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Project Will Encourage Private Investment Into City of Geneva & Allow Innovative Food-Related Businesses To Expand Production & Employment

Senators Say New “Tech Farm 2” Ag-Biz Incubator Building Will Accommodate Up To Three Biz Tenants, Creating New Jobs & Leveraging ~$150K In Private Investments 

Schumer, Gillibrand: Federal Funding Will Help To Build Up Ontario County

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $1,471,400 in federal funding for the Cornell Agricultural & Food Technology Park (the “Tech Farm”), allocated by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) to construct “Tech Farm 2”.  Specifically the funding will be used to expand the existing Tech Farm business incubator building by constructing a new 20,000 square foot adjacent building that will have the capacity to accommodate up to three additional tenants in the City of Geneva, Ontario County. The EDA is providing $1,471,400 out of the expected $2,102,000 project cost. The City of Geneva and state of New York will be providing the local matching funds.

“This funding will supercharge the Tech Farm in the Cornell Agricultural & Food Technology Park, which will support start-up food processing and agricultural-based businesses to take root, create jobs and grow in the Finger lakes area. With the Tech Farm 2 building even more budding businesses can move into the Tech Farm’s state-of-the-art facilities, access Cornell’s over 150 years of agricultural innovation and research, and take their  newly developed products from the laboratory into commercial production to sell to the world,” said Senator Schumer. “With today’s funding, the Tech Farm will expand their reach into Ontario County, bringing good-paying jobs to the City of Geneva and boosting the entire Finger Lakes regional economy. I’m proud to deliver this funding that will help food-related businesses grow and thrive here in New York.” 

“Cornell University’s Tech Farm is home base to countless agricultural businesses and has significantly contributed to the City of Geneva and the Finger Lakes regional economies,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This EDA funding for Tech Farm 2 will build on the success of the first campus and serve as a source of innovation for new businesses and local jobs. Continuing New York State’s great legacy as leaders in agricultural developments depends on investments like this in up-and-coming businesses and researchers who will contribute to our academic institutions, private industry, and government entities.”

Michael Manikowski, Chair of the Tech Farm Board said, “As the Chair of the Tech Farm Board and on behalf of the full board we are excited to learn of the EDA approval of grant funding for Tech Farm 2. This second building will provide a home for new ag food and beverage processing businesses in Ontario Country and the entire Finger Lakes Region   We want to thank Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Governor Cuomo for their steadfast support for this project.”

The senators said the project will include the construction of manufacturing and ancillary spaces, including loading and logistics areas, office space, and parking. Once completed, the project will help create manufacturing jobs in the food processing industry, attract private investment, and strengthen the regional economy. Schumer and Gillibrand said approximately 10 jobs will be created, and $150 thousand in private investment is expected.

The 72-acre Cornell Agricultural & Food Technology Park (the “Park”) was created in Geneva, NY in the early 2000’s with the goal of fostering the creation of innovative technologies related to agriculture, bio-based industries and food and houses the existing 20,000 square foot Tech Farm business and technology incubator. The existing Tech Farm facilities allow tenants in the incubator building to take newly developed products from the laboratory into a commercial production environment. The $1.471 million in federal funding that the senators announced today will fund “Tech Farm 2” which is the construction of a new 20,000 building on five acres of land adjacent to the existing Tech Farm building which will provide processing and manufacturing space for up to three new business tenants. 

Senator’s Schumer’s letter of support for the project, sent to the EDA in September 2020, appears below:

Dear Secretary Ross:

I am pleased to write in support of the application submitted by the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park Corporation (the “Tech Farm”) to the Department of Commerce, Economic Development Agency (EDA). 

The Tech Farm, working in conjunction with Cornell AgriTech (formerly known as the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station) provides crucial support for innovations in technology related to agriculture, bio-based industries, and food production and processing. Agriculture and food production are critical to the economy of the Finger Lakes Region of New York and this Project will enable innovative food-related businesses to expand their production and employment while retaining the support of the Tech Farm and Cornell AgriTech. 

I applaud the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park Corporation for their foresight, and sincerely hope the application meets with your approval.

Thank you for your consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Grants Coordinator in my Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.