Fourteen U.S. farms won a collective $85,100 from the Cultivating Change Local Farm Grant Program for improving the safety, efficiency or sustainability of their operations.
Cultivating Change, a grant program from Greener Fields Together, Pro*Act’s sustainability initiative, has now awarded $325,000 to 52 small farms in 18 states, according to a news release. It launched in 2015 and is funded by Pro*Act distributors.
More than 140 farms submitted applications. More than 27,000 voters cast more than 100,000 votes — the highest number of votes ever, according to the release.
“Our team was amazed by the quality of the applications, ingenuity of projects and ultimately enthusiasm from the community,” Anne Nichols, sustainability manager for Greener Fields Together, said in the release.
Winning projects — including packing shed improvements, establishing a bee colony and a new tractor purchase — were chosen