The mission of the New York Farm Viability Institute is to help farmers in New York State become more profitable and improve the long-term economic viability and sustainability of the state’s farms, food system, and the communities they serve.
To that end, NYFVI has issued a request for proposals aimed at creating knowledge that will quickly and directly benefit farmers through work in one of the organization’s five priority areas: improve operational practices; foster industry-wide innovation; incubate new ideas; improve route to market and market practices; and develop people.
1) Improve Operational Practices: Projects should be focused on helping as many farmers as possible refine existing production practices or learn how to implement a new process to improve their profitability. Some projects will use outreach and education to drive changes, others may use applied research to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed change. In any case, the risks should be fairly low and the project should deliver farm-level impacts in less than two years.
2) Foster Industry-Wide Innovation: Projects should be focused on learning how New York farmers can best adopt new production practices. The risks involved should be moderate, and mainstream adoption of the practice should be likely two to five years from demonstrated success.
3) Incubate New Ideas: Whether they succeed or not, projects have the potential to significantly alter the industry. The projects are likely to be high risk and, if successful, may take five or more years to reach mainstream adoption.
4) Improve Route to Market and Marketing Practices: Projects should be focused on building market share via increased route-to-market opportunities and boosting profits by improving marketing expertise. The risk level for these projects should be moderate, and they should deliver a return on investment in the first two years.
5) Develop People: Projects in this area should strive to develop better managers and management practices, strengthen business plans, and ultimately generate better bottom lines for all involved. Projects should deliver an impact in less than two years.
Priority will be given to projects related to developing or making better use of technology and/or understanding of soil health as it relates to the project.
In 2019, NYFVI will award six two-year grants of up to $125,000.
Eligible applicants include farmer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses. Applicants may represent nonprofit or for-profit sectors. NYFVI encourages individuals with ideas to partner with existing organizations to ensure project viability and execution.
All projects must be completed within two years, involve farmers in New York State, and benefit agriculture in the state.
See the New York Farm Viability Institute website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.