Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) announced today that Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation and Martinelli-Slocum Publishing have each been awarded $50,000 as the recipients of the 2006-07 Agritourism Grant Program for the 41st Senate District. These grants support programs that generate revenue for agribusinesses while also providing opportunities for tourism. The program provides up to $50,000 in matching funds for projects involving traditional agritourism activities, as well as new approaches in promoting New York food and agriculture.
"Agriculture and tourism are top industries in New York State," said Senator Saland. "Combining these industries through Agritourism strengthens both, by providing greater opportunity for economic growth among our small businesses and in our communities. It is a winning combination that offers an economic boost for our region and raises awareness of the benefits the agricultural industry offers area communities," Senator Saland said.
Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation was awarded the grant for their project entitled, Dutchess County Tourism's 'It's Farms, It's Food, It's Art, It's Family Fun' Agritourism Program, that builds on culinary-themed marketing activities designed to attract visitors to the region. Martinelli-Slocum Publishing received their grant for a project entitled, Amtrak New York by Rail Special Agritourism Section, and will feature a special 16 page Agritourism section in the 2007 edition of Amtrak New York By Rail Magazine.
The $1 million agritourism initiative was added to the state budget this year by the Senate Majority. It encourages food and agriculture-related businesses such as farm stands, cider mills, maple sugar processors, cheese makers and wineries to enhance their offerings and attract more tourists.