Sandy Creeks Watersheds Cow Care and Comfort Grant Program
The Sandy Creeks Watersheds Cow Care and Comfort Grant Program is an initiative of the Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corporation (JCADC), in partnership with the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County. Funding and support of the program are provided by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets.
This program provides cost share funds for dairy farms in the Sandy Creek and South Sandy Creek watersheds in southern Jefferson County to implement cow care and comfort projects. Farms in these watersheds are eligible to apply for up to $2,000 in cost share funds to implement practices that satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
1. Project improves the care and comfort of dairy livestock, reducing health concerns for farm animals.
2. Practices implemented improve the production of milk measured on a per cow basis.
3. Quality of milk is improved through the implementation of practices measured through common milk testing procedures.
The funds are limited and awards will be made on a competitive basis until exhausted. A total of $28,000 is available for projects, equaling funding for 14 farms at the $2,000 maximum per farm. Funding is available on a 50/50 cost share basis. The program will match $1 for every $1 spent by the farm until the maximum of $2,000 is attained; the farm is then responsible for paying the remainder of the costs. Grant funds will be paid on a reimbursement basis. Copies of invoices for the project must be submitted to JCADC in order to receive reimbursement.
Examples of farm projects include, but are not limited to:
1. Installation of improved ventilation systems.
2. Improved lighting in cow bedding areas
3. Improvements to watering systems
4. Changes to cow bedding materials
5. Construction of larger stall spaces
Again, those are examples. Any project that will achieve a measurable improvement in at least one of the criteria above will be considered for funding.
Farms interested in applying for cost share funding through this program should complete the program application and provide a detailed project budget. Project applications will be judged on:
1. Potential for measurable improvements to dairy livestock health
2. Potential measurable improvements to milk production per cow
3. Potential measurable improvements to milk quality (somatic cell count, etc.)
Projects that are able to show potential improvements in all three criteria will score higher than if for one category. A panel of farmers from outside the watershed and agency representatives will review and judge the applications. A farm visit will be made to the farm prior to the application being scored. Farm visits will be made during the implementation of the project and upon completion.
All projects must be completed by September 1, 2012.
Costs for the project will be reimbursed on a dollar for dollar basis until the maximum of $2,000 in cost share funds is reached. Farms will be reimbursed only when the Jefferson County Agricultural Development Corporation (JCADC) receives all necessary documentation from the farm and receives funds from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Projects awarded funding will agree to provide the same data as provided on the application on a form to be completed 6 months after project completion. This data will be kept confidential as it pertains to an individual farm but may be used in combination with data on other farms to share the overall results of the project.
Applications will be judged by the following criteria:
1. Application demonstrates how project improves the care and comfort of dairy livestock, reducing health concerns for farm animals.
2. Project will realistically improve the production of milk measured on a per cow basis as indicated in application.
3. A realistic expectation of milk quality improvement is provided through the implementation of practices measured through common milk testing procedures.
4. Farm demonstrates they will provide a greater contribution than 50/50 cost share. Total project cost is $7,000 - farm contribution is $5,000, grant contribution is $2,000 may judge better than a project where farm is contributing the required $2,000 to match the grant $2,000.
5. The physical location of the project must be within the borders of the watersheds for Sandy Creek and South Sandy Creeks as determined by using GPS location coordinates and overlaying them on the GPS map contained at the offices of NYS Tug Hill Commission, if necessary.
6. Application demonstrates that the project can be realistically completed and reimbursement requests submitted by September 1, 2012.
Applications will be accepted immediately and we will begin judging them after November 19.
If there are any questions please call Jay Matteson at (315) 782-1806