We fund a wide variety of work, across all commodity areas designed to benefit farms of all sizes and production types. All of the projects we fund share the same goal: to create and share knowledge that will improve the economic viability of New York’s farmers.
In 2014 NYFVI confirmed its mission and articulated five strategic priorities for the work it funds.
Improve Operational Practices
Sometimes it’s the willingness to do something differently that can put more money in a farmer’s pocket. These projects are focused on helping as many farmers as possible refine existing production practices, or learn how to implement a new process to improve their profitability. Some projects will utilize outreach and education to drive changes, others may use applied research to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed change. In any case, the risks are fairly low and the project should deliver an impact in less than two years.
Foster Industry-Wide Innovation
Applied research is a tricky area. While there is always valuable knowledge gained from testing in the field, sometimes what you learn is what doesn’t work well in in specific conditions, or perhaps in New York overall. This group of projects is focused on learning how New York farmers can best adopt new production practices. The risks involved are moderate, and mainstream adoption of the practice is likely to be 2 to 5 years from demonstrated success.
Incubate New Ideas
While most NYFVI projects are building from existing knowledge, sometimes there are projects that are focused on developing a new idea or technique. These projects may nor may not succeed, but have the potential to significantly alter the industry. The projects are likely to be high risk, and if successful may take five or more years to reach mainstream adoption.
Improve Route to Market and Marketing Practices
In addition to producing quality products, farmers must ensure they have profitable sales outlets. Farms of all sizes benefit from increased access to aggregators, and processors that add value to their products. And, for farms that sell directly to consumers, they must understand the most effective way to market their product. This group of projects work to build market share by increased route to market opportunities, and improve profits by improving marketing expertise. The risk level for these projects is moderate, and they should be delivering a return on investment in their first two years.
Develop Human Capital
Strong management practices, and training and development of workers are critical in almost every industry. Farming is no different. Projects in this area of our portfolio strive to develop better managers and management practices, build business plans and ultimately, better bottom lines for all involved. Projects should be delivering an impact in less than two years.