Soil and Water Conservation Districts across New York State were charged with the daunting task of evaluating the devastating damages inflicted on New York’s farms by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. Farms in 28 counties were impacted, and in some cases devastated from these storms.
In response, Governor Cuomo created the Agriculture and Community Recovery Fund’s (ACRF) Conservation Program and dedicated $5 million in funding to assist these farms in repairing fields, streams and conservation structures damage from one or both of these storms. Thanks to the hard work of many Soil and Water Conservation Districts across New York State a total of $3.7 Million has been distributed to 353 New York Farms. In the Mohawk River Watershed alone, 122 Farms have received over $2 Million in state funds under Governor Cuomo’s Agricultural Community Recovery Fund.
The $5 million Conservation Component of this Fund has been provided to the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets as emergency funding for soil and water districts to assist in rehabilitating farmland damaged by natural disasters and prevent further degradation of natural resources through the implementation or repair of Emergency Conservation Best Management Practices.
The Agricultural Community Recovery Fund (ACRF) conservation component was developed and awarded withinin 24 business days and, with the assistance of local Conservation Districts, on farm recovery started within 5 business days of the Governors’ initial ACRF announcement. Emergency contracts have been issued to Conservation Districts for all farms and construction and farmland restoration is underway on many if not all of the most devastated farms.