Management Consulting working with the farm to define the project, plan the budget and help them write the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) for the grant.
The Troy Waterfront Farmers Market (City of Troy and the Troy Public Market) in Rensselaer County received combined funding of $215,000 to first conduct feasibility research and business planning for a proposed Public Market Hall, and to facilitate the establishment of a year round presence by renovating space in the Troy Atrium to accommodate daily vendors. HVADC has assisted the Troy Farmers Market, again with Zweig consulting, to help with strategic planning.
Former HVADC client Capital District Regional Market in Menands, Albany County (Capital District Cooperative, Inc.), was awarded $280,000 to expand its agricultural producers marketplace to better showcase the offerings and create a multi-use venue for the community to enjoy farmers markets, concerts, festivals, and educational events.
Zweig also assisted HVADC client Hudson Valley Seed Company in Accord, Ulster County in developing their CFA. The Seed Company was awarded $181,000 in this round of REDC funding to build a new headquarters and develop public gardens.
“The REDC initiative and these grants have benefited HVADC clients and beyond, in helping our local producers grow their businesses, their local economies and create jobs,” said Todd Erling, Executive Director HVADC. He added that throughout the state, nearly $30 million were awarded to a variety of products in agribusiness, including the food, beverage, aquacenter, and lumber sectors.
Since the Regional Councils were implemented in 2011, more than $420 million has been awarded to 602 agricultural projects statewide. Awards were made this year to projects supporting farm operations and expansions, packing, manufacturing and processing facilities, promotion of the State’s agri-tourism destinations, craft beverage production, farmers’ markets, commercial kitchens and incubators, agricultural educational programs and workforce development, and marketing opportunities. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The HVADC, Klein’s Kill Fruit Farms Troy Farmers Market and Capital District Market grants were administered by the Capital Region, which covers Albany, Columbia, Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Rensselaer, and Schenectady counties.
“Within HVADC’s coverage, we have both the Capital Region and Mid-Hudson Region REDCs looking out for the interests of the region. By including local officials and stakeholders who know and are invested in their communities in the awarding process, the system is really a localized, strategic approach to economic development by creating unique opportunities within each region,” explained Erling.
The Hudson Valley Seed Company grant was administered by the Mid-Hudson Region REDC, whose coverage is defined as Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester counties.
To learn more about the REDC initiatives through the state, visit https://regionalcouncils.ny.gov.