The Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program recently awarded $39,500 to 14 organizations to promote Northeast agriculture, support young and beginning farmer initiatives, and encourage agricultural youth programs.
The program is a joint effort of Farm Credit East, Yankee Farm Credit and CoBank. Since its inception in 1996, Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement has awarded more than $1.5 million through 567 grants.
Recent grant recipients
The most recent grants highlight Farm Credit's ongoing partnership with organizations that make a significant difference in the lives of people involved in all aspects of agriculture.
- The New York Animal Agriculture Coalition will use its $8,000 grant to enhance the Dairy Cow Birthing Center, which debuted at the 2013 New York State Fair, by increasing seating capacity, utilizing more audiovisual and internet technologies and distributing handouts and prizes, therefore attracting more visitors and creating a greater understanding of the dairy industry.
- A $7,500 grant was awarded to the Cornell Dairy Fellows Program to support Cornell Dairy Fellows, a comprehensive undergraduate program for students considering careers in the dairy industry.
- The New York Farm Bureau was awarded a $5,000 grant to support young farmers' attendance at the American Farm Bureau's Northeast Leadership Conference in March. At this conference, young farmers learn how to represent agriculture's view to legislators and the general public, and through social media.
- A $5,000 grant to the University of Massachusetts will be put toward the Winter Traveling Dairy Tour, an annual weeklong tour of dairy farms and related businesses offered to animal science students at New England land-grant Universities.
- New York State Flower Industries will use its $2,000 grant to produce short videos on business-related topics to educate small agriculture businesses, greenhouses and garden center businesses.
- A $2,000 grant to the Vermont Holstein Association will support the Northeast Show Calf Summit, which brings together youth from New England and New York to educate them on calf selection, nutrition, care and showmanship.
- A $1,500 grant to Maine Worker Owned Rural Cooperatives will help create a pilot Worker Orientation and Training program for a workforce of short-term "day laborers" for Maine farms.
- A $1,500 grant to Massachusetts Agriculture in the Classroom will be used to support a variety of agricultural education seminars that assist teachers and other educators in making the connection from the farm to the classroom through agricultural activities.
- A $1,500 grant was awarded to the New Jersey Junior Breeders Fund to support the annual Junior Breeder & Young Farmer Livestock Symposium focusing on 4-H and FFA members involved in agriculture. This is a hands-on day of learning, encouraging youth to stay involved in agriculture.
- The New York Holstein Association will put its $1,500 grant toward the New York Holstein Association's judging contest held during the New York Spring Dairy Carousel. This program provides young adults the opportunity to organize and run an event, which helps to develop organization, time management and delegation skills.
- A $1,000 grant to the Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts will support in-person networking events across Massachusetts, strengthening partnerships among farmers, agricultural service providers and community organizations.
- The Horse Park of New Jersey will use its $1,000 grant to support a two-day expo to promote agriculture to children and young adults during the Jersey Fresh International Event being held in May.
- The New York Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education was awarded a $1,000 grant to create and distribute an agricultural place mat printed with ag facts, information and interactive activities. The purpose of the place mat is to inform and educate young students and to increase the public's awareness and understanding of agriculture.
- A $1,000 grant to the University of New Hampshire will sponsor the second annual New Hampshire Farm-to-School conference, which brings farmers and fishermen, teachers, school food service directors, nonprofits and others together from around the region to focus on farm-to-school issues like school gardens, composting, fundraising, farming and institutional procurement, economic viability/opportunities for new and beginner farmers, communications and farm-based education and curriculum.
Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program
. Created: 1996
. Total grant dollars since 1996: $1,512,966
. Total projects supported: 567
. Proposal submission dates: April 1, August 1, December 1
. Contact: Robert A. Smith, Farm Credit East, 2668 State Route 7, Suite 21, Cobleskill, NY 12043
. Phone: 518-296-8188
. Send funding proposals to: AgEnhancement@FarmCreditEast.com
. For more information: FarmCreditEast.com/Industry-Support.aspx