Farm Aid Grant Program

In addition to Farm Aid’s work throughout the year to build a thriving family farm-centered system of agriculture, Farm Aid funds family farm and rural service organizations through our annual grant program. We view our grantees around the country as critical on-the-ground partners in the movement to keep family farmers on the land, producing good food for all.

In 2015, Farm Aid granted more than $610,000. Of that total, $586,500 was given in competitive and strategic grants to 79 family farm organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Grants ranged from $2,500 to $20,000. Detailed grant descriptions are below.

Farm Aid also granted $11,000 in emergency funding to help farm families facing either economic crises or natural disasters. Individual emergency grants were awarded to 22 farmers located in 14 states: Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Finally, Farm Aid’s Farmer Leadership Fund granted $12,847 to support farmers and farm advocates in developing leadership skills and to elevate farmer voices in a variety of circles in which their expertise, experience and best interests are essential to the conversation. Individual leadership grants were awarded to 13 farmers and farm advocates located in 8 states: Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota and Vermont.

“Farm Aid sends money to hardworking folks who share Farm Aid’s mission to strengthen family farmers. These grants support their work and invest in projects that build a thriving future for family farm agriculture and good food for all in both rural and urban communities.” — Willie Nelson

Farm Aid grant funds were invested in programs that help farm families stay on their land, build local markets, confront the threat of corporate control of agriculture, train new farmers and support farmer-to-farmer programs for more sustainable agricultural practices.

With your gift, we can continue to support farm groups helping family farmers on the local level all over the country.

Check out our grant quilt to read stories from this vibrant network of family farm organizations.

Click here for our grant application guidelines >>

 

Farm Aid’s 2015 Grantees

Growing the Good Food Movement

Creating and implementing innovative programs that build local and regional food systems, connecting farmers directly to consumers and creating new markets for family farmers.

  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Asheville, NC: $5,000 to help publish a print and online directory of local farms, farmers markets and local food businesses. www.asapconnections.org
  • Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living, Chicago, IL: $7,500 to provide technical assistance to Midwest farmers of color seeking access to Chicago markets. www.healthyfoodhub.org
  • FamilyFarmed, Chicago, IL: $7,500 to support the development of Direct Market Success, a technical assistance manual and training program for direct market farmers. www.familyfarmed.org
  • Family Agriculture Resource Management Services, Dillon, SC: $5,000 for the Farm to Food Banks program, which connects produce from limited resource farmers with area food banks. www.30000acres.org
  • Farmworker Association of Florida, Apopka, FL: $5,000 to help rebuild local food systems in farmworker communities. www.floridafarmworkers.org
  • Federation of Southern Cooperatives, East Point, GA: $20,000 to support technical assistance, cooperative development, marketing and training for underserved Black farmers and Southern communities. www.federationsoutherncoop.com
  • Growing Power, Chicago, IL: $5,000 to support the Fresh Moves Mobile Market, which brings healthy, fresh, affordable produce to food insecure neighborhoods. www.growingpower.org
  • Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Boise, ID: $5,000 to support the Our Idaho Fork: Conscientious Food Procurement Policy campaign, which targets stakeholders to commit to good food purchasing policies that shift dollars to local producers in the state. www.iorcinfo.org
  • Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Millheim, PA: $7,000 to support PASA’s work to bring farmers together to learn from each other and to build strong and effective networks, as well as to enable consumers looking for locally and sustainably produced food. www.pasafarming.org
  • Powder River Basin Resource Council, Sheridan, WY: $6,000 to help increase access to family farm food in Wyoming through expanded farm to school programs, institutional procurement and beginning farmer financing. www.powderriverbasin.org
  • Real Food Challenge, Cambridge, MA: $5,000 to train and support college students in the Midwest, Great Plains and Appalachian states to advocate for and secure family farmed food on their campuses. www.realfoodchallenge.org
  • Sustainable Food Center, Austin, TX: $5,000 to support the Farm to Family Program, which provides access to fresh produce in low-income, food-insecure neighborhoods. www.sustainablefoodcenter.org

 

Helping Farmers Thrive

Providing farmers with the tools and resources they need to access new markets, grow sustainably, produce renewable fuels and survive natural disasters.

  • Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, Salinas, CA: $5,000 to provide long-term education, training and mentoring to transition aspiring farmworkers into independent farm owners. www.albafarmers.org
  • Angelic Organics Learning Center, Caledonia, IL: $7,500 to support the Farmer Training Initiative, which will provide up to 200 farmers with business planning, field days and advanced support services. www.learngrowconnect.org
  • Appalachian Sustainable Development, Abingdon, VA: $5,000 to make organic certification accessible and affordable for beginning farmers utilizing an organic grower group model. www.asdevelop.org
  • Area Ag Information Center, Thief River Falls, MN: $6,000 to assist farm families in resolving economic hardship.
  • California FarmLink, Santa Cruz, CA: $5,000 to create farmland and business succession strategies for the elder-founders of California’s organic agriculture movement, to foster the next generation of organic farmers. www.cafarmlink.org
  • Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL: $7,500 to support the Windy City Harvest program, which provides aspiring urban farmers with training, tools and resources to develop and expand their urban farm businesses. www.chicagobotanic.org
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Davis, CA: $6,000 to assist direct market farmers with implementation of food safety and greenhouse gas reducing practices so they can operate profitably while adopting more sustainable methods. www.caff.org
  • Conservation Law Foundation, Boston, MA: $5,000 to support the New England Legal Services Food Hub, which provides pro bono legal services to lower-income and small-scale farmers, food entrepreneurs and organizations that support them. www.clf.org
  • Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City, KS: $5,000 for farm business development at Juniper Gardens Training Farm. www.cultivatekc.org
  • Farm Commons, Duluth, MN: $5,000 to empower farmers to work effectively with regulators on clarifying new, unclear or inconsistent regulations. www.farmcommons.org
  • Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Saint Paul, MN: $5,000 to bring legal expertise and develop materials for the 2015 Texas Drought Summit, which explored long-term responses to chronic drought in Texas and beyond. www.flaginc.org
  • Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Saint Paul, MN: $5,000 to create a tool for organizations to use to conduct outreach regarding USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program – Transitions Incentive Program. www.flaginc.org
  • Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Saint Paul, MN: $15,000 to provide legal research, advice and referrals to family farmers, their advocates and attorneys addressing critical legal issues to preserve family farms. www.flaginc.org
  • Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Gainsville, FL: $7,000 to organize workshops and policy advocacy opportunities for organic farmers. www.foginfo.org
  • Food Works, Carbondale, IL: $7,500 to support the Southern Illinois Farming Alliance, a farmer-to-farmer, peer education network for organic and sustainable farms. www.eatsouthernillinois.org
  • Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE: $6,000 to support the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline, which provides farmers with counsel on financial, legal, mental health and other issues affecting farmers, and offers other emergency assistance and disaster response. www.imneb.org
  • Kansas Farmers Union Foundation, McPherson, KS: $5,000 to support Kansas military veterans in transitioning to agriculture. www.kansasfarmersunion.org
  • Land Loss Prevention Project, Durham, NC: $15,000 to provide legal services and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in North Carolina. www.landloss.org
  • Liberty Prairie Foundation, Grayslake, IL: $5,000 to support the Farm Business Development Center, an incubator program that launches new family farm businesses in Illinois. www.libertyprairie.org
  • Local Food Hub, Charlottesville, VA: $5,000 to support farmer outreach and technical assistance on implementing Food Safety Modernization Act regulations. www.localfoodhub.org
  • Louisiana Interchurch Conference, Baton Rouge, LA: $5,000 to continue its farmer crisis hotline, which provides callers with individual counseling and support to address financial, legal, emotional and other issues that farmers experience in running their farm businesses. www.lainterchurch.org
  • Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, ME: $5,000 to support MOFGA’s Journeyperson Program, a two-year on-farm intensive mentorship, and Apprenticeship Program, a three to six month on-farm training for beginning farmers. www.mofga.org
  • Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, WI: $5,000 to offer a Grants Advising Service, which provides free information and mentoring to farmers on applying for federal, state and private funding sources. www.michaelfieldsaginst.org
  • Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service, Spring Valley, WI: $7,000 for the Grow Organic program, which provides in-depth, production-oriented education and resources to farmers, enabling them to utilize organic production practices and create more sustainable operations. www.mosesorganic.org
  • Minnesota Food Association, Marine on St. Croix, MN: $5,000 to support the Big River Farms Training Program, a three-year program tailored to historically underserved, immigrant and minority farmers. www.mnfoodassociation.org
  • National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT: $6,000, to bring technical assistance expertise and develop materials for the 2015 Texas Drought Summit, which explored long-term responses to chronic drought in Texas and beyond. www.ncat.org
  • National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT: $5,000 to support the ATTRA program, a national sustainable agriculture information service that offers technical information, educational resources and assistance to farmers, ranchers and others. www.ncat.org
  • Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, Ceresco, NE: $5,000 to continue the Nebraska Young Farmer Project, which provides skills and opportunities for young farmers to start their farming enterprise. www.nebsusag.org
  • New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Lowell, MA: $5,000 to prepare beginning farmers for securing farmland through a land link program and one-on-one technical assistance. www.nesfp.org
  • Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, Eugene, OR: $4,000 to organize a workshop for Idaho family farmers interested in starting or expanding organic production. www.pesticide.org
  • Organic Farming Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA: $7,000 to support organic and transitioning farmers through continued research, education and policy advocacy. www.ofrf.org
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ames, IA: $5,000 for beginning farmer training and support, with an emphasis on financial counseling, business planning assistance and on-farm learning experiences. www.practicalfarmers.org
  • Quivira Coalition, Santa Fe, NM: $5,000 to expand the New Agrarian Program, which provides beginning farmer training for farmers in the Southwest. www.quiviracoalition.org
  • Rogue Farm Corps, Ashland, OR: $5,000 to help train the next generation of Oregon farmers and ranchers through on-farm internships, classroom learning, farm tours and independent study opportunities. www.roguefarmcorps.org
  • Rural Advancement Foundation International, Pittsboro, NC: $8,000 to bring farm advocacy expertise to the 2015 Texas Drought Summit, which explored long-term responses to chronic drought in Texas and beyond. www.rafiusa.org
  • Rural Advancement Foundation International, Pittsboro, NC: $20,000 to provide financial counseling and mediation services to farmers in crisis, and to organize events around contract agriculture reform and seed sovereignty. www.rafiusa.org
  • Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Albany, GA: $7,500 to provide technical assistance and support for socially disadvantaged farmers in order to increase their market opportunities and access to USDA programs. www.swgaproject.com
  • Sustainable Food Center, Austin, TX: $1,000 to support outreach and planning for the 2015 Texas Drought Summit, which explored long-term responses to chronic drought in Texas and beyond. www.sustainablefoodcenter.org
  • Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Elgin, TX: $10,500 to support outreach, planning and farmer travel support for the 2015 Texas Drought Summit, which explored long-term responses to chronic drought in Texas and beyond. www.tofga.org
  • Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Elgin, TX: $7,500 to help build TOFGA’s capacity for farm advocacy and to organize a workshop for Texas organic producers on the USDA resources available to them. www.tofga.org
  • The Carrot Project, Somerville, MA: $5,000 to provide technical assistance to farmers for business and financial planning. www.thecarrotproject.org
  • The Kohala Center, Kamuela, HI: $5,000 for technical assistance and beginning farmer and rancher training for Hawaii farmers. www.kohalacenter.org
  • The Land Connection, Champaign, IL: $7,500 to expand access to their mentorship program, connecting beginning and transitioning farmers in Central Illinois with experienced farmers. www.thelandconnection.org

