$16 million awarded to farms across New York State to fight climate change

Organizations in Tioga, Tompkins, Cortland, and Stueben Counties are among recipients
Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 5:34 PM EST
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ALBANY, NY (WBNG) -- On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul announced nearly $16 million in funding for farms across the state to address the impacts of climate change. This funding includes $1.8 million for farms in the Southern Tier.

The funding is a part of round seven of the New York State Department of Agriculture’s Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program.

Commissioner of the NYS Agriculture Department Richard Ball said extreme weather events like droughts and floods have become more common in recent years and funding from the grant program can address a variety of projects.

“Sometimes it’s surface water dealing with flooding issues, sometimes it’s dealing with manure storages, sometimes it’s cover crops but in all cases, it’s something that will help farms manage extremes in weather going forward,” said Ball.

The funding is given to Soil and Water Conservation Departments in specific counties to directly work on projects with farms in their area.

The Tioga County Soil & Water Conservation Department was awarded over $60,000 that will be going towards funding 250 acres of cover crops each year for three years.

The county’s project also looks to provide education and outreach on the practice of cover crops and other aspects of soil health.

“We definitely want to encourage more adoption of the practice so we want to work with farms directly to have them understand the benefits of the practice, why we’re doing it, why we’re incentivizing it but we also want the general public to understand what steps farms are taking to be more resilient in our changing climate,” said District Manager of The Tioga County Soil & Water Conservation Department Wendy Walsh.

Other soil and water conservation districts in the area to receive funding include Tompkins, Cortland and Steuben counties.