Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE)

Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE) is a non-profit organization that provides refugee resettlement and post-resettlement services to New Americans in Central and Western NY. Since 2004, RISE has slowly expanded programing based on the expressed needs of clients. RISE began the Syracuse Refugee Agriculture Program (SyRAP) in 2016, recognizing that many refugees enter the US with agricultural backgrounds and a desire to continue farming, but find that accessing land in their new home is bureaucratically complex and expensive. SyRAP’s mission is to increase self-sustainability and decrease food insecurity by providing refugees and immigrants with the agricultural resources they need to grow culturally appropriate foods for their communities.

SyRAP’s flagship program is currently an incubator farm that operates on a RISE-owned 180-acre farm property in Oswego County. SyRAP has undergone significant organizational growth and transition since its inception in 2016, growing from an urban community gardening initiative to a farmer-training program operating on leased land before finally acquiring its own farm through a generous donation in 2022. RISE currently supports 19 small farmers cultivating almost three acres of mixed vegetables for distribution within their communities and sale through RISE-supported market channels.

In partnership with FNGNY, RISE is building a Farmland Access Program to support its cohort of farmers, as well as other beginning farmers in the Syracuse area, in securing viable land access opportunities to pursue their farming goals. RISE's work includes landowner outreach, the creation and maintenance of a database of micro-lease opportunities that are accessible to aspiring farmers, and the provision of technical assistance to farmers seeking land tenure. RISE is working with landowners and other regional nonprofits to create a network of support for New Americans that extends beyond its own incubator farm. 

Regions Served

Mohawk Valley, Oneida County, Central, Madison County, Onondaga County, Oswego County

Ag Updates

Dairy Cows eating silage in the barn.

Applications Open for Dairy Funding Accelerator Program

The Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) has opened applications for its upcoming Northeast Dairy Funding Accelerator (DFA) program. The 20-month intensive training curriculum will combine virtual and in-person sessions, as well as group and personalized Business Technical Assistance (BTA) training to help each participant meet their individualized needs. Funding for the program is being provided by the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center (NE-DBIC). Applications are being accepted until December 1, 2023.

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The Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Fellowship Program is seeking participants!

The Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Fellowship (CAMF) Program is designed to empower farmers and agricultural advisors to gain and share both the knowledge and tools needed to be resilient in the face of climate uncertainty.  This cohort-based learning opportunity is for farmers and agricultural advisors who are interested in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies and planning, as well as peer-to-peer networking and support. Applications are due by midnight on November 11th, 2023. 

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Register Now for Cornell Small Farms Online Courses!

Are you thinking about starting a small farm? Do you already have a farm that you're looking to expand? Invest in your professional development and you'll see the returns in your business. The Cornell Small Farms Program offers a suite of more than 30 online courses, primarily taught by Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. 

2023-2024 Online Course List Learn More

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Looking for an on farm job or have a farm job you are hiring for?

Are you looking for a farm job? Are you a farm looking to hire help? Check out the 'Find a Farm Job' page on the New York Farmland Finder website! 

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