October 11-12, 2008

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Ag incubator project receives funding

COXSACKIE – Development of an agricultural incubator in Greene County has taken a giant step forward with the announcement Friday of two grants

State Senator James Seward secured $40,000 in funding and another $25,000 came from the Governor’s Office of Small Cities.

The incubator will include an environmental component linked to bio-fuels and a retail component connecting the ag products to the proposed retail destination park adjacent to Exit 21B of the Thruway.

Greene County Industrial Development Agency Executive Director Sandy Mathes said the incubator approach will be the same as with a business incubator. In this case, publicly owned lands could be put to use for startup agricultural operations.

“Maybe they want to plant five acres of organic strawberries. Now we can provide the land that right now is in the public domain and we want to put it back in active agriculture. So we can make land available, really at no cost,” he said. “We also want to provide a hay bailer or a tractor or whatever other farm equipment or services that are needed on a part-time basis we can provide those to a group of farmers that together can utilize that equipment on a full-time level, but each of them don’t need to spend only what time they need, but not buy the equipment fully.”

“This is targeted, smart investment that will help local agriculture-related businesses and boost our farms and local food production,” said Seward.

Greene County Legislature Chairman Wayne Speenburgh said the concept of an ag-incubator “is highly consistent with goals set forth in the Greene County Agricultural Development and Farmland Protection Plan in 2002.”


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