Meet Farm Aid’s Current 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.

In 2016, Farm Aid granted $575,318. Of that total, $531,215 was given in competitive and strategic grants to 82 family farm organizations in 35 states and the District of Columbia. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $20,000. Detailed grant descriptions are below.

Farm Aid also granted $26,500 in emergency funding to help farm families facing either economic crises or natural disasters. Individual emergency grants were awarded to 53 farmers located in 14 states: Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

Finally, Farm Aid’s Farmer Leadership Fund granted $17,603 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 the District of Columbia and 7 states: Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, and West Virginia.

“Farm Aid is proud to make grants to support so many good people engaged in the work of changing our food system. The real power of Farm Aid’s grants is in the network of changemakers they knit together, in cities and rural areas across this country.” — 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.

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


Willie Nelson signing the 2016 grant checks!


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

  • Cultivate Kansas City, Kansas City, KS: $5,000 to support its efforts to incubate new farm businesses, expand markets for small-scale urban farmers, educate urban farmers in sustainable and organic practices, and engage the public and policy leaders in building the local food system.
  • Dreaming Out Loud, Washington, DC: $7,500 to support the expansion of their food justice and sovereignty work in the District of Columbia. Specifically, the grant will support the development of a two-acre urban farm that will create new opportunities to hire and train local residents interested in agriculture.
  • Family Agriculture Resource Management Services, Rock Hill, SC: $5,000 for the Farm to Food Banks program, which connects produce from limited resource farmers with area food banks.
  • Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund, East Point, GA: $10,000 to mentor producers in four states to participate in a regional marketing system in the South.
  • GrowNYC, New York, NY: $5,000 to support its expanding local food hub and distribution program that increases all New Yorkers’ access to local food from farms across the Northeast.
  • Local Food Hub, Charlottesville, VA: $7,500 to connect small family farms with institutional markets, provide services to farmers, and make local food more available to low-income communities.
  • Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), Boston, MA: $6,000 to increase collaboration with Mid-Atlantic farm and food system groups, increase participation of farmers involved in NESAWG’s work, and support meaningful change toward a just and sustainable food system in their 12-state region.
  • Powder River Basin Resource Council, Sheridan, WY: $5,000 to extend outreach and education efforts, increase access to local food, create markets for local farms, and address state and federal regulations that impact local farms.
  • 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.
  • Sustainable Food Center, Austin, TX: $5,000 to improve economic opportunities for small farmers by connecting them with more customers and resources.


