Today Senator Charles Schumer, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Bill Owens announced a combined $184,750 in USDA grant funding that has been awarded to two Jefferson County development organizations as part of the agency’s Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program.

“This federal funding through the USDA will allow two small Jefferson County businesses to expand the distribution of their products, develop innovative farming techniques, and create good-paying local jobs. This funding is a wise investment in North Country agriculture and in the Jefferson County economy,” said Senator Schumer.

“This is great news for Jefferson County,” said Senator Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We need our local businesses to thrive if we’re going to have a strong and growing economy in New York. This investment will help these two businesses purchase critical equipment needed to bring their products to market and continue to drive economic growth in the North Country.”

“This funding supports two promising local companies with a vision for growth, creating good jobs and helping to grow the Jefferson County economy,” said Congressman Owens. “I applaud our local development leaders and the USDA for providing the support needed to help these companies grow and prosper right here in the district.”

The Clayton Local Development Corporation will receive $85,000 in Rural Development funds to support the purchase of bottling equipment that will be leased to Wood Boat Brewery, LLC to help the company launch distribution of their products throughout the region. This project is expected to create 13 new jobs.

“This is great news for Wood Boat Brewery and for our region,” said Kristi Dippel, Director of the Clayton Local Development Corporation. “We’re talking about a local brewery that has had a lot of success in its first year and has already become major attraction for visitors to our area. This grant gives them a way to reach a whole new clientele through distribution and adds to the momentum of a growing agro-tourism industry that is already taking off here.”

Development Authority of the North Country will receive $99,750 in Rural Development funds to assist Agbiotic, Inc. in developing and testing prototype equipment for various applications and utilization. The project was launched by several Clarkson University graduates that have developed a robotic alternative to the extensive use of fertilizers and chemicals. This project is expected to create three new jobs and support the retention of three existing jobs.

“We are pleased that Agbiotic will get the funding it needs to move forward with this project,” said James W. Wright, Chief Executive Officer at Development Authority of the North Country. “This is a project at the cutting edge of agricultural technology that helps us position our historically agriculture-based economy for the future. Supporting this kind of innovation ensures that local farmers will have the tools to respond to changing agricultural trends including the shift to more local crops and the healthier production of those crops through organic growing methods. We appreciate the USDA and our representatives in Congress for their support.”

According to USDA, the RBEG program supports rural projects that finance or otherwise promote the development of small rural businesses as well as distance learning initiatives and adult education programs.


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