New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine today announced the availability of $200,000 in funds to support new and existing regional “buy local” food and agricultural campaigns throughout the State. This program is funded by a USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and will be conducted in coordination with the State’s Pride of New York Program.
“There’s no doubt that consumers want to buy locally produced food,” the Commissioner said. “What we have found is that regional “buy local” campaigns further raise the profile of local products in a specific region and they often have the opportunity to provide a range of services and activities that help local producers market their products and assist consumers in identifying local products.”
The goal of the Regional “Buy Local” Campaign Development Program is to increase consumer awareness, increase recognition in the marketplace, and increase sales of locally produced foods and agricultural products in eleven defined agricultural regions.
Eligible proposals must reflect each region’s geography, agricultural production, local cultural identity and other unique attributes or specialties. They must help promote a broad-range of USDA-defined specialty crops, and they must also work synergistically with other regional “buy local” campaigns in the State, as well as the Pride of New York Program.
With $200,000 in federal Specialty Crop Block Grant funds, each region is eligible to receive $18,550, of which $2,800 is allocated to create a regional brand, and up to $2,750 for the development of a marketing/media plan. The remaining $13,000 can be used for implementing the marketing/media plan, which can include advertisements, the creation of promotional materials, website design, public outreach and more. As part of the grant award, the Department will provide professional and creative services for each region to help develop their regional brands, create individual websites and develop a multi-year marketing/media plan.
Government entities, not-for-profits, tourism boards and Industrial Development Authorities are all eligible to apply. Applications are available online at www.agriculture.ny.gov or by calling 518-457-7229. Applications are due into the Department by February 23, 2012.
The Pride of New York is the statewide umbrella promotion program for New York State food and agricultural products, offering New York producers and processors a variety of tools and resources to help them market and promote their products, while also helping consumers identify New York products.
The State’s eleven agricultural regions as defined in this RFP are: The Adirondacks, Thousand Islands-Seaway, Greater Niagara, Chautauqua-Alleghany, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Capital-Saratoga, The Catskills, Hudson Valley, New York City and Long Island. A map is provided in the RFP.