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Funding Will Develop New Degree Program In Food Systems & Technology

Schumer & Gillibrand: Agriculture Retail Facility Project Will Train Students To Bring Locally-Grown Products To Market

U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced today $64,105 in federal funding to the Research Foundation of SUNY Cobleskill. The funding was allocated through the Appalachian Regional Commission and will fund the development of the Agriculture Retail Facility Project to assist crop producers and establish a local food retail outlet on the SUNY-Cobleskill campus. This funding will be matched by SUNY-Cobleskill.                                          

The funding will support the creation of an undergraduate program in Food Systems and Technology where students will partner with local farmers and businesses as they learn how to successfully produce and sell market value-added products. The ARC grant will be applied to hiring start-up staff, the rental of retail space, and supply costs for equipment.

“SUNY Cobleskill has been at the forefront of agricultural research, aimed at developing innovative production methods for our farmers in the Capital Region and across Upstate New York. This federal funding will now allow it to establish a food retail outlet on campus, which will enable SUNY Cobleskill to train the next generation of agricultural workers and provide them the necessary skills and training to contribute to, and continuously transform, this thriving industry,” said Senator Schumer.  

“I’ve seen SUNY-Cobleskill’s impressive facilities up-close and know how important its agricultural education programs are to strengthening our state’s industry,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This program will allow students to have hands-on experience and opportunities for critical thinking as they apply their knowledge of agriculture to the broader marketplace around New York.”

“This is an exciting step forward towards completion of our retail center, which will showcase products grown, raised or produced right here on campus, and in cooperation with local farms and businesses,” said Dr. Marion Terenzio SUNY Cobleskill President.

Currently, SUNY-Cobleskill provides a number of agricultural programs which includes a working farm, 14 greenhouses, a 10-acre arboretum, a 40,000 gallon fish hatchery, a 200-cow contemporary freestall dairy, a USDA-inspected meat laboratory and a fully equipped agriculture engineering technology facility.

The Appalachian Regional Commission is a regional economic development agency that helps grow local economies by improving water and sewer systems, increasing school readiness, expanding access to health care, investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, assisting local communities with strategic planning, and providing technical and managerial assistance to emerging businesses. ARC grants are awarded to local governments, agencies, non-profits and schools, in order to be used for economic development initiatives.

The full text of Senator Gillibrand’s letter to ARC Federal Co-Chair, Earl F. Gohl included here.