Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation and Collaborators Awarded USDA Grants
$100,000 Local Food Promotion Program Funding to Provide Technical Assistance to Hudson Valley Producers through Good Food Business Accelerator
HUDSON, NY – October, 8, 2015— As part of a USDA-wide nation-wide effort to support local and regional food systems, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) has been awarded a $100,000 grant under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) Local Food Promotion Program. The funds will be used to establish the HVADC’s Good Food Business Accelerator (GFBA) to provide technical assistance to local food business enterprises and producers that supply the New York City and Hudson Valley regions.
The grant announcements were made October 2 by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack who released details of nearly $35 million in new funding through four grant programs to support local and regional food systems. The Local Food Promotion Program grants awarded $11.9 million to 160 marketing and promotion projects for intermediary local food enterprises such as food hubs, aggregation businesses, local food processors and farm-to institution activates. Fifteen recipients were in New York State. Over $13 million in Farmers Market Promotion Program grants were distributed to 164 marketing and promotion projects involved with farmers markets, CSA, and other direct-to-consumer outlets for local food. Eleven New York State entities received grands under the Farmers Market Program. Both the Farmers Market and the Local Food Promotion Programs were made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill.
“The Hudson Valley did very well in this round of grant awarding,” states Todd Erling, HVADC Executive Director. “In addition to now being able to develop our accelerated business program, we were also pleased that two of our close collaborators, Farm To Table Co-Packers in Kingston, and the Sullivan County CCE in Liberty also received significant grants under the Local Food Promotion Program,” he continues. Farm to Table was awarded $99,050 to explore product line expansion opportunities for Hudson Valley farmers including local source-verified beverages, while Sullivan County CCE received $94,311 to support the development of its Entrepreneurial and Teaching (EaT) Kitchen to facilitate the processing, production, packaging, storage, marketing and distribution of value-added products. Elsewhere in the region, under the Farmers
Markets grants, Sullivan County was acknowledged for its Sullivan Fresh Initiative, the Carey Institute for Global Good in Rensselaerville was awarded for The Helderberg Brewshed, and Yonkers-based Groundwork Hudson Valley for its Fresh Market and Citizen Coop program.
“I am delighted HVADC and food producers in our region have been selected to receive these grants,” said U.S. Congressman Chris Gibson (D-NY-19). “Todd Erling and his team at HVADC are extraordinary partners in our efforts to strengthen local food systems, bring more people into agriculture, and grow the rural economy. I am proud to advocate for federal programming that supports their good work.”
“This well-deserved investment in Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation will help them expand on the great work they do for our local businesses. We know that the Hudson Valley grows the best produce in the country, and this program will help our local farmers access new markets, create jobs, and grow our local economy,” said U.S. Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY-18).
The HVADC GFBA program supports the creation and growth of robust regional supply chains for sustainably raised local food by providing food entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they need to scale up their business. It is an intensive accelerator program providing core and custom curriculums to help businesses develop their business plan, build their business sales, and become investment-ready and poised for growth. HVADC has a successful track record of helping similar businesses based on providing unique, specialized technical assistance focused on agriculture and food distribution through its Incubator Without Walls (IWW) program.
“Through the GFBA program, participating businesses will benefit from resources not available elsewhere that will improve their likelihood for success and we will be able to offer a more intense instructional program than is currently available throughout incubator,” Erling reports. HVADC will be targeting food hubs, distributors, and processors located in the NYC foodshed and enterprises that supply food to meet consumer demand for local food in the Hudson Valley and New York City markets.