An additional $3.6 million in state money will bolster Cornell University’s food and beverage research facility at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) in Geneva, New York, as part of an ongoing initiative to grow the craft beverage industry in New York state.
The announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the third annual Beer, Wine, Spirits and Cider Summit Oct. 7 in Albany matches funds already allocated to NYSAES. Cuomo’s announcement is expected to support the Cornell Food Venture Center, which encompasses the Vinification and Brewing Lab.
Last year, N.Y. State Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-54th Dist., secured $3.4 million in funding to modernize the Food and Beverage Processing Pilot Plant used to test small- and large-scale products for regulatory, safety and stability standards.
The $7 million in state funds is expected to support agricultural research and development, as well as expanded technical training for the farm-based beverage sector. NYSAES technical courses have been at capacity for years, with businesses turned away for space constraints.
“As a staunch supporter of the Cornell Food Venture Center, I am extremely pleased that the center will be receiving $7 million in state funding to expand their research and development programs,” said Nozzolio. “These funds build on the momentum that I created earlier this fall with the acquisition of a state-of-the-art Hiperbaric High Pressure Processing (HPP) machine at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Both funding sources have put the station, Venture Center and Geneva at the forefront of new technologies and will be a much-needed boost and job creator for our local economy.”
Additionally, Cuomo announced a commitment of $200,000 to establish a research plot to study cider apples. Headed by NYSAES director Susan Brown, the research grant will be used to breed and field test varieties of cider apples for size, disease and virus susceptibility, and desired consumer traits.
“The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences applauds Governor Cuomo’s tremendous commitment, and that of Senator Nozzolio, to our New York State Agricultural Experiment Station facility as a leader in food safety, food and beverage processing and food entrepreneurship,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The state’s investment will keep Cornell at the cutting-edge of providing ‘knowledge with public purpose’ to farmers, food manufacturers and entrepreneurs throughout New York and beyond.”
Matt Hayes is managing editor and social media officer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.