Business & Financial Resources

Webinar: How to Write a Successful Grant for Your Farm Business

September 13, 2023 – 10:00am-11:00am, Online via Zoom

Price: Free

Looking for grants for your ag business? Attend this webinar to learn tips and tricks for writing a successful grant application from a successful grant writer and grant reviewer. The session will cover identifying a good project for grant funding, determining if a specific grant actually makes sense for your business, steps you should take to be ready to apply for grants, what makes a project a likely winner and how to write a grant application like a pro.

This FREE program will take place September 13, 2023 at 10:00am and is hosted by the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. Register for this event here

This program is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the Mid-Hudson SBDC (845) 443-8058 to make arrangements. Services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

About the presenter: Liz Higgins, Extension Specialist Cornell Cooperative Extension, has been a reviewer for over 50 rounds of agricultural grants for USDA, state agencies and private foundations for a variety of programs. She has advised and provided feedback to many ag grant projects for farms and non-profits, and she has also written and received over 20 grants for her own food and agriculture projects. After 25+ years of responding to requests for proposals, managing grants and reviewing grants, she has seen it all!


Webinar Series: Agritourism Monthly Workshops

Monday, September 18, 2023: Agritourism Farm Stay: Camping, Glamping and BnB

Monday, October 16, 2023:Hosting One Day Agritourism Event

Monday, November 20, 2023:Hosting Agritourism Air BnB Experience

Monday, December 18, 2023:U-Pick Agritourism Operations-In's and Out's

Price: Free

Are you thinking of starting an agritourism business or are you currently operating one? Join this monthly lunch-hour, workshop virtual series and learn how to grow your agritourism business! All workshops will be recorded and links shared. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Sponsored by the Cornell Cooperative Extension Agritourism Program Work Team.

Pre-registration Required: Register for the Zoom Webinar here.


Webinar Series: SEEC Digital Marketing Learning Series

Check Out What's Next in the Series!

- Intro to E-Commerce | September 20, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

- Email Marketing | October 4, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

- Drive Website Traffic with SEO | November 8, 4:30 – 5:30 pm

Click here for more information.


Survey: Minority and Women-Owned Food Businesses in New York State

Supporting and empowering minority and women-owned businesses is crucial for fostering diversity and growth within institutional markets. In this effort, Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest New York team has launched a survey aimed at understanding the landscape of minority and women-owned food businesses in New York State. This survey was developed to inform a larger project that is in collaboration with the NY Food Hub Collaborative project.

One of this project's goals is to identify the potential for small, mid-size, and socially disadvantaged producers to be competitive in state agency and institutional contracts. The minority and women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) certification program was created to provide opportunities for women and minorities who wish to participate in state contracts and procurement activities. Your valuable insights will help identify key barriers and potential solutions for improving the MWBE certification process and increasing access to markets.

Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. Honest feedback is appreciated. The survey can be completed here and will be open until Saturday, September 30, 2023.


Reduce Your Farm Energy Bills

Take Advantage of the Agricultural Energy Audit Program This Winter

The Agricultural Energy Audit Program (AEAP) has been implemented by The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority since 2016. Eligible farms and on-farm producers, including but not limited to: dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg qualify to participate. NYSERDA will assign a Flexible Technical (FlexTech) Program Consultant to perform the energy audit for eligible farms and then all energy audits are reviewed for technical soundness and program compliance by a company called Ensave. Presently there are approximately 750 dairies in the AEAP that have received an energy audit.

The AEAP provides farms and on-farm producers with no-cost energy audits, including recommendations to improve energy efficiency. The program also helps participants access funding support to implement energy efficiency measures. This first-come, first-served program is open through September 2025 or until program funds expire.

New York farms can choose from two audits based on their needs:

  • Level Comprehensive: This energy audit is focused on a specific complex energy system or renewable energy production. This report is ideal for operations with a complex system to be analyzed beyond standard energy efficiency upgrades or if the farm is interested in pursuing renewable energy. The energy audit report with calculated evaluations of appropriate energy efficiency measures including simple payback; meets ANSI/ASABE S612 standards.
  • Level Targeted: This energy audit focused on specific systems, energy efficiency measures, or renewable energy.

