New York State Senator Mike Nozzolio today announced that he has successfully secured $3.4 million in State funding to begin a major expansion at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. This expansion will create local jobs and continue to put our region at the cutting edge of agricultural research and development.
The funding will be used to modernize the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Pilot Plant, the cornerstone facility in which the New York State Food Venture Center carries out product and business development operations. The Food Venture Center serves 2500 companies per year, many of whom are startup food processing businesses.
“This funding is a gigantic first step in bringing the Food Science mission of Cornell into the next century,” said Senator Mike Nozzolio. “This mission has been successful in growing food processing jobs throughout New York State and this funding will give the Experiment Station the tools necessary to continue on the cutting edge of food processing developments.”
The Food Venture Center works with small and large-scale food entrepreneurs to meet the regulatory, safety and stability standards required to produce products for sale. It provides a variety of processors, from growers to restaurateurs to stay-at-home parents the ability to grow their economic opportunities right here in New York State. Since 2000, the Food Venture Center has approved 6,600 products for 1,718 entities, generating 859 full time and 1,718 part time jobs. In 2013 alone, 836 products for 265 entities were approved in NY. That translates to 132 full time and 265 part time jobs.
"The innovative work conducted at the Agricultural Experiment Station helps bolster Upstate's cornerstone industries. This is exactly the kind of investment necessary to help revitalize our economy and generate jobs. I congratulate Senator Nozzolio for his efforts to secure these critical resources," Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb said.
“We are extremely grateful to Senator Nozzolio for securing this significant funding for the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Pilot Plant at the Experiment Station in Geneva,” said Dr. Tom Burr, Director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. “This funding will be transformational for the Food Lab and will help make essential modifications to ensure it remains a state-of-the-art facility.”
“We thank the Senator Nozzolio for his strong support of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and our programs in Geneva,” said Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Kathryn Boor. “This funding will be important for improving facilities on the Geneva campus and addressing the challenges and opportunities of New York’s food and agriculture industries.”
“We are fortunate here in the Finger Lakes to be home to one of the world’s top agricultural research centers. This funding will provide the modern infrastructure necessary to expand the quality and efficiency of New York’s entire food processing industry. This will undoubtedly lead to expanded job growth for New York farmers, enhance our tax base and provide New Yorkers with additional opportunities to succeed. This project had the full support of Assemblyman Brian Kolb and I was pleased to work with him and Cornell University to make this important job-creating project a reality,” concluded Senator Nozzolio.