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The Dansville Online
  • Schumer supports grant funding

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  • AVON— Senator Charles Schumer made a promise to do all he can to provide Worm Power, an agriculture start-up on Coyne Family Farm, with two grants which will help to develop a new line of products and in turn grow Worm Power. Schumer explained the growth of the company would be a win-win for upstate’s two largest industries; dairy and agriculture.
    “I’m here to help Worm Power grow in anyway it can,” the Senator said. “Which will provide more jobs in Livingston County.”
    Worm Power uses earthworms, fed by composted dairy cow waste, to create a fertilizer that acts as a crop disease-preventing additive. This innovative eliminates the need for synthetic fungicides which can be harmful to consumers and the environment.
    A United States Department of Agriculture and a National Science Foundation grant have been targeted by Schumer to partner Worm Power with Cornell University’s agricultural scientists to develop an organic spray to coat seeds. The spray will protect the seeds from disease and help they grow naturally larger.
    “Their [Worm Power] unique vermicomposting method eliminates excess waste from our growing dairy industry as they expand to meet new growing demand for products like Greek yogurt, creates a valuable product for our agricultural industry...and it is a growing business in Livingston County that supports local jobs.” Schumer said.
    The USDA grant is a total of $99,000 while the NSF grant would bring in $148,000 for the project. The grants would allow Worm Power and Cornell University to study alternatives to the conventional agri-chemicals that are currently used on seeds. The hope is to create a sustainable seed treatment product which will prevent disease and increase crop yields using a similar process to their current process.
    “This grant funding will help Worm Power develop a new, environmentally friendly seed treatment product that will help them add to their business,” Schumer said. “Just like Worm Power helps our plants grow, I will be working on getting this federal funding to help Worm Power grow jobs, and make upstate New York a leader in agricultural innovation in the process.”
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