Once an audit report is complete, EnSave assists the farm with selecting the most appropriate measures to implement and accessing funding, including programs through electric and gas utilities and the federal government.

Here is a link to the program on the NYSERDA website: which provides an overview of the program.

Ensave is also promoting the Energy Best Practices Guides for Dairy and Greenhouses:

How to Apply

There are two options for how to apply for an energy audit or a greenhouse benchmarking report:

  1. Complete the online Agriculture Energy Audit application - this is a web document and can be done within a web browser.
  2. Download a document version of the Agricultural Energy Audit application [PDF] and submit it either:
    1. Via email to
    2. or print and mail the application document to:
      Attn: Agriculture Energy Audit Program Administrator
      17 Columbia Circle Albany, NY 12203-6399


NYS Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program

The NYS Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program is offered to encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming in NYS. This Program provides loan forgiveness awards to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved NYS college or university and agree to operate a farm in NYS, on a full-time basis, for five years.

More Information


Help Shape the Future of Schoharie County Agriculture

Schoharie County Office of Agricultural Development announces 2023 Survey of Agriculture

The Schoharie County Office of Agricultural Development will be conducting a survey of all the farms in Schoharie County beginning on the 6th of January. Anyone engaged in agriculture with sales of $1,000 or more is strongly encouraged to participate. The survey will be available online, though paper copies will be available at the County Clerk’s office and several other locations across the county.

It has been the better part of a decade since the last survey was completed and it is time for an update. The primary goal of the survey is to create a better record of the diverse types of agricultural operations in the county. The survey will also gauge producer’s thoughts on agricultural issues facing the county. As agencies in the county work to encourage agricultural development, the information gathered from this survey will be invaluable. It is key that connections can be made between the agricultural operations of the county and those programs, incentives, and events that are being offered. This survey is an essential step in doing just that.

Postcards with the web address and locations where paper copies will be available, will be mailed out the first week of January. The survey will go live January 6th. The Office of Agricultural Development thanks you in advance for your participation.

Any questions, comments, or concerns can be addressed to Nick Kossmann, the County’s Development Specialist for Agricultural Business at 518-295-8785 or emailed to

Take the Survey


Professional and Continuing Education: Workshops, Certificates, and Certifications from SUNY Cobleskill

Offerings include Meat Processing and Food Safety, Wine Making, Fiber Sorting, Classing, and Grading, Beekeeper Training, Artificial Insemination for Cattle, Sausage Making, and more. undefined

Apply for the Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program

Grants of up to $50,000 are now available for eligible small businesses, including agribusinesses, that have revenues of up to $2.5 million and are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. Empire State Development and Lendistry, the minority-led Community Development Financial Institution that was selected to administer the COVID-19 Pandemic Small Business Recovery Grant Program, are currently accepting and reviewing applications on a rolling basis. There is no deadline at this time.

For additional information regarding the various resources available to support businesses seeking pandemic relief, ESD has created a webpage, The webpage is continuously updated as more details and funding information becomes available. undefined

Is your farm business paying more for its electric delivery service than it needs to?

The Residential Agricultural Discount Program is an electricity rate discount available to farm businesses which have a residence connected to the same electric meter as the farm business.

New applications, and yearly renewals if you already participate in the program, need to be submitted by JULY 1 st. If you have a residence on the same electric meter as your farm business and you file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a farm business with either an:

  • IRS - Schedule F (Form 1040) or,
  • IRS Form 1120, 1120S, or 1065,

you can apply for this Discount, even if you generate your own electricity. Applications are available on your utility company website, along with eligibility criteria and other information. Or you can contact your utility company directly.

National Grid website

NYSEG website

The Residential Agricultural Discount Program is funded through the New York Power Authority - ReCharge New York program.

Contact your service provider if you have questions.    undefined

Drive-Thru Pantry Schedule – Mass Food Distribution Dates & Sites

See the full schedule, including many more locations throughout northeastern New York.

Last updated September 11, 2023