Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, New York will offer $14.7 million in funding for farmers and food businesses to strengthen the infrastructure of the food supply chain, according to Gov. Kathy Hochul's office.

“The Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Program provides critical funding to support our food supply chain by investing in projects that modernize agricultural facilities, improve training and facilitate the purchase of new equipment,” Hochul said in a statement. 

Farmers and food businesses that receive funding should focus on increasing the amount of food products from New York available in their markets. Excluding meat and poultry, the projects can expand capacity for aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transporting, wholesaling or distribution of local products.

“The projects funded through this program will create new opportunities for the region’s small and midsize producers to thrive, expand access to nutritious food options and increase supply chain resiliency,” said Jenny Lester Moffitt, USDA marketing and regulatory under secretary.  

The Farm and Food Growth Fund will work with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets to administer the funds. Additionally, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust will provide technical assistance to producers.  

To offer insight on the market for producers, Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension will assess growth areas and analyze institutional purchasing.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball has pushed for supply chain improvements since the COVID-19 pandemic threatened its stability.  

“With this RFSI funding, we have an opportunity to make a real impact on the resilience of New York State’s food system – modernizing and supporting the construction of agricultural facilities, improving training, supporting the purchase of new equipment and so much more,” Ball said in a press release.  

In his 2024 state of agriculture address, Ball highlighted manufacturing and food processing as an area where the industry needs more support.  

Applicants can apply for an infrastructure grant ranging from $100,000 to $3 million, or an equipment-only grant between $10,000 and $100,000.

“I look forward to awarding the funds to businesses and organizations operating at the middle of the supply chain who connect the state’s farmers to consumers,” Ball said.