Center for Excellence designation in Geneva to help food industry entrepreneurs

Apr 30, 2018
Originally published on April 30, 2018 5:41 am

There is a new designation for the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

State Senator Pam Helming says that she has secured $1million in state funding to establish the Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture Innovation there.

That will help drive research efforts at that facility.

Cornell officials say New York’s food manufacturing sector is the nation’s second largest, behind only California in the number of food-based businesses.

Julie Suarez is an Associate Dean for Government & Community Relations at  the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell.

She says the designation as a Center of Excellence will help the Geneva facility provide additional services to food and agriculture related businesses.

“Right now, we do the food safety for food product development, but we really don’t have a space and a place for entrepreneurs to go to get those type of small business-mentorship; entrepreneurialism acceleration services that frankly other businesses are able to get at other incubators,” Suarez told WXXI News.

Suarez says the designation will help provide more services to start-up food-related businesses.

“We have farmers that can grow excellent, locally grown fruits, vegetables and dairy products. And then we have this wonderful growth in food processing and food manufacturing combined with this wonderful access to consumers; so when we look at our ability to take these new resources from the state of new York, we see a tremendous optimism in the future ahead of us for growth.”

It’s hoped that the state funding secured for the Center of Excellence will be available on an annual basis.