News & Notes for New York Farmers from the New York Farm Bureau

Tax Credit Available to New York Farmers for Charitable Food Donations

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced New York farmers are eligible to receive a tax credit for qualifying food donations made to food banks and other emergency food programs beginning Jan. 1, 2018. The tax credit is expected to save farmers a total of $10 million annually. Farmers across the state donated more than nine million pounds of food in 2017, which helped provide more than seven million meals to New Yorkers in need.

The tax credit was enacted to compensate farmers for costs associated with harvesting, packaging, and distributing local products to eligible food pantries, food banks and other emergency food programs across the state. Increased donations will help meet the growing demand for fresh, healthful foods in underserved communities across New York. It is offered as a refundable credit equal to 25 percent of the fair market value of qualified donations up to $5,000.

Eligible donations include fresh fruits and vegetables grown or produced in New York State and provided to emergency food programs that qualify for tax exempt status. To claim the credit, the taxpayer must receive proof of the donation in the form of a receipt or written acknowledgment from the eligible food program.

A fact sheet on eligibility requirements for the tax credit is available at


Grant Opportunities Available to Support Farmland Protection

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the availability of $5.5 million through two new grant programs for farmland protection.

New York’s Farmland Protection Implementation Program has been expanded to allow applicants to implement an Option to Purchase a Perpetual Conservation Easement, also known as an Option Agreement Project. This project expedites the process by pre-determining the value of development rights when submitting an application for the purchase of a conservation easement. A total of $5 million will be available to eligible applicants, including municipalities and counties. Grants up to $500,000 will be awarded to cover costs associated with obtaining an Option Agreement Project. Applications will be accepted until the available funding is fully committed and all applicants must submit proposals through the Grants Gateway. For more information, contact David Behm at or click here.

Additionally, the new Land Trust Grants program has $500,000 available to advance farmland protection strategies identified by counties and municipalities. The program provides competitive grants of up to $50,000 to land trusts. It will inform landowners of programs that protect properties from conversion to non-farm uses and connect landowners with farmers interested in leasing or buying properties. Applicants can apply through the Grants Gateway through March 5, 2018. For more information, contact Jeffrey Kehoe at or by visiting

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Talia Isaacson

Talia is originally from San Diego, CA, but her passion for agriculture mostly developed on the coast of Maine, where she lived and worked on an educational diversified farm throughout parts of her high school years. Since then, Talia has spent time working on various farms in both Vermont and Arkansas, which has further solidified her interest in small-scale agriculture and its myriad intersections with community welfare, environmental sustainability, and education. She is a senior in the English department at Cornell and began working for the Cornell Small Farms Program in early 2018. Talia also works for the Local & Regional Food Systems initiative.

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