Funding for farmers
Published 1:05 am Friday, January 21, 2022
Applications are now open for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association’s Beginning Farmer Pandemic Relief Microgrants.
This new fund aims to mitigate the pandemic’s economic impact on beginning farmers with direct financial assistance.
The microgrants, administered through the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, are intended to offset the costs of input expenses (including compost and cover crop seed), fund infrastructure projects (such as wash-area improvements or tractor implements), or cover the costs of organic certification for beginning farmers. Awards range from $500 to $5,000.
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“In many ways beginning farmers were especially impacted by the pandemic,” Robin Hackett, OEFFA’s Begin Farming program coordinator, said. “Running a new farm business is challenging under the best of circumstances, but the unpredictability and supply chain disruptions of the past two years have made it especially difficult for early career farmers to get their feet under them.”
Hackett said of his conversations with beginning farmers across the state, “I have yet to hear from any who haven’t been adversely impacted by the pandemic in one way or another.”
To be eligible to apply, farmers must be:
• Located in Ohio,
• In operation for between one and 10 seasons, and engaged in sustainable agricultural practices.
This funding is made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program. Applications open Jan. 17 and close March 7. Award recipients will be announced at the end of March.
For more information, or to apply, visit beginfarming.oeffa.org/beginning-farmer-relief.