U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Appalachian Regional Commission yesterday urging them to fund the Center for Craft Food and Beverage at Hartwick College located in Oneonta. The Senator wrote to the USDA Secretary and the ARC Federal Co-Chair urging them to provide the federal funds necessary to purchase additional analytical equipment for grain testing, research, and processing specifically for farmers to cultivate value-added crops, including malting barley and other practices important to the craft food and beverage industry. The Center for Craft Food and Beverage aims to become a quality testing site and technical assistance center for craft food and beverage producers, focusing on locally-grown and locally-sourced material. Once the funding is approved, the Center will use the federal funds to purchase a laboratory scale micro-malting system.