Meet Farm Aid’s Grantees

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.

On April 11, At Home with Farm Aid raised more than $500,000 in funds that were quickly distributed to farmers impacted by COVID-19. Farm Aid launched the national COVID-19 Farmer Resilience Initiative, working with more than 130 local, state and regional organizations in all 50 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to deliver immediate farmer relief efforts and longer-term resilience strategies. Grants, distributed in $500 increments, helped nearly 1,000 farmers meet household expenses and were paired with resources published in multiple languages and developed by Farm Aid’s national partners, including Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA), Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative, Intertribal Agriculture Council, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

In December, Farm Aid made strategic grants to long-term partners in the amount of $155,000. Farm Aid’s agricultural scholarship fund granted $20,770.54 to agricultural students at three universities in 2020.

Willie Nelson signing Farm Aid 2019 grant checks

Willie Nelson signing Farm Aid 2019 grant checks.

In 2019, Farm Aid granted more than $1 million!

Of those grants, $682,615 was given in competitive and strategic grants to 95 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations in 37 states and the District of Columbia. Grants ranged from $3,000 to $30,000. This year’s grant review came in the midst of a worsening farm crisis. The farm crisis was our top grant making priority this year, as was building resilient systems of agriculture to combat the impacts of natural disasters and climate change, and work that addresses systemic inequities, specifically for farmers of color.

Emergency grants totaling $32,000 were made to farm families to cover essential household expenses. These emergency grants are recommended on a case-by-case basis by Farm Aid’s hotline managers, who answer calls on the 1-800 FARM AID hotline and connect farmers with helpful services, resources and opportunities specific to their individual needs.

Detailed grant descriptions are below.

As always, it is incredibly inspiring to see how much good work is going on to support family farmers and empower communities across the country.

“As farmers continue to face incredible threats to their survival, our grant decisions were guided by the need to first and foremost strengthen organizations that provide essential resources to keep family farmers on the land. We are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of folks across the country who fight for family farms.”

— Willie Nelson

In 2019, Farm Aid invested funds in programs that:

  • Help farm families stay on the land with crisis support to farmers in the form of farm advocates, legal support, mental health & social services, hotlines, emergency funds, and more;
  • Build farmer power to advance policy solutions like dairy supply management, fair pricing, fair access to credit, and anti-trust policies that will advance long-lasting structural change;
  • Develop resilient systems of agriculture, advance on-farm climate mitigation and adaption practices and advance farm-based solutions to climate change in state and federal policy;
  • Address systemic inequities in the farm and food system, specifically for farmers of color;
  • Advance rural organizing and community-building strategies;
  • Dismantle corporate control in agriculture and advance democratic power-building for farmers;
  • Stop the establishment or expansion of factory farms and advance state and federal policies that protect local communities and ecologies from the impact of factory farms;
  • Build and strengthen local and regional food systems and raise awareness of their value;
  • Enhance access to good food in impoverished communities by building relationships between family farmers, youth and low-income consumers;
  • Recruit and train beginning farmers—both rural and urban—and increase their access to farmland; and
  • Support farmer transition to organic, sustainable and regenerative farming techniques.

Farm Aid’s Disaster Response

In the spring, Farm Aid activated the Family Farm Disaster Fund to send immediate relief to farmers in the Midwest and Plains affected by historic flooding. Farm Aid raised and distributed more than $200,000 to provide farmers in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Wisconsin and South Dakota with emergency funds and to help them navigate their options on the long road to disaster recovery. New flooding later in 2019 expanded Farm Aid’s disaster response to Texas. In total, Farm Aid granted $224,100 to assist farm and ranch families affected by natural disasters. Farm Aid continues to work with partners in the region to assess the long-term needs of impacted farmers and ranchers.

Farmer Leadership Fund

Farm Aid’s Farmer Leadership Fund granted $46,386 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.

Farm Aid Scholarships          

Through a scholarship fund set up in 1987 by the Younkers Department Store, Farm Aid awards scholarships annually to students studying agriculture at South Dakota State University, University of Nebraska and Iowa State University. In 2019, scholarships were awarded in the amount of $20,797.

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

Click here if you work for a nonprofit organization and want information about our grant program.

2019 Farm Aid Grantees


Growing the Good Food Movement

Creating and implementing innovative programs that build local and regional food systems and connect farmers directly to consumers.

CitySeed, New Haven, CT: $5,000 to build a just food system in New Haven through farmers markets, food access programming, food entrepreneurship services linking ventures to farmers, and building a community food systems hub.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, South Deerfield, MA: $5,000 to engage the community in supporting local agriculture not just as consumers, but as advocates for a resilient and diverse local food economy.

Dreaming Out Loud, Inc., Washington, DC: $5,000 to provide community farm and workforce training, nutrition education, community supported agriculture and farmers markets, and micro-enterprises for low-income residents.

Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Pawtucket, RI: $5,000 to grow the connections between urban residents and farmers at their neighborhood markets.

Farmworker Association of Florida, Apopka, FL: $6,000 to increase small-scale food production and raises awareness of and access to fresh organic food in low-income farmworker communities.

Green Village Initiative, Bridgeport, CT:  $5,000 to cultivate community wellbeing and self-sufficiency by developing and nurturing urban farming initiatives.

Grow Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA: $5,000 to launch the Pittsburgh Youth Market Program, establishing farm stands run by youth in neighborhoods that otherwise do not have regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

GrowNYC, New York, NY: $7,500 to support a local wholesale distribution program, as it moves to The Hub, a new facility that will exponentially increase benefits to family farms and underserved communities alike.

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Boston, MA: $6,000 to train the next generation of farmers to produce food that is sustainable, nutritious, and culturally-appropriate and making this food accessible to individuals regardless of age, mobility, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.

Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Kingston, NY: $6,000 to foster co-learning, collaboration, and social justice among farm and food systems practitioners in service of movement building for an equitable and sustainable food system.

Powder River Basin Resource Council, Sheridan, WY: $5,000 to support a campaign to increase local food availability and food security in Wyoming communities and increase the number of independent producers through better market access, education and meat processing.

Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bayfield, WI: $5,000 to support free or reduced-cost Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares from Mino Bimaadiziiwin, Red Cliff’s tribal farm, to increase accessibility for low-income community members.

Helping Farmers Thrive

Providing farmers with support and resources to start farming, transition to more sustainable farming practices and/or continue farming in the face of financial crises and/or natural disasters.

Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association, Salinas, CA: $6,000 to provide access to resources and hands-on field assistance to 35 start-up farms, 80% of which are owned by Mexican immigrants. 

Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network, Birmingham, AL: $6,000 to inventory the needs, assets, and goals of sustainable farmers in Alabama; develop a Central Alabama CRAFT Network; and build skills and power among youth in Alabama’s sustainable ag movement.

Alice’s Garden Urban Farm, Milwaukee, WI: $5,000 to support both urban and rural agriculture by training young adults from the urban context who are seeking a vocation in the farming traditions of their ancestors.

Angelic Organics Learning Center, Caledonia, IL: $5,000 to support holistic training for beginning farmers, provide opportunities for socially disadvantaged individuals, and develop the next generation of consumers who create demand for sustainable agriculture.

Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, Athens, OH: $6,000 to assist Appalachia Ohio farmers in accessing the financial resources, processing infrastructure, and marketing skills to diversify their farms into profitable businesses that support sustainable livelihoods.

Appalachian Sustainable Development, Abingdon, VA: $6,000 to support farmers by providing training and technical assistance and developing markets for “seconds” produce.

California FarmLink, Aptos, CA: $6,000 to implement a business succession training program and to provide new business opportunities for the next generation of farmers in California.

Connecticut Farmland Trust, Hartford, CT: $5,000 to help farmers face the challenge of land access and affordability while also supporting their ability to reinvest in their farm and diversify their operations.

Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City, MO: $6,000 to provide technical assistance and resources to local farmers, support a refugee training program that creates new farm businesses, and host workshops, conferences & farmer-to-farmer learning groups to address urban farming challenges.

Farmers’ Legal Action Group, St. Paul, MN: $30,000 to support its national legal hotline, which provides immediate support to family farmers who have legal, credit, business, or other problems requiring the services of an attorney.

Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, Atlanta, GA: $15,000 to bring struggling minority pecan farmers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi into the Southern Alternatives Pecans pecan cooperative.

Fondy Food Center, Milwaukee, WI: $8,000 for the Fondy Farm Project, which supports 26 primarily refugee farmers through access to land, resources, and technical support, and implements sustainable agricultural to help farmers, land & water thrive.

Food Works, Carbondale, IL: $5,000 to increase the viability of beginning, sustainable family farms through value-added enterprises and farmer-to-farmer mentorship.

Holistic Management International (HMI), Albuquerque, NM: $6,000 to educate family farmers, ranchers, and pastoralists in regenerative agricultural practices that empower them to strengthen their businesses, produce healthier food, improve wildlife habitats, and protect the environment.

Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee, WI: $7,000 to support beginning farmer education and mentorship at its urban farm, growing nearly 500,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables each year solely for the purpose of feeding those facing hunger in Milwaukee County.

Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE: $10,000 to operate the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline.

KNOX, Inc., Hartford, CT: $5,000 to provide beginning farmers with land, training, and connections to scale up and launch their own family farms.

Land For Good, Keene, NH: $5,000 to provide individualized land access and farm transfer advising, coaching and referral services to beginning, established, and transitioning farmers and farm families in New England.

Land Loss Prevention Project, Durham, NC: $15,000 for legal services, technical assistance, policy innovation, and outreach to farmers to further asset stabilization, credit acquisition and management, agricultural program access, and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Local Food Hub, Charlottesville, VA: $5,000 to provide critical cost-share support and technical assistance on food safety certifications for small to midsize farms.

Louisiana Interchurch Conference, Baton Rouge, LA: $3,000 for emergency funds for farmers in need, and to support its hotline, which provides immediate support to farm families in crisis, including financial counseling.

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, Maine: $6,000 to integrate climate resiliency education and technical assistance into the Maine Farm Resilience Program for farmers of all experience levels and advance farmer-led policy change.

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, WI: $6,000 for grants advising that helps farmers, especially underserved farmers, access federal and state resources available for their farms and communities.

Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), Spring Valley, WI: $7,500 to promote organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources, and expertise farmers need to succeed.

National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT: $5,000 for Armed to Farm trainings, which provide an opportunity for military veterans to explore profitable careers in sustainable farming.

Oneida Nation, Oneida, WI: $5,000 to support the Center for Experiential Learning in Agriculture that will train farmers to succeed.

Operation Spring Plant, Oxford, NC: $6,000 to provide outreach, assistance, and nutritionally-rich, safe food to food desert communities, while capturing viable markets for small farmers.

Oregon Tilth, Corvallis, OR: $5,000 to adapt the Know Your Costs to Grow profitability training for small, diversified vegetable farmers to a virtual setting.

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Millheim, PA: $7,000 to equip family farmers with the knowledge and skills needed to operate financially viable, environmentally sustainable, and socially just farm businesses in a changing climate.

Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ames, IA: $6,000 to support beginning farmers through farmer-to-farmer education and networking.

Quivira Coalition, Santa Fe, NM: $6,000 to expand the New Agrarian Program with regenerative agricultural apprenticeships and provide beginning farmers and ranchers with the tools, skills and network needed to pursue a successful agrarian life.

Red Tomato, Plainville, MA: $6,000 to identify soil health, carbon capture and energy practices that can mitigate climate change on Northeast fruit farms and incorporate them into production protocol and education for Eco Apple and other Northeast growers. 

Rogue Farm Corps, Ashland, OR: $5,000 to train and equip the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and farmland preservation.

Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, Pittsboro, NC: $27,500 to support farmers dealing with financial stress, providing one-on-one counseling and advocacy services to keep them farming now and into the future.

Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership, South Dartmouth, MA: $5,000 to support farmers and municipalities to preserve farmland near the South Coast Rail expansion and provide technical assistance to farmers for business planning and land acquisition.

Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Albany, GA: $10,000 to improve the viability of minority farmer operations and increase the intergenerational transference of farmland in minority communities.

Sustainable Food Center, Austin, TX: $5,000 to move Central Texas family farmers toward regenerative practices by gathering baseline data on farmers’ current sustainability and linking them with resources to advance their sustainability goals.

Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Austin, TX: $6,000 to train farmers and advocates in disaster response and provide education and training for farmers to become more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

The Carrot Project, Boston, MA: $5,000 to provide in-depth business advice and training to assist small farm and food entrepreneurs in New England and the Hudson Valley to develop thriving, sustainable businesses.

The Food Group, New Hope, MN: $6,000 to support Big River Farms, which addresses racial and other disparities in farming through helping farmers from diverse backgrounds to start organic farm businesses and other programming.

The Land Connection, Champaign, IL: $5,000 to support the Farmer Training Program, which provides farmers with the support, tools, and network needed to begin farming and increase the longevity and success of their operations. 

Wisconsin Tribal Conservation Advisory Council, Gillett, WI: $7,500 to support the Tribal Agriculture Apprentice Program, which educates three apprentices in farm management and indigenous agriculture stewardship methods and provides outreach and education to Tribal beginning farmers.

Taking Action to Change the System

Working to promote fair farm policies and/or grassroots organizing campaigns to defend and bolster family farm agriculture on a local, regional or national level.

American Agriculture Movement, Accokeek, MD: $5,000 to keep farm families on the land and support farm families under stress because of natural disasters and the low cost of production prices.

California Climate & Agriculture Network, Sebastopol, CA: $10,000 to strengthen the voice of California’s organic and sustainable agriculture community on climate policy to support farmers in slowing climate change and coping with its impacts.

Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, NE: $7,500 to advocate for stable and increased funding for programs that support beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers, as well as local and alternative farming systems.

Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Davis, CA: $6,000 to address the needs of historically underserved farmers by further incorporating farmers of color into policy work.

Community Farm Alliance, Berea, KY: $6,000 to ensure Kentucky farmers continue to have a voice in the policies that impact them most, through facilitating grassroots dialogue, community organizing, and leadership development.

Dakota Resource Council, Bismarck, ND: $5,000 to enhance and support family owned and operated agriculture and challenge the corporate dominance of North Dakota’s food system.

Dakota Rural Action, Brookings, SD: $7,000 to fight CAFOs and change the food and agriculture systems at play in South Dakota and the Midwest region at large, providing support, training, and market share for independent small and midsize family farmers.

Family Farm Defenders, Madison WI: $7,500 to support food sovereignty work including parity pricing, anti-trust action, and farmer supply management, as well as a just transition towards agroecology for climate justice.

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Cameron, TX: $6,000 to increase a grassroots advocacy corps in the 4 most populous cities in Texas to help pass state and federal laws that support small farmers.

Friends of Family Farmers, Salem, OR: $6,000 to support a grassroots organizing tour to shape a policy agenda, celebrate family farmers, expand a base, and collect data with a statewide survey.

Hartford Food System, Hartford, CT: $5,000 to support a series of on-farm potlucks, trainings, and conversations to build power among the state’s urban and rural farmers, build urban-rural solidarity to strengthen farms, and train new farmers. 

Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Boise, ID: $7,000 to create a more just food system by organizing farmers and farm workers to change local and state policies.

Illinois Citizens for Clean Air & Water, Vermont, IL: $5,000 to assist small farmers and rural residents fighting against the siting of factory farms in their communities, while organizing and galvanizing them to campaign for legislative reform. 

Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Springfield, IL: $7,000 to win state legislative priorities in 2020 and expand capacity to engage members, develop leaders, and build a more powerful organization. 

Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minneapolis, MN: $7,500 to support research and collaborative advocacy for policies to support family farmers. 

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Des Moines, IA:  $10,000 to support the Factory Farm Accountability Project, which supports family farm agriculture and protect Iowa’s environment from factory farm pollution. 

Kansas Farmers Union, McPherson KS: $7,000 to support the KFU Policy Advocates program, which provides the skills and experience needed to support farming members in becoming confident voices for Kansas agriculture in DC, Topeka, and locally.

Land Stewardship Project, Minneapolis, MN: $10,000 to build the leadership capacity of farm and rural members and supporters that lift up the narrative that people should come before excessive corporate profits. 

Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia, MO: $10,000 to support farm and rural organizing that supports independent family farms, rural communities, a diversified food system and environmental protection, while directly taking on industrial corporate agriculture.

National Family Farm Coalition, Washington, DC: $20,000 to achieve economic empowerment for family farmers.

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Washington DC: $17,500 to ensure the 2018 Farm Bill implementation supports family farmers and sustainable agriculture.

National Young Farmers Coalition, Hudson, NY: $7,500 to expand its grassroots organizing and chapter network, advocate for key polices at federal and state levels, and provide trainings, tools, and resources to farmers to advance their businesses.

Northeast Organic Farming Association Interstate Council, Barre, MA: $15,000 to support seven NOFA chapters in building coalitions of farmers, environmental organizations, and other soil health proponents in order to advance soil health advocacy in the Northeast.

Northern Plains Resource Council, Billings, MT: $7,500 to fight policies that favor corporate domination of agriculture, promote healthy soil, create a bigger marketplace for local foods, and protect farms and ranches threatened by the fossil fuel industry.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Columbus, OH: $7,000 to support policy advocacy on behalf of sustainable and organic family-scaled farms, in recognition of the benefits they provide to the environment, concerned eaters, and rural communities.

Oregon Rural Action, LaGrande, OR: $6,000 to win a moratorium on new and expanded mega-dairies in Oregon until the state acts to protect the environment, family farms, and animal welfare.

Organic Farmers Association, Kutztown, PA: $6,500 to support grassroots farmer-led work to build power and consensus among the organic farmer community to preserve organic integrity, support more U.S. organic acres and increase environmental services.

Organic Farming Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA: $6,000 to increase the success of existing organic farmers through research and provide support for farmers transitioning to organic production.

Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA: $5,000 to support its advocacy program in leading and responding to policy initiatives and other actions that increase the availability, quality, and genetic integrity of organic seed available to family farmers. 

Organization for Competitive Markets, Lincoln, NE: $5,000 to enhance the campaign to reform commodity checkoff programs.

Real Food Generation, Cambridge, MA: $5,000 to create a system-wide shift in the university foodservice industry that systemically invests in Real Food and family farmers.

Rural Vermont, Montpelier, VT: $5,000 to support continued efforts to collaborate, organize, and advocate for a just transition to a Vermont agriculture and economy that takes care of farmers and ecosystems.

Socially Responsible Agricultural Project (SRAP), Golden, Colorado: $5,000 to empower communities to protect their public health, environmental quality, and natural resources from the damaging impacts of factory farms.

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Fayetteville, AR: $5,000 to engage Southern farmers and farm organizations in building support for national and local policies that encourage sustainable agricultural practices and support family farmers.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake, Takoma Park, MD: $5,000 to support the Fair Farms Campaign, which brings together consumers, farmers, and conservationists to advocate for a food system that is equitable, fair to farmers, invests in homegrown healthy foods, and restores waterways.

West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, Charleston, WV: $7,000 for its statewide policy advocacy program, which develops and advocates for local, state, and federal policies that support a resilient and equitable local food system.

Western Colorado Alliance, Grand Junction, CO: $5,000 to build farmers’ knowledge of soil health and regenerative agricultural practices, and to change policy and create supportive programs at local and state levels.

Wisconsin Farmers Union, Chippewa Falls, WI: $10,000 to raise the voices of Wisconsin farmers to rebuild a viable economy for family farmers and rural communities.

WORC Education Project, Billings, MT: $10,000 to support rural community organizing work to fight for family farmers and ranchers at the local, state, and federal level.


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