The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has received $600,000 in the 2015-16 New York State Budget to support research and technical assistance that enhances the sustainability and profitability of farm businesses in the six northernmost counties of New York State: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chairs Jon Greenwood, Joe Giroux, and Jon Rulfs acknowledged the leadership of New York State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Patty Ritchie, Senator Betty Little, and Senator Joe Griffo as well as New York State Assembly Agriculture Chair Bill Magee, other North Country representatives, and legislators on the Senate and Assembly Agriculture Committees for securing the funding.

The 2012 Census of Agriculture showed growth in Northern New York agricultural industry with total farm product sales valued at more than $750 million, a 12.2 percent in land in farming, and a farm worker payroll that nearly doubled to $67.1 million over 2007 figures.

More than 130 farmers participate as committee members with the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. Research and technical assistance trials are conducted on farms throughout the six-county region.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has 27 research projects underway in 2015 focused on:

-Dairy, livestock and field crop production
-Agricultural environmental stewardship
-Continuing the alfalfa snout beetle control project success with selective breeding of beetle-resistant alfalfa varieties and extension of the beetle control protocol to more NNY farms
-Engaging younger farmers
-Crop and livestock pest and disease mapping and control
-Birch syrup production as a niche opportunity for NNY maple producers
-NNY fruit and vegetable production, including cold-hardy grapes, apples, and juneberry, and
-Exploring the potential for edamame production in NNY.

Featured photo courtesy of Scott Bauer.