Agriculinary Tourism Microgrant

Tompkins County Agriculinary Tourism

Farm to Fork Microgrant Program

Program Summary: The Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau (a division of the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce) has received funding through the Tompkins County Tourism Program Strategic Tourism Implementation Grant Initiative to advance Agriculinary Tourism Product Development in Tompkins County. A portion of this funding has been allocated to provide direct microgrants to farms, food and beverage producers, farm stands, and farmers markets to expand agriculinary tourism opportunities in Tompkins County with the following specific goals: increasing the number of farms, properties, and markets which are considered “visitor ready”, to increase visitor access, or to add new visitor amenities with the goal of enhancing tourism and economic development impacts to Tompkins County and its businesses.

Funding Available: Micro grants of up to $500 will be available to farmers or farm businesses looking to start new agriculinary enterprises or to market or expand existing enterprises.  The purpose of the grant is to help farmers kick-start new farm ventures or expand existing ventures, with a focus on initiating or expanding agriculinary tourism opportunities in Tompkins County. This is a reimbursement grant: monies will be disbursed within 30 days after receipt of final report (narrative, billing and photos).

In order to receive funding, the grant application must demonstrate the following:

  • A farm, food or beverage business with a farming element, farm stand, or farmers market project in Tompkins County that will strengthen the Tompkins County economy
  • Project must demonstrate intention to grow tourism visitation and enhance visitor readiness
  • The project should be part of larger investment made by the farmer, business, or organization to receive preference. Matching funds are strongly encouraged.
  • Preference will be given to applicants who have participated in the Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm Evaluation process.

Eligibility Criteria: Farms, food producers, beverage producers or farmer’s markets located in Tompkins County embarking on a new ag enterprise, or marketing or expanding an existing ag enterprise, with a specific focus on increasing tourism to their farm, market, or location; a focus on becoming visitor ready or enhancing/increasing visitor ready status. Past microgrant recipients are eligible to apply. Examples of eligible projects could include: roadside signage, landscaping/beautification (entranceways, arches, clearing of land for a picnic area, etc.), promotional literature, events, digital marketing, addition of visitor restrooms, or other improvements required to allow a business to accept visitors and tourists.

Ineligible: Farms outside Tompkins County, farms using funds to underwrite existing operations

Evaluation Criteria: Applications with be evaluated based on clarity, demonstrated need, capacity to deliver project goals, and value to visitor experience.

Submission Process:

Please complete the application and submit preferably by email to heather@visitithaca.com, or by mail to the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau (ITCCVB) 904 East Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850 ATTN: Farm-To-For Microgrant. The final deadline for microgrant applications will be September 30th, 2018. Applications will be received on a rolling basis through 9/30/18 for the fall grant cycle.  Projects must be completed by November 30, 2018.

Note that additional supporting documentation is welcomed with your application, but please keep your digital application to a single .pdf file. Technical assistance is available to applicants from the Agriculinary Tourism Coordinator and can work with applicants on developing tracking measures for projects.

Review Process: Once applications are received by the Agriculinary Tourism Committee, they will be reviewed for completeness and eligibility. A sub-committee of the Agriculinary Tourism Advisory Committee will be consulted before final grant awards are made the week of July 23rd.

If a project is time-sensitive, applicant should inform the Agriculinary Tourism Coordinator and note project timeline requirements in the application narrative.

Required Project Report

A brief project report is due within 30 days of project completion and is required for reimbursement of project expenses. Project report should include:

  • A paragraph or two including a written description of project outcomes
  • Three digital photographs demonstrating project implementation
  • Proof that proper recognition of funding source was given based on criteria provided by Agriculinary Tourism Coordinator
  • Copies of all invoices to be reimbursed, with verification of total project expenditures

All projects must include recognition of funding sources, including the Tompkins County Tourism Program and Visit Ithaca.

Questions?  Please call (607) 272-1313 ext. #224 or email Heather Hughes at heather@visitithaca.com

2018 Microgrant Application