Four area counties are receiving a share of $13.8 million in funding to help more than 200 farms across New York implement enhanced soil and water conservation practices, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday.
The competitive grants were awarded to 32 county soil and water conservation districts, and provided by the State Soil and Water Conservation Committee and the State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Delaware County got the largest funding in the area, with $543,492. Chenango County will receive $515,050, Schoharie $369,219.70, and Otsego $161,678.98.
“By enhancing conservation methods, we are ensuring the continued economic success of our farms as well as the protection of our natural resources,” Cuomo said in a media release. These grants will not only have an immediate effect on our agricultural sector but will also make New York a cleaner, greener, more-sustainable state for future generations.”
The grants will provide funding to county soil and water conservation districts to address water-quality challenges facing farms in priority watersheds throughout the state, according to the release. Conservation districts have developed plans tailored to a farm’s goals and watershed needs, and will now work with farmers to implement conservation best-management practices such as nutrient management systems, barnyard runoff management, pasture management and soil-health management.
“The relationship between county soil and water conservation districts and farms spans generations,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball in the release. “I’ve relied on them for my own operations and thousands of other farmers have as well. This state funding will help facilitate the highly important partnerships between farmers and their districts now and in the future.”