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NYS Grown & Certified LogoOverview

New York State Grown & Certified is the first statewide, multi-faceted food certification program designed to strengthen consumer confidence in New York products, address food product labeling, and assist New York farmers so they can take advantage of the growing market demand for foods locally grown and produced to a higher standard. New York State Grown & Certified is open to New York producers who adhere to the best practices in safe food handling and environmental stewardship. It is currently available to New York State producers and processors (fresh produce, dairy, eggs, beef, poultry, pork, Christmas trees, seafood, maple, cut flowers, craft beverage ingredients, wine, spirits, beer, cider, sheep & goats, firewood, processed products, nursery/greenhouse, and honey) who are participating in Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) plans and complete third-party food safety or safe food handling program with annual on-site audits.

Criteria to meet the standards/eligibility to participate in NYS Grown & Certified include:

Produce Growers (View Application)

  1. All products marketed under the seal must be grown in New York State.
  2. Participation in a food safety or safe food handling program with annual on-site audits such as the USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or Good Handling Practices (GHP) certification or another third-party food handling practices program with annual audits deemed GAP- or GHP equivalent by the Commissioner.
  3. Completion of Tier 2 or higher in the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program within the past three years.

Dairy Processors (View Application)

  1. Dairy processors must certify that a majority of their milk is (or milk suppliers are) from New York State farms. 
  2. The dairy processing plant must be in compliance with the required Plant Processor Supervisor (PPS) training, and the plant must demonstrate that it participates in a third-party food safety or safe food handling program with annual on-site audits. On-farm processors can provide verification of participation in a safe food handling or processing training program such as those offered by Cornell University in lieu of third party certification.
  3. A majority of the dairy processor's milk is from producers (or milk suppliers are producers) that will complete Tier 2 (or higher) in the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program or are CAFO permit holders within the past three years.

Egg Producers (View Application)

  1. Egg operations must certify that all eggs in New York State Certified are from New York State hens.
  2. For farms with more than 3,000 hens, participation in FDA's Salmonella Surveillance Program and the vaccination of all birds for Salmonella enteritis is required. For farms with less than 3,000 hens, participation in an annual Salmonella testing program (through the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets or veterinarian) and compliance with the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid Clean Status is required.
  3. Completion of Tier 2 or higher in the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program within the past three years.

Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM)

AEM LogoAEM is a voluntary, incentive-based program that helps farmers make common-sense, cost-effective and science-based decisions to help meet business objectives while protecting and conserving the State’s natural resources. Led by your local Soil and Water Conservation District, AEM employs a five-tier approach. Completion of Tier 2 (or higher) is required within three years of admission into the New York State Grown & Certified program.

  • Tier 1 is a short questionnaire that summarizes current farm activities, future plans and identifies environmental conservation interests.
  • Tier 2 includes an on-site assessment with a member from the AEM team to help farmers understand and document current environmental practices while assessing potential environmental concerns.
  • Tier 3 (optional for the New York State Grown & Certified program) consists of conservation planning to address concerns identified in Tier 1 and Tier 2.
  • Tier 4 (optional for the New York State Grown & Certified program) is implementing the environmental farm plan developed in Tier 3.
  • Tier 5 (optional for the New York State Grown & Certified program) is the plan and program evaluation to ensure continued environmental conservation.

To begin the process, contact your county's Soil and Water Conservation District Office.

AEM Related Links:


Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Cornell National GAPs Program LogoGAP is a voluntary program that verifies the safe growing, handling, packing, and/or holding of produce. Produce growers must participate in a food safety or safe food handling program with annual on-site audits such as the USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or Good Handling Practices (GHP) certification (or another third-party food handling practices program with annual audits deemed GAP- or GHP equivalent by the Commissioner) for admission into the New York State Grown & Certified program. The steps needed to become GAP-certified include:

  1. Attend a GAP training (optional, but recommended);
  2. Develop a farm food safety plan;
  3. Implement practices and acquire documentation; and
  4. Complete a third-party audit program.

GAP Related Links:


Funding Opportunities

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Reimbursement Program

Funding is available to reimburse growers for up to two times for on-site audits through the New York State GAP Reimbursement Program.  Third-party audits GAP/GHP audits for farm review, field harvest, field packing, packing house, storage and transportation and/or traceback as well as annual water tests as part of the GAP/GHP audit are eligible for reimbursement.

For additional information or questions contact the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Food Safety & Inspections (Farm Products Unit):

GAP Certification Assistance Program Links:

New York State Regional Economic District Councils (REDC) Block Grants for Capital Projects

REDC LogoNew York State Regional Economic District Councils (REDC) were established in 2011 by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth. As part of this initiative, a New York State Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. In 2017, up to $5 million of funding was made available to a New York State Grown & Certified Agricultural Producers’ Grant Program (providing $500,000 of funding to each of the ten New York State REDC using the CFA process). The funding will provide resources needed by New York State agricultural producers to invest in capital projects that will allow them to meet food safety standards necessary for participation in the New York State Grown & Certified program. 

As part of the CFA process, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will administer the funding for the NYS Grown & Certified Agricultural Producers' Grant Program and assign a grant administrator to each REDC through a competitive application process. The grant administrator for each REDC will be responsible for accepting and evaluating project proposals as well as awarding grants to agricultural producers within their region. Applications to administer the grant program for each of the ten New York State REDC were due on July 28, 2017. Awards for the grant administrators were announced in December 2017.

REDC Block Grants Related Links:

  • Learn more about the ten New York State REDC.
  • View the list of NYS Grown & Certified REDC Block Grant Administrators.