The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York Farm Bureau (NYFB) and New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) joined together at Turning Point Farm in Saratoga Springs December 14 to announce the establishment of a fund to help New York farmers enhance safety on the farm.

“We’re excited to integrate this program into the portfolio of health and safety services we offer to the agricultural community,” said NYCAMH’s Director, Julie Sorensen. The John May Safety Fund fills a gap in services to small farms, where slim profit margins often make it difficult to do more than what is needed to keep the farm running every day”.

The Safety Fund set up by NYCAMH honors the organization’s co-founder and long-time director Dr. John May and will assist New York farmers who need financial help improving safety on their farms. As the first program of its kind in New York State, this cost sharing program will allow farmers to make lifesaving safety upgrades.

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “With the continued growth of the agricultural industry and our efforts to encourage the next generation of farmers, it’s even more important than ever that we support farm safety programs like the John May Safety Fund.  It is our hope that this grant fund administered by NYCAMH will bring attention to the importance of much needed safety projects and upgrades, and we encourage the agricultural community to take advantage of these newly available resources.”

The new program announced by NYCAMH will become available beginning in January of 2016 to the state’s farmers who meet the application guidelines. The program will be geared towards smaller farms of all commodities. Applications to the program may be submitted at any time and may be obtained online, by calling NYCAMH at (800) 343-7527 or emailing info@nycamh.org. The number of awards and the award amount will be determined by NYCAMH on a first-come, first-served basis.

“NYCAMH provides an essential service for farms across New York. The efforts to improve safety and working conditions for both farmers and their employees has, no doubt, saved lives and reduced the number of injuries. New York Farm Bureau is a strong supporter of NYCAMH’s work and is hopeful our members will take advantage of the new grant program to make farms in this state even better places to work,” said Steve Ammerman, New York Farm Bureau Manager of Public Affairs.