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Funding for beginning farmer initiative announced

Nov 04, 2015 6:14 am
U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced Tue., Nov. 3, nearly $700,000 in federal funding for the Hawthorne Valley Association. According to a joint statement issued by the senators, the funding will be used to "create a training pipeline for farmers with less than eight years experience as a means to either start their own farms or to scale up existing operations." The project is called "Filling in the Gaps." It will provide training for farmers based on experience, and will include aspiring farmers from "socially disadvantaged and veteran communities." The funding is allocated through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "We are thrilled to have the USDA's support to enable us to offer our farmer training to underserved populations in the Hudson Valley...," said Martin Ping, executive director of the association. Ping is also a member of Gillibrand's Agricultural Advisory Committee. Researchers from Grow NYC, the Bard Prison Initiative Re-entry Program, Soul Fire Farm and the Black Urban Growers will collaborate on the project.