New York communities have both people with a great wealth of skills, ambition, and drive and many such communities possess natural and built resources that have historically provided agriculture and food-based opportunities for their citizens. Despite this many communities in New York are facing hardship and community decline due in part to decline in food and agricultural enterprises and absence of opportunities.
The Community, Food, and Agriculture Program in the Department of Development Sociology uses a combination of empirical research and theorizing to understand the emerging global context and then employs multifaceted practical strategies for reclaiming entrepreneurial opportunity and rebuilding community around food and agriculture in a seamless research, teaching, and extension program. Increasingly this involves working collaboratively with constituents and serving as a catalyst for helping people in local communities create opportunities and other changes that they desire. Recent examples include developing innovative marketing information and strategies, training development professionals for implementing the local food and agriculture-based development, and assisting communities in a grape growing region to create and implement a local heritage harvest development strategy.
Examples of successes: Three of the participants in the Growing Home Certification program were successful in obtaining nearly $130,000 from the 2005 New York State Grow New York Food and Agriculture Industry Development (FAID) grants program with proposals for projects developed as part of their participation in the Growing Home Certification program. In a little more than one year's time, the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association in western New York started up, brought together diverse segments of the local communities and got their buy-in, became a formal organization with several active committees, and acquired a variety of grants to support important local development and revitalization activities.
funding source description
Federal Formula Funds - Extension (e.g., Smith Lever, RREA)
Other USDA (e.g., Water Quality, Special Grants, NRI)