FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 16, 2021
Farm Aid Distributes Nearly $1 Million in 2021 Grants
Investments Support Family Farm Viability, Address Racial Equity and Climate Change, and Build Systemic Change
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — On the heels of a successful in-person festival this past September, Farm Aid announced that it distributed nearly $1 million in grant funding in 2021. Farm Aid prioritized organizations working to support family farmers, advance racial equity and social justice in our food system, advance farmer-led solutions to climate change, and build power for systemic change in our farm and food systems.
“Thanks to generous supporters from across the country, and a triumphant return to the Farm Aid stage in Hartford, Connecticut, Farm Aid is glad to make these grants to grassroots organizations that support family farmers across the country,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. “These folks are the lifeblood of the movement for family farmers and their work is essential for an equitable and sustainable farm and food system for us all.”
In 2021, Farm Aid distributed a total of $972,000, $817,500 of which was granted in December to 86 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations. Earlier this year, Farm Aid granted $113,000 to assist farm and ranch families who were impacted by immediate and long-term climate disasters, including historic winter storms, record drought and wildfires. Strategic grants totaling $17,500 enabled long-term partners to address pressing needs or take advantage of unique opportunities to advance family farm agriculture.
Emergency grants totaling more than $24,000 were made to farm families to cover essential household expenses. These $500 grants are recommended on a case-by-case basis by Farm Aid hotline managers who operate the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline and connect farmers with helpful services, resources and opportunities specific to their individual needs. Additionally, about $20,000 supported scholarships for college students pursuing degrees in agriculture.
In 2021, Farm Aid’s grants supported work to:
- Grow the Good Food Movement: Efforts that build local and regional food systems and connect family farmers directly with consumers.
- Help Farmers Thrive: Programs that provide family 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 natural disasters.
- Take Action To Change The System: Work that promotes fair farm policies and organize grassroots campaigns to defend and bolster family farm agriculture on a local, regional or national level.
These priorities guided Farm Aid’s work and grantmaking in 2021:
- Advancing Racial Equity & Social Justice: Organizations or programs led by and/or supporting historically underserved and marginalized agricultural communities—rural and urban; work that supports BIPOC farmers and ranchers; work that fosters the next generation of farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers challenging racial injustice.
- Farmer-Led Solutions to Climate Change: Development of agricultural systems and on-farm practices that nurture and safeguard natural resources, food supplies and communities; advancing farm-based solutions to climate change in state and federal policy; work to include farmers and communities most impacted by climate change in decision-making and leadership opportunities.
- Building Power for Systemic Change: Efforts that advance grassroots organizing and community building to dismantle corporate control and historical inequities in agriculture; cooperative development or other economic/market solutions; initiatives bolstering local and regional farm and food systems.
In the Northeast, where the organization reconvened its annual music and food festival in September, Farm Aid invested $125,000 in 15 programs across five states that met this year’s priorities. Awardees include The Carrot Project in Boston, MA; CitySeed in New Haven, CT; Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture in South Deerfield, MA; Connecticut Farmland Trust in Hartford, CT; Farm Fresh Rhode Island in Providence, RI; Green Village Initiative in Bridgeport, CT; Hartford Food System/Connecticut Food System Alliance in Hartford, CT; KNOX in Hartford, CT; Land For Good in Keene, NH; The Livestock Institute in Westport MA; National Family Farm Coalition (NFFC) in DC and Gloucester; New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Beverly, MA; Real Food Challenge in Boston, MA; Red Tomato in Providence, RI; Rural Vermont in Montpelier, VT; and The Northeast Organic Farming Association, with chapters in CT, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT.
Farm Aid’s grant-making is one aspect of its work to keep family farmers on the land, growing good food for all. Other work throughout the year includes efforts to increase demand for family farm food; bring farmers, advocates and activists together to build power for family farmers and to grow change in our farm and food system; advocate for policies that serve farmers and eaters and protect our natural resources; and invite everyone to participate in a thriving family farm system of agriculture
For a complete listing of Farm Aid’s 2021 grant recipients, visit www.farmaid.org/our-work/grants/.
Farm Aid welcomes donations at www.farmaid.org/donate.
Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and Margo Price host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. For more than 35 years, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $60 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.