Taking Action to Change the System

Working to promote fair farm policies and grassroots organizing campaigns to defend and bolster family farm-centered agriculture.

  • California Climate & Agriculture Network, Sebastopol, CA: $6,000 to cultivate CalCAN’s Leadership Circle of organizations focusing on the nexus between climate policy and sustainable agriculture. www.calcimateag.org
  • Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, NE: $6,000 to engage beginning, small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers in Farm Bill outreach, policy development and advocacy. www.cfra.org
  • Dakota Resource Council, Dickinson, ND: $7,000 to support the Justice for Farm Families Campaign, which organizes and engages farmers and ranchers to advocate for policies that promote family farms and sustainable local food systems. www.drcinfo.org
  • Dakota Rural Action, Brookings, SD: $7,000 to support The South Dakota I-29 Rural Environmental Risk Reduction Project to work with the EPA and community citizens to update the state’s CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operations) permitting process and hold them accountable for effective oversight and implementation. www.dakotarural.org
    Dakota Rural Action
    , Brookings, SD: $7,000 to support the Rural Vitality Campaign to thwart development of CAFOs in South Dakota. www.dakotarural.org
  • Family Farm Defenders, Madison, WI: $8,000 to continue Family Farm Defenders’s work on food sovereignty, particularly to mobilize allies to support dairy farmers in their demand for a parity price and rural dignity, and to address other resource issues. www.familyfarmdefenders.org
  • Friends of Family Farmers, Salem, OR: $5,000 to hold listening sessions and community meetings for farmers across Oregon, to identify the most pressing issues they face. www.friendsoffamilyfarmers.org
  • Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, Sycamore, IL: $5,000 to support a campaign to help neighbors of factory farms organize in support of local control over factory farms in Illinois. www.iccaw.org
  • Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Springfield, IL: $7,500 to strengthen and grow grassroots advocacy for policies that support family farming in Illinois. www.ilstewards.org
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minneapolis, MN: $5,000 to support the Rural Climate Network, which develops climate adaptation solutions for farmers and identifies points for policy engagement. www.iatp.org
  • Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, Sebastopol, CA: $5,000 to grow faith-based advocacy for family farming and sustainable agriculture. www.interfaithfood.org
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Des Moines, IA: $7,500 to organize opposition to factory farm development in Iowa. www.iowacci.org
  • Land Stewardship Project, Minneapolis, MN: $5,000 to organize Minnesota family farmers in pursuit of health care reform. www.landstewardshipproject.org
  • Mississippi Sustainable Agriculture Network, Oxford, MS: $5,000 to organize a “Farmer Drive-In” for two days of advocacy trainings and Mississippi legislative meetings. www.mssagnet.net
  • Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia, MO: $10,000 to help preserve family farms, promote stewardship of the land and environmental integrity, and strive for economic and social justice by building unity and mutual understanding among diverse groups, both rural and urban. www.morural.org
  • National Family Farm Coalition, Washington, DC: $20,000 to support policy and communication campaigns that advocate for food sovereignty and agroecology. www.nffc.net
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Washington, DC: $5,000 to support work on the Food Safety Modernization Act and related issues. www.sustainableagriculture.net
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Washington, DC: $17,500 to advance federal policies that support small and midsize family farmers and increase access to healthy food for low-income people. www.sustainableagriculture.net
  • National Young Farmers Coalition, Hudson, NY: $7,000 to continue a grassroots campaign to ensure that farmers are added to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. www.youngfarmers.org
  • New England Farmers Union Education Foundation, Turners Falls, MA: $5,000 to nurture farmer leadership, encourage farmer participation in policy that impacts their operations, and aggregate their voices in policy and planning circles. www.newenglandfarmersunion.org
  • Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, Deerfield, MA: $5,000 to provide support and resources to build and strengthen an independent organic farmer voice in policy and regulations. www.nodpa.com
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council, Portsmouth, RI: $4,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofa.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, Derby, CT: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.ctnofa.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts, Barre, MA: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofamass.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire, Concord, NH: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofanh.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, Hillsborough, NJ: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofanj.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Rochester, NY: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofany.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Rhode Island, Chepachet, RI: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofari.org
  • Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, Richmond, VT: $2,000 to support work to build an effective farmer policy voice in the Northeast. www.nofavt.org
  • Northern Plains Resource Council, Billings, MT: $7,000 for the Family Farm Protection Project, a multi-pronged effort that seeks to ensure that Montana’s family farms and ranches remain a vital component of the economy. www.northernplains.org
  • Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Columbus, OH: $6,000 to support the Farm Policy Matters program, which organizes people to champion policies supportive of family farmers and sustainable farming. www.oeffa.org
  • Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA: $5,000 to advocate for policies and actions that address seed contamination by GMOs, strengthen public plant breeding infrastructure and address the concentrated ownership of seed. www.seedalliance.org
  • Rural Vermont, Montpelier, VT: $5,000 to support three Small Farm Advocacy Days, which connect small-scale farmers with legislators at the Vermont State House, to discuss pressing policy issues. www.ruralvermont.org
  • Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, Salem, OR: $2,500 to work with communities actively trying to thwart development of factory farms in their area. www.sraproject.org
  • Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Fayetteville, AR: $5,000 to provide a virtual hub for organizational leaders to communicate, strategize and collaborate on food and farm policy work in the South. www.ssawg.org
  • West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, Mount Hope, WV: $5,000 to advocate for, change and implement robust state food and agriculture policy to benefit West Virginia’s food systems. www.wvfoodandfarm.org
  • Western Colorado Congress, Grand Junction, CO: $6,000 to support the Strengthening Family Farms, Strengthening Communities Campaign, which organizes family farmers, ranchers and local consumers to make a difference on local, state and federal agricultural policies. www.wccongress.org
  • Western Organization of Resource Councils, Billings, MT: $7,500 to expand local meat processing capacity and ensure fair and competitive livestock markets for family and independent livestock producers. www.worc.org

Click here to learn about Farm Aid’s 2014 Grantees

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