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State wants bigger bite of food, ag industries

Grow-NY competition looks to spur startups, with top prize of $1 million

Reposted from the Finger Lakes Times

ROCHESTER — Cornell University is administering the state’s first food and agriculture business competition,
expected to be one of the largest in the nation, and with a top prize of $1 million.

Geneva-based Cornell AgriTech and the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture are among the Cornell programs assisting in the Grow-NY competition, launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to develop innovative, high-growth startups in food and agriculture.  “New York’s agricultural industry is one of the best in the world, and the Grow-NY competition will attract innovative startups focused on this
industry to put down roots in upstate New York,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By bringing in new companies to find new ways to transform our state’s food and agricultural industry, we are continuing to bolster these regional economies and foster growth in this critical industry statewide.”  According to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, more than 7 million acres of New York — or about 20 percent of the state’s land
— is farmland.

The nearly 36,000 family farms have helped the state rank No. 2 nationally in the production of apples, snap
beans and maple syrup, and in the top 10 in 30 commodities overall.  The goal of the competition is to encourage greater growth in those markets.  “We are committed to fostering innovative ideas, boosting job growth, and promoting our farms and agricultural products that will further strengthen the economy,” said
Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE:  State Wants Bigger Bite of Food and Ag Industries

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