No Southern Tier farms are on the list of agriculture sites getting New York State Farmland Protection Implementation Grants but Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo of Endwell is praising expansion of the program.

Fellow Democrat, Governor Kathy Hochul announced more than $38-million would be awarded to 40 projects to protect over 11,000 acres of farmland.  During the announcement, the governor also announced the expansion of the Farmland Protection program to include agroforestry, equine and wine sectors.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News

In all, 11,772 acres of farmland across the state are to be protected and would serve to “ensure the long-term viability of New York’s farming operations.”

Many farmers are facing even more economic challenges in keeping family operations going with complications from supply chain delays, staffing and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Some farms are being sold off or leased in parcels to other interests including alternate energy developers of wind and solar farms instead of being placed in crops.

Hochul says, “We must continue to protect New York’s precious farmland so our agricultural footprint can grow and so our producers can thrive for generations to come." 

Several districts from Long Island to the North Country were targeted for funding in the announcement on July 18. The Southern Tier was not among them.

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In Central New York, $2,862,204 is earmarked for 962 acres.  New York Agricultural Land Trust in Onondaga County is getting over $764,000 to protect 288 acres on Marshfield Farms in Onondaga County, and $1.3-million is designated to protect 477 acres on Pearce Farm in Cayuga County while the Genesee Land Trust is getting over $779,000 to protect 197 acres on Woodworth Farm in Cayuga County.

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