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New York State wants bigger bite of food, ag industries

Cornell University is administering the state’s first food and agriculture business competition, expected to be one of the largest in the nation, and with a top prize of $1 million.

Geneva-based Cornell AgriTech and the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture are among the Cornell programs assisting in the Grow-NY competition, launched by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to develop innovative, high-growth startups in food and agriculture.

“New York’s agricultural industry is one of the best in world, and the Grow-NY competition will attract innovative startups focused on this industry to put down roots in upstate New York,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By bringing in new companies to find new ways to transform our state’s food and agricultural industry, we are continuing to bolster these regional economies and foster growth in this critical industry statewide.”

According to the state Department of Agriculture and Markets, more than 7 million acres of New York — or about 20 percent of the state’s land — is farmland.

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