Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner

Agri-Business Assistance

The Division maintains a small staff of business assistance specialists. These specialists provide various types of guidance and information to agri-businesses interested in locating in New York or existing firms that are looking to expand or diversify their operations. This includes both indirect assistance in the form of advising local development professionals on the needs and opportunities presented by agricultural businesses, as well as direct assistance to businesses through the provision of information on sources of public funding. The agribusiness assistance staff also are available to review business plans or assist in their development and offer regulatory guidance.

Grow New York Enterprise Program

A joint initiative between the Governor's Office for Small Cities, Empire State Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture and Markets, which dedicates $3 million to increasing the demand for and expanding the use of New York's agriculture and forest products. The primary objective of the program is to provide funds to local governments who in turn use the dollars to assist qualifying businesses who undertake activities resulting in the creation or retention of job opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons.

More information on the Grow New York Enterprise Program

Other Funding Opportunities

Marketing Improvement Grants

The Division has been successful in securing USDA Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) matching grants annually to explore expanded market opportunities for New York State food and agricultural products. The Division typically administers these funds and supervises implementation of the project by a private sector or local government cooperator. A project addressing farmer redemption of food stamps in an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) environment is currently in process in NYC. The project is examining the feasibility of using hand held cellular devices to read EBT cards at farmersí markets, which lack phone and electrical service. Due to the positive results shown in this project to date, the Department recently received a $100,000 special USDA grant to expand the pilot project to upstate areas in collaboration with the NYS Office of Temporary Disability Assistance.The Division will seek additional FSMIP grants to fund agricultural development and marketing projects in the coming year.

The Department has a history of partnering with not-for-profit organizations to conduct marketing projects using FSMIP funding. In such cases, the Department applies for the funding and enters into a contract with the third party for completion of their portion of the project. Organizations with innovative marketing projects should contact Jonathon Thomson at to discuss their project and the FSMIP process.

State Receives $100,000 to Expand EBT Tech at Farmers' Markets

Organic Certification Fee Reimbursement Program
New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets administers a certification fee reimbursement program that is funded with federal dollars. Farmers and processors may apply for reimbursement of organic certification fees and receive 75% of the total fee up to a maximum of $750.