Agriculture Business Resources

Rensselaer County Agriculture Economic Development

Rensselaer County’s Agriculture Economic Development (AED) program works to preserve, support and enhance Rensselaer County’s agricultural industries and resources.  It does so through a variety of initiatives and partnerships including the following:

2022 Rensselaer County Farm Survey

Business and Grant Assistance

For new and existing farms interested in diversifying or expanding their businesses, contact the Economic Development & Planning Office at (518) 270-2914 to learn about agricultural business assistance and grant opportunities.

Farmland Protection 

Rensselaer County works in partnership with the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) to assist farmers interested in protecting their farmland through conservation easements.   For more information, contact ASA at (518) 692-7285.

Harvest Connection 

Harvest connection is a website and app created and coordinated by Rensselaer County and Cornell Cooperative Extension to promote farms and farmers’ markets in the Capital Region.  If you would like your farm or farmers’ market listed on Harvest Connection, contact the Rensselaer County Economic Development & Planning Office at (518) 270-2914.

Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation 

The Rensselaer County IDA partners with the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) to enhance the agricultural sector in Rensselaer County. HVADC’s programs assist new and existing agricultural businesses and support policies and regulations that advance Hudson Valley’s agricultural economy through technical assistance, project planning and development services, agricultural development support and capital access planning.  For more information, contact HVADC at (518) 432- 5360.

Our Partners

Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA)

ASA is a land trust helping landowners to conserve land in Rensselaer and Washington counties.  Their conservation easement programs include Purchase of Development Rights (PDR), Donated Easements (DDR) and Private Bargain Sales.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County (CCE)

CCE offers information based on worldwide research experience to family farms that helps them to grow and compete in a global economy.  CCE specialists work with farmers to develop strategic plans to meet their business goals within the constraint of their resources.

Rensselaer County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD)

SWCD offers technical assistance and tools to manage and protect farmers’ land and water resources.  Their programs include Agricultural Assessments, Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM), equipment rental and soil sampling.


United State Department of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA provides a comprehensive list of federal resources including loans, protection and recovery for weather related events, conservation, programs for livestock, row crops, specialty crops, forests, beginning farmers and ranchers, organic farming and urban agriculture.

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA)

FSA lends money and provides credit counseling and supervision to eligible applicants who operate farms.  Programs include Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Conservation, Dairy Margin Protection, Disaster Assistance, Energy and Farm Loans.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS)

NRCS offers landowners and farm operators financial, technical and education assistance to implement conservation practices.  Their programs include Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Agricultural Conservation Program (ACEP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) and Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP).

USDA Rural Development (RD)

Rural Development promotes economic development by supporting loans to businesses through banks, credit unions and community-managed lending pools. They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.


NYS Agriculture Mediation Program (NYSAMP)

NYSAMP provides farmers with services to identify and create their own solutions to family and business challenges and conflicts.  They offer free and confidential consultation services including farm transitions, credit and debt issues, farm leases, neighbor disputes and interpersonal family issues.

NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets (NYSDAM)

NYSDAM promotes New York State agriculture and its high-quality and diverse products, foster agricultural environmental stewardship, and safeguard the state’s food supply, land, and livestock to ensure the viability and growth of New York’s agriculture industries.  Their programs include NYS Grown & Certified, Farm-to-School, Taste NY, Beginning Farmers and International Trade.

NYS Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

NYSERDA offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.  They provide agriculture energy audits, agricultural energy technologies and the anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity program. 

NY Farm Bureau

Farm Bureau is a non-governmental, volunteer organization financed and controlled by member families for the purpose of solving economic and public policy issues challenging the agricultural industry. 

NY FarmNet

FarmNet provides free and confidential consultation services for farmers and agribusiness owners including financial analysis, business planning, retirement and estate planning, business transfers, personal well-being and farm family issues. 

National Grid

National Grid offers energy efficiency incentives and grant opportunities as well as an electricity rate discount for residential agricultural customers.

Cornell Small Farms Program

The Cornell Small Farms Program help farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development, from initial growth to optimization to maturity and foster research, extension, and education projects that support and encourage the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms. 


CCE Capital Area Agriculture & Horticulture Program (CAAHP)

CAAHP programs include market development, business management and analysis, soil and field crops, nursery/greenhouse crop production, pasture management, applied research, dairy farm business summary, pesticide recertification and beginning and small farmers.

Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corporation (HVADC)

HVADC is a regional agriculture economic development corporation located in Hudson, New York.  Their services are carefully designed to promote the Hudson Valley as an attractive, viable region for agriculture and to foster growth and development of the agricultural sector through creative program or marketing, promotion and the provision and coordination of financial and other resources.