Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $12 million to aid farms in implementing water quality conservation systems that will help make New York’s farms cleaner and safer. This funding is available to County Soil and Water Conservation Districts through the New York State Environmental Protection Fund. Grants will be administered by the state Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Soil and Water Conservation Committee.
“New York’s agricultural industry has been an economic success story
for the past three years and its continued growth depends on keeping our
farms safe and clean,” Governor Cuomo said. “This $12 million will help
local farmers across New York maintain a clean water supply which is
vital to their livelihood. With our support, New York’s farms are going
to continue to expand, creating more jobs and making our state’s home
grown products popular across the country.”
Agricultural Nonpoint Source Pollution is runoff from agricultural
lands that has the potential to enter water bodies. This funding will
help farmers work with County Soil and Water Conservation Districts to
prevent such pollution from occurring by employing soil erosion
prevention methods, planting vegetation along streams to prevent runoff,
adopting nutrient management systems, and planting cover crops after
the annual harvest to protect the soil.
County Soil and Water Conservation Districts can apply for grants
under the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control Program
(AgNPS Program) Request for Proposals (RFP). The AgNPS Program is a
competitive grant program that awards funding to County Soil and Water
Conservation Districts. In turn, these Districts will address water
quality challenges facing farms in priority watersheds throughout the
Conservation Districts utilize the state’s Agricultural Environmental
Management (AEM) framework to help farmers meet these challenges head
on. The AEM framework sets water quality priorities and helps farmers
develop specific plans to qualify for implementation through the AgNPS
Program. Administered through the County Soil and Water Conservation
Districts, AEM helps farms make common sense, cost-effective and
science-based decisions to help meet business objectives while
protecting and conserving the State’s natural resources. Currently, more
than 13,000 farms participate in AEM, which has helped install 5,000
new conservation practices with the assistance of AgNPS Program funds.
Since the program’s inception in 1993, New York State has dedicated more
than $125 million to the AgNPS Program.
George Proios, Chair of the NYS Soil and Water Conservation
Committee, said, "New York's 58 local Soil & Water Conservation
Districts are extremely grateful for the strong support Governor Cuomo
has shown us over the past several years: for signing legislation that
authorizes increased state funding; by providing increased reimbursement
in his state budget to recognize local Districts’ critical work during
two major storm events; and for increases each year to the Environmental
Protection Fund that provide important resources to local farmers for
projects that protect, preserve and enhance our state's natural
resources. In this 20th cycle of funding, the Committee is pleased to be
able to once again provide opportunities to partner local Conservation
Districts with farmers to promote conservation across New York State.”
The Round 20 AgNPS Program RFP for County Soil and Water Conservation
Districts is available on the Department of Agriculture and Markets
website: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/RFPS.html. All appropriate materials must be submitted by the deadline of March 31, 2014 for the application to be considered complete.
For additional details about this program and other natural resource
protection programs, please contact your local County Soil and Water
Conservation District. A complete listing of County Soil and Water
Conservation Districts can be found here: http://www.nys-soilandwater.org/contacts/county_offices.html.
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