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$4 million awarded to NYS farmers to address impacts of climate change

$4 million is being awarded to 80 New York farms to reduce their environmental footprints and to "prepare for extreme weather events resulting from climate change."

ALBANY, N.Y. — With the help of New York State, 80 farms across New York are working to address the impacts of climate change.

Through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant program, $4 million is being awarded to 80 New York farms to reduce their environmental footprints and to "prepare for extreme weather events resulting from climate change."

According to Governor Andrew Cuomo's office, the projects selected will reduce greenhouse gases by roughly 90,000 metric tons of CO2 per year. The governor's office says this equates to eliminating nearly 20,000 cars from the road.

"Extreme weather caused by climate change is becoming the new normal, and the results can be devastating to New York's farmers and the entire agriculture industry," said Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

"Farmers need the resources to adapt to this new normal while continuing to make a living, and the Climate Resilient Farming Program is an important piece of that puzzle. This funding will help our farmers continue to care for their land, implement measures to reduce their carbon footprints and protect crops and livestock from extreme weather damage, while furthering our strongest-in-the-nation program to combat climate change."

The governor's office reports that the state has provided $12 million to assist farmers across New York State, through five rounds of funding. The fifth round projects across the state will focus on "best management practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance soil health and promote energy savings."

According to the state, these projects also aim to take a close look at water management, from alleviating the effects that daught causes on crops and livestock, to the effects of heavy rainfall and flooding. It also aims to increase irrigation capacity.

Locally, the Erie County Soil and Water Conservation District was awarded $83,826 to assist two farms. 

"Agriculture is on the frontlines of the climate crisis, and our New York farming community needs to be a big part of the solution to mitigating its adverse effects," said NYS Senate Agriculture Chair Michelle Hinchey. "Our farmers work hard every day to keep our water clean and our soil healthy, and we must provide them with the tools to continue this vital work. Thanks to this funding through the Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program, more farmers can access the assistance they need to bolster their environmental stewardship efforts and improve their readiness to extreme weather events."

For more information about the project descriptions, click here.