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Niagara farms, wineries receive federal marketing grants

Four Niagara County farms and wineries were announced Tuesday as winners of U.S. Department of Agriculture grants that are to be used to upgrade their marketing strategies.

Two wineries, Black Willow of Newfane and Victorianbourg Wine Estate of Wilson, received $175,000 each. McCollum Orchards of Lockport and Blackman Homestead Farm of Cambria received $49,500 each.

Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the awards from the USDA’s Value-Added Producer Grant program.

Julie Blackman of the Blackman Farm said the money will be used to expand production and distribution of bottled fruit juices. Bree and Rich Woodbridge of McCollum Orchards said they would invest their grant in post-harvest operations to offer more fresh organic fruits and vegetables.