Maloney Announces Nearly $250,000 Federal Investment to Allow Minkus Farms to Hire Employees, Improve Distribution
Newburgh, NY – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced a federal investment of $249,052 to allow Orange County’s Minkus Farms to promote their new local-label products, contract with larger regional food retailers, and hire three new employees. The funding is made available through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Value Added Producer Program (VAPG).
“I’m committed to making sure our family farms in Orange County receive the federal assistance they need to stay competitive in our changing, 21st century farm economy,” said Rep. Maloney. “I’m proud to announce these funds, and I’ll keep working alongside our local farmers to secure the federal investments that will keep our Hudson Valley farms competitive.”
“We are really excited to promote and market local onions,” said Dylan Dembeck, Director of Operations, Minkus Family Farms. “People have been eating local for a thousand years before all the advancements in transportation. It makes sense to source locally and not burn all the extra fuel to ship produce across the country when it is available from a local farm. Consumers want a local fresh product that is more sustainable and environmentally friendly and that is what we can offer with local onions.”
This Rural Development investment will be used to deploy a local onion marketing program to increase sales margins for the Minkus family's onions. The family farm will provide half of the funding necessary to implement the improvements, and the other half will be provided by the VAPG program. Funding will allow the farm to promote their new local-labelled products and contract with large regional food retailers. Three new employees will also be hired to implement the project.
The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The goals of this program are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income.