CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Farm Aid announced this week that it has distributed $732,351 to 83 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations in 34 states and the District of Columbia, as well as to more than 60 farmers and youths for leadership development and advocacy.
Farm Aid also made grants to 297 farm families for emergency and natural disaster relief.
“Thanks to the continued generosity of supporters from across the country … Farm Aid sends critical funds to hardworking organizations who share Farm Aid’s mission,” said musician Willie Nelson, Farm Aid’s president.
In Western Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, where Farm Aid held its annual music and food festival at KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania, this past September, Farm Aid invested $50,500 in eight programs that support family farmers. Included were:
• Appalachian Center for Economic Networks in Athens, Ohio, to provide livestock and specialty crop farmers in Appalachian Ohio with resources and assistance to reach new market opportunities.
• Fayette County Community Action Agency in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, to connect farmers and entrepreneurs, and develop a productive farm and food business climate in 38 counties of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Maryland.
• Grow Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to support urban farmers, promote urban agriculture and remove barriers for people growing food in urban landscapes.
• Keystone Development Center in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, to provide technical assistance and business planning to Early Bird Farmers’ Cooperative, which markets certified organic eggs from member farms.
• Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association in Columbus, Ohio, to engage farmer leaders and advocates in the work of the 2018 Farm Bill.
• Organic Farmers Association in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, to mobilize its farmer members to establish and advocate its policy platform, influence policy in Washington, D.C., and begin to unify the national organic farmer network through stronger relationships among organic farmer organizations.
• Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture in Millheim, Pennsylvania, to develop and host farmer educational events, study sustainability indicators chosen by farmers, develop a Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship program and grow its Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program.
• West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition in Charleston, West Virginia, to develop and advocate for local, state and federal policies that reflect the voices of the food and farm community and support a resilient and equitable local food system.
Earlier this year, Farm Aid granted $18,500 to farm and ranch families in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado who lost land, livestock, fences, buildings and equipment to wildfires.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Farm Aid granted $114,500 to farm families in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who lost their crops, livestock, pasture, barns, equipment and other essentials to maintaining their livelihoods.
In addition, Farm Aid’s Farmer Leadership Fund awarded more than $32,000 this year to elevate farmer voices in policy discussions, develop leadership skills and send youths involved in urban farming to sustainable agriculture conferences.