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: $5,000 to educate, train, and support early career farmers, primarily low-income Latino farm workers, and to help participants enter the organic sector.
  • Angelic Organics Learning Center, Caledonia, IL: $5,000 to support the Farmer Training Initiative, which will provide over 250 beginning farmers in Illinois and Wisconsin with farmer-led business planning, field days, and advanced support services.
  • Appalachian Sustainable Development, Abingdon, VA: $7,500 to prepare beginning and transitioning farmers in Central Appalachia for obtaining Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification by providing training and one-on-one technical assistance.
  • Area Ag Information Center, Thief River Falls, MN: $6,000 to assist farm families in mediation and/or cash flow planning by working with the farmers’ accountants and/or attorneys and the lenders.
  • 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.
  • Carolina Farm Stewardship Associations, Pittsboro, NC: $5,000 to expand its collaborative incubator farm programming to reach a larger audience while continuing its in-depth training and mentorship on the farm.
  • The Carrot Project, Boston, MA: $5,000 to offer business services to New England family farms so they can grow into thriving enterprises and to support an urban agriculture pilot program in Boston.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL: $5,000 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.
  • Community Alliance with Family Farmers, Davis, CA: $5,000 to assist family and direct-market farmers in California and across the country in understanding the requirements and consequences of food safety regulations.
  • Conservation Law Foundation, Boston, MA: $5,000 to support the Legal Food Hub, which provides pro bono legal services to lower-income and small-scale farmers, food entrepreneurs, and organizations that support them.
  • Farm Alliance of Baltimore, Baltimore, MD: $5,000 to train socially disadvantaged farmers to start independent urban farm enterprises, pursue Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, increase partnerships with suburban and rural farms, and serve as a food hub for the Baltimore area.
  • Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Saint Paul, MN: $20,000 to provide legal research, advice and referrals to family farmers, their advocates, and attorneys addressing critical legal issues to preserve family farms.
  • Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Gainesville, FL: $7,000 to support educational opportunities and advocacy work that directly benefit family farmers, with a focus on organic agriculture.
  • Food Works, Carbondale, IL: $5,000 to train sustainable farmers in southern Illinois in online marketing to improve their viability.
  • 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.
  • Kansas Farmers Union Foundation, McPherson, KS: $5,000 to develop a plan of action to present to the Kansas legislative session for a new crisis response program.
  • The Land Connection, Champaign, IL: $5,000 to teach beginning farmers how to access capital and manage farm business finances.
  • Land For Good, Keene, NH: $5,000 to deliver direct technical assistance, training, and educational resources on farmland access to at least 3,000 New England farmers through in-person, print, and online services.
  • Land Loss Prevention Project, Durham, NC: $15,000 to provide legal services and technical assistance to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers in North Carolina and the Southeast.
  • Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Unity, ME: $5,000 to support its ongoing work to train farmers how to be successful entrepreneurs in organic food production and processing in Maine.
  • Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy, WI: $5,000 to support the Grants Advising Service, which provides free information and one-on-one advising to farmers on applying for federal, state, and private funding sources.
  • Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service, Spring Valley, WI: $5,000 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.
  • Minnesota Food Association, Marine on St. Croix, MN: $5,000 to continue providing historically underserved farmers with access to land, infrastructure, training, marketing, and distribution channels.
  • National Center for Appropriate Technology, Butte, MT: $5,000 to fly farmers to Washington, DC for meetings with legislative leaders and to support the Armed to Farm program which trains returning veterans in sustainable agriculture.
  • National Farmers Union Foundation, Washington, DC: $7,500 to offer marketing, credit access, land access, risk management, and community leadership training through its Beginning Farmer Institute.
  • New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, Lowell, MA: $5,000 to build the capacity of farm and ranch apprenticeships and develop a comprehensive Apprenticeship Toolkit for national distribution.
  • Operation Spring Plant, Oxford, NC: $7,500 to oversee work with disadvantaged farmers in rural North Carolina.
  • Organic Farming Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA: $5,000 to engage in, drive, and support research, education, and policy advocacy to support organic and transitioning farmers.
  • Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Millheim, PA: $5,000 to support the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship and the SOIL Institute which aims to minimize the effects of farming on climate change and vice-versa.
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa, Ames, IA: $5,000 to provide beginning farmers with peer-to-peer training in business planning, financial statements, and budgeting.
  • Quivira Coalition, Santa Fe, NM: $5,000 to expand the New Agrarian Program, which provides training for beginning farmers in the Southwest and welcomes new mentors from small, family ranches and farms.
  • Rogue Farm Corps, Ashland, OR: $5,000 to equip the next generation of Oregon farmers and ranchers with the tools and experience needed to launch and operate successful farm businesses.
  • Rural Advancement Foundation International, Pittsboro, NC: $20,000 to provide financial counseling and mediation services to farmers in crisis and participate in the Farm Advocate Link.
  • Soul Fire Farm Institute, Petersburg, NY: $5,000 to train 100 Black, Latino, and Indigenous farmers and food justice organizers as a means to increase farm ownership by these populations and the amount of food grown by and for communities of color.
  • Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Albany, GA: $7,500 to offer educational sessions to the African-American farming community on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Handling Practices (GHP), value-added production, and marketing of quality products.
  • Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Elgin, TX: $5,000 to continue conversations with the Texas Department of Agriculture to increase support for organic specialty crop production and to develop support services for farmers.


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.

  • Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN), Montgomery, AL: $5,000 to develop and strengthen its capacity to serve as a statewide leader and network of change to Alabama’s food system with a focus on marginalized people, food injustice, and community-based action.
  • Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, Glendale Springs, NC: $5,000 to organize farmers and rural residents in North Carolina and Virginia against natural gas pipelines and to develop local government resolutions.
  • California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN), Sebastopol, CA: $5,000 to expand CalCAN’s network of growers, researchers, and organizational partners to influence climate policy using the voices of the sustainable and organic agriculture community.
  • Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform, Pittsboro, NC: $7,500 to advocate for protections for contract growers and farmers and to educate Congress, UDSA, and the general public on effects of contract production.
  • Center for Rural Affairs, Lyons, NE: $5,000 to engage beginning, small, and mid-sized farmers in advocacy for crop insurance reforms and other policy reforms that dismantle structures that favor corporate farms.
  • Community Farm Alliance, Berea, KY: $5,000 to support efforts to ensure a prosperous place for family farmers in Kentucky through leadership development and grassroots democratic processes.
  • Dakota Resource Council, Bismarck, ND: $6,000 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.
  • Dakota Rural Action, Brookings, SD: $6,000 to support the Rural Vitality Campaign to thwart development of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in South Dakota.
  • Fair Farms, Takoma Park, MD: $5,000 to educate and engage consumers, identify and partner with farmers and businesses, and build grassroots power on the Eastern Shore in support of better agricultural system for farmers, public health, and the economic future of the region.
  • Family Farm Defenders, Madison, WI: $8,000 to continue 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.
  • Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Cameron, TX: $5,000 to teach farmers, ranchers, and local food consumers advocacy skills and engage them in the state legislative process.
  • Federation of Southern Cooperatives, East Point, GA: $5,000 to organize a dialogue between South Carolina farmers affected by historic flooding with USDA officials.
  • Friends of Family Farmers, Salem, OR: $5,000 to bring family farmers across Oregon to the state capitol for a day of action demonstrating the importance of small and family farms.
  • Idaho Organization of Resource Councils, Boise, ID: $5,000 to train leaders, educate policy makers, and execute actions related to four campaigns of its Agriculture and Food Task Force farmer-consumer led program.
  • Illinois Citizens for Clean Air and Water, Sycamore, IL: $5,000 to help neighbors of factory farms organize in support of local control over factory farms in Illinois.
  • Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Springfield, IL: $5,000 to strengthen and grow grassroots advocacy for policies that support family farming in Illinois.
  • Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minneapolis, MN: $5,000 to show how farmers and rural communities are responding to climate change and to develop a new trade agenda that works for small and mid-sized farmers.
  • Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Des Moines, IA: $7,500 to support family farm agriculture and protect Iowa’s environment from factory farm pollution.
  • Land Stewardship Project, Minneapolis, MN: $5,000 to organize Minnesota family farmers to be leaders in the pursuit of health care reform.
  • Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia, MO: $5,015 to implement the final phase of outreach for a campaign to defeat the beef checkoff tax in Missouri.
  • Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia, MO: $8,000 to strengthen local, community-based food systems and organize grassroots campaigns on the local, state, and national levels to advocate for policies which benefit and empower family farmers and rural communities.
  • National Family Farm Coalition, Washington, DC: $20,000 to promote agroecology to oppose corporate concentration, confront unfair credit access and resource grabs, promote fair trade, and maintain involvement in the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) rule and broader anti-trust issues.
  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Washington, DC: $17,500 to support its work increasing funding for beginning and socially disadvantaged farmer training programs, improving credit and land access, and ensuring food safety rules are implemented according to Congressional intent.
  • National Young Farmers Coalition, Hudson, NY: $5,000 to create a national strategy for the next generation of American farmers in the 2018 Farm Bill and beyond.
  • Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation, Lincoln, NE: $8,200 to support the Project Rawhide Poultry Grower Education Project.
  • New England Farmers Union Education Foundation, Turners Falls, MA: $5,000 to nurture farmer leadership, encourage farmer participation in policies that impact their operations, and aggregate their voices in policy and planning circles.
  • Northern Plains Resource Council, Billings, MT: $5,000 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.
  • Organic Farmers Association, Kutztown, PA: $6,500 for development of an organized national voice to represent organic farmers.
  • Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, Columbus, OH: $6,000 to support the Farm Policy Matters program, which advocates for policies that support family farmers who depend on sustainable agricultural practices.
  • Oregon Rural Action, La Grande, OR: $5,000 to expand its base of farmers and ranchers and further strengthen rural power to effect policy change.
  • Organic Seed Alliance, Port Townsend, WA: $5,000 to support policy work which leads to the increased availability, quality, and integrity of organic seed.
  • Rural Vermont, Montpelier, VT: $5,000 to support a series of Small Farm Action Days, which directly place farmers face-to-face with policy makers and legislators to educate them about and advocate for policies that support a just transition to regenerative agriculture.
  • Socially Responsible Agriculture Project, Salem, OR: $5,000 to curb industrial poultry production in Chesapeake Bay watershed communities and to raise awareness of the injustices of contract poultry production.
  • Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, Fayetteville, AR: $5,000 to continue the Policy Collaborative Action Network for organizational and farmer leaders to build support for national and local policies that encourage sustainable practices.
  • West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, Charleston, WV: $7,500 to propose at least three bills designed to help small farmers in West Virginia scale up their operations and be more viable in the local and national food economies.
  • Western Colorado Congress, Grand Junction, CO: $5,000 to support the Strengthening Family Farms, Strengthening Communities Program, which organizes producers and consumers to make a difference on local, state, and federal agricultural policies.
  • Western Organization of Resource Councils, Billings, MT: $7,500 to ensure strong federal rules that protect family and independent livestock producers and to block approval of trade agreements that are damaging to family farmers.

Click here to learn about Farm Aid’s 2015 Grantees

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