New Farmers Grant Fund

Program Purpose

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund was created to provide assistance to beginning farmers who have chosen farming as a career and who materially and substantially participate in the production of an agricultural product on their farm.  Empire State Development, in consultation with the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, is administering the fund.

2016 New Farmers Grant Fund

It is anticipated that the 2016 New Farmers Grant Fund Request for Applications will be issued in October 2016, with applications due in January 2017.  New York State has allocated $1 million in the 2016-17 state budget for the New Farmers Grant Fund to provide grants for up to $50,000 to pay for 50% of eligible project costs.  Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, the purchase of machinery and equipment, supplies, or construction or improvement of physical structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes.

All owners of the farm operation must be in the first ten years of having an ownership interest in any farm operation, and the farm operation must have a minimum of $10,000 in sales of products grown or raised on the farm.   There is no longer a requirement that a farm be 150 acres or less (new for this year).

We encourage all potential applicants to check this website for further announcements and updates.

2015 New Farmers Grant Fund

On June 8, 2016 Governor Cuomo announced nearly $743,000 in New Farmers Grant Fund awards for 25 projects.  The press release can be viewed here.  The 2015 awardees are listed here.

The 2015 Guidelines

The 2015 Application

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

2014 New Farmers Grant Fund

The Governor's press release, issued last year, can be viewed here, and the list of awardees can be found here.

Contact Information

Questions about the grant fund should be sent to Bonnie Devine at