Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that nearly $7.9 million will be awarded under the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program to help over 70 farms across the state reduce their ecological footprint and respond to extreme weather events prepare for climate change. The selected projects will reduce greenhouse gases by an estimated 68,495 tons of CO2e per year, or take as many as nearly 14,800 cars off the road per year.
“New York’s farmers are on the front lines of the fight against climate change and are among the first to feel the devastating effects of extreme weather events, which have become all too common in recent years,” said Governor Hochul. “Our Climate Resilient Agriculture program gives farmers the resources they need to prepare for and respond to future weather events and continue with their important work that contributes to our local economy and produces fresh, healthy produce for all New Yorkers. ”
Launched in 2015, the Climate Resilient Farming Program helps the state’s agricultural sector meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals under the state’s Climate Governance and Community Protection Act. In six rounds of funding to date, nearly $20 million has been provided to support farms across upstate New York.
Projects awarded in Round 6 focused on best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve soil health, and promote energy conservation in the Capital Region, Central New York, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Mohawk Valley, North Country, Southern Tier, and Western New York Regions. The projects are also increasing irrigation capacity and emphasizing water management to mitigate the effects of drought on crops and livestock, as well as heavy rainfall and flooding.
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts received the grants on behalf of farmers in one of three areas: manure store coverage and collection; riparian, flood and upland water management; and Healthy Soils NY.
The following county soil and water conservation districts received grants to help farms implement climate-related projects:
CAPITAL REGION – Total Award, $393,200
- Washington County SWCD received $393,200 to support two farms.
CENTRAL NEW YORK – Total Award, $1,598,209
- Cayuga SWCD received $811,920 to support nine farms.
- Cortland SWCD received $492,137 to support three farms.
- Madison SWCD was awarded $98,800 to support multiple farms.
- Onondaga SWCD received $195,352 to support nine farms.
FINGER LAKES – Total Bounty, $1,865,319
- Genesee SWCD received $328,364 to support four farms.
- Livingston SWCD was awarded $671,310 to support two farms.
- Ontario SWCD received $421,320 to support a farm.
- Wayne SWCD received $58,775 for supporting a farm.
- Yates SWCD was awarded $385,550 to support two farms.
HUDSON VALLEY – Total Bounty, $307,709
- Orange SWCD raised $178,595 to support five farms.
- Ulster SWCD received $129,114 for supporting multiple farms.
MOHAWK VALLEY – Total Bounty, $823,381
- Fulton SWCD received $132,986 to support four farms.
- Montgomery SWCD was awarded $470,410 to support a farm.
- Schoharie SWCD received $219,985 for supporting a farm.
NORTH LAND – Total Award, $1,736,148
- Clinton SWCD received $620,580 to support a farm.
- Essex SWCD received $689,524 to support six farms.
- St. Lawrence SWCD received $426,044 for supporting a farm.
SOUTHERN TIER – Total Bounty, $693,734
- Delaware SWCD received $159,160 to support three farms.
- Tioga SWCD received $534,574 to support four farms.
WESTERN NEW YORK – Total Premium, $426,345
- Allegany SWCD received $34,062 for supporting a farm.
- Erie SWCD received $256,923 to support four farms.
- Niagara SWCD received $135,360 to support four farms.
A complete list of project descriptions can be found here.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said: “New York’s Climate Resilient Farming program has a proven history of helping farmers better manage extreme weather events that are becoming more common, while reducing their environmental footprint and protecting our surrounding natural resources. I thank Governor Hochul for her historic commitment to expanding this program, and we wish all of our soil and water conservation districts and farmers well in their projects, which are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the rate of taking nearly 14,800 cars off the road . This is certainly something that should be celebrated during Climate Week. ”
Basil Seggos, Commissioner for the New York State Department of Environmental Protection and Co-Chair of the Climate Change Council, said: “New York farmers are at the forefront of environmental responsibility and managing smart, sustainable production practices. DEC welcomes the continued support of agriculture through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program, which helps build on Governor Hochul’s efforts to continue to embrace innovative ways to combat climate change while ensuring that New York State’s farms are competitive, profitable and… remain successful.”
Michelle Hinchey, Chairwoman of the New York State Senate for Agriculture, said: “New York farmers are on the front lines of climate change and have a legacy of cultivating good agricultural practices that improve soil health and protect our air and water. The Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program is an important resource that enables farmers to scale up these responsible farming efforts while improving their resilience to the effects of extreme weather conditions. I’m proud to support this important funding for farms across New York State, including Ulster and Montgomery County SWCD in my district, and will continue to provide funds to help more farmers strengthen our fight against the climate crisis.”
Assembly Member Donna Lupardo, Chair of the Agriculture Committee, said: “The farming community stands ready to do its part to address the climate crisis they know all too well. The Climate Resilient Agriculture Program provides farmers with the support they need to better protect our soil and water resources. I want to thank the governor for her strong support of the program and the Soil and Water Conservation Districts who will be working closely with these New York farms.”
New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher said: “Farmers in New York take environmental management seriously as we continually look for new ways to improve what we do on the farm to protect our natural resources. Agriculture is part of the solution to mitigating climate change and the potential impact on our country. Plants and animals. The New York Farm Bureau thanks the Governor for her continued commitment to the Climate Resilient Farming Grant programs and the support of our valuable soil and water conservation districts working with farmers to implement sustainability projects.”
Dale Stein, Chair of the District of Soil and Water Conservation in New York State said: “The New York farmers who work with our soil and water districts have long been leaders in environmental stewardship. The state’s grants for climate-resilient agriculture have helped them expand their efforts to reduce their environmental impact and protect against extreme weather events. The next round of the program builds on that success and is a tremendous support for farmers to continue their work.”
New York State’s nationally leading climate plan
New York State’s state-leading climate agenda is the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues to foster a green economy as New York State recovers from COVID-19 Pandemic. New York, enshrined in law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, is on track to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emissions electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York’s unprecedented investments to increase clean energy, including over $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable energy and transmission projects statewide, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, 1.8 $1 billion in solar expansion; more than $1 billion in clean energy transportation initiatives; and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Together, these investments support nearly 158,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2020, 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011, and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on these advances and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels, while ensuring that at least 35 percent, with a target of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments go to disadvantaged Communities are flowing, and driving progress toward the state’s 2025 energy efficiency goal of reducing on-site energy use by 185 trillion BTUs in end-use energy savings.