AED initiates and manages projects that increase profitability for farm producers and businesses, helping to protect and expand the importance of agriculture to local, regional & state economies, and directly benefiting consumers.
Upstate New York Growers & Packers Cooperative is a statewide produce cooperative, based in Oneida County and was one of the first major initiatives that were successfully started in 2001 by the AED Program. Today, it has a membership of producers from all over New York State and is recognized as one of most approachable and flexible group of producers to work with whether looking to purchase products or just collaborate on various ventures. The Upstate Growers coop, through a meeting arranged by AED, was introduced to the ownership of Blue Apron Home Meals in 2015. UNYGP is now the largest supplier of fresh produce to Blue apron in North East summer market.
The AED Program working in conjunction with the Oneida County Farmland Protection Board has completed and submitted the updated Farmland Protection Plan which will guide and direct all available resources to support Agriculture in Oneida County for next ten years. Learn more about this project by clicking here.
The AED Program is working with MVCC ThINCubator Center in Utica to develop a shared use processing kitchen for food entrepreneurs in the Utica area to develop and market value-added food products. to learn more about Oneida County's Agriculture Friendly Guide, click here.
The AED Program is aggressively researching and exploring the feasibility of building an USDA-inspected poultry processing facility that regional poultry producers can utilize to enhance their marketing efforts.
The AED Program is working with Waterville First, a southern Oneida county Economic Development group and MV EDGE to develop an Ag. Business Park in the Town of Sangerfield.
The AED Program continues to work closely with Oneida County to help grow and sustain the Oneida County Public Market at the historic Utica Train Station and helps support all 12 farmer’s markets in Oneida County
Farm To School – The AED Program received a Farm to School Grant under the Specialty Crop Program to conduct a two year project where the ultimate goal is to start actually moving products grown in the County into the Public School lunch program. Jack Perrin has been hired to oversee this initiative.
Vets2Farm – AED is supporting a new 501-C3 “Not for Profit” called Vets2Farm. The mission is to provide an environment for disabled veterans to live at an actual operating farm and learn how to farm. Marty Broccoli is on the Board of Directors.
USDA Rural Business Development Grant Program – CCE-Oneida County and the AED Program will be spearheading an initiative to conduct an intensive study which will inventory the entire food system of Oneida County. RBDG awarded CCE $75,000 and the Oneida/Herkimer Community foundation also contributed $25,000 to the project. The project will work in close partnership with the Mohawk Valley Food Policy Council.
Brightwaters Farms – AED was contracted by Brightwaters Farms to provide consulting and oversight to their new 17 acre greenhouse complex in N. Utica as the facility transitions from a perianal flower operation to growing produce. The facility is the only registered farm operation left in the city.
Last updated August 7, 2017