Agricultural Consumer Science Center
The agricultural industry represents 5% of the Long Island economy, provides 6-8,000 jobs to the local economy, boasts an annual gross income of $250 million, and produces 500,000 cases of wine annually. In Suffolk County, 33,000 acres are currently utilized for agricultural production of which 15,000 acres have been preserved for farming through the commitment of public funds by the governments of the towns, Suffolk County and State of New York - evidencing the strong commitment to sustain agricultural production as an industry on Long Island. However, the ever-increasing cost of farming and regulatory constraints necessitates farmers to come up with strategies to remain economically viable. The development of value added products to their agricultural commodities is one such strategy. Unfortunately, the cost of the execution of the many food science details in the development of a value added product line and the processing of the products in a sanitary, licensed environment is prohibitive for any single agricultural entrepreneur.
The establishment of an Agricultural Consumer Science Center at the Stony Brook University Incubator at Calverton will permit regional wine and food producers and local entrepreneurs access to state-of-the-art shared processing areas and access to collaborating researchers, scientists, and professionals of Stony Brook University, Cornell, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and NYS Small Business Development Center who can guide and advise from concept to commercialization.