NORWICH – The Chenango County Agriculture Development Council (ADC) is once again disbursing a series of micro grants aimed at helping small agricultural businesses throughout the area continue to thrive.
This year, the council is administering a series of small grants that range between $200 and $400, which will be awarded to agricultural producers, farm, or farmers markets countywide, with the intent of helping ag businesses advance or market their products. Interested applicants should submit a proposal by June 7.
Eligible uses of funds include supplies, equipment, marketing materials, and other costs associated with implementing a specific project and goals. Ineligible uses include wages, benefits, utilities, rent, and other day to day operating costs of a business or organization.
The ADC is also encouraging proposals that include innovative approaches to the agriculture industry such as new crops, new methods of cultivation, new value added products, new methods of marketing agricultural products, or projects that promote agricultural tourism. In the past, other grant money has been used to compensate the financial losses of farmers who attend farmer’s markets.
ADC committed approximately $2,500 in funding for this year’s round of micro grants, with $1,000 earmarked for increasing producer participation at farmers markets in Chenango County. According to Council Financial Director Jennifer Tavares, the council already allocated a great deal of that funding and $850 still remains for eligible businesses.
“We would really like to help markets grow ... One of the best things we do with small bits of money is give it out to small farmers,” she said. “It can really make a big difference, expecially for businesses on a tight budget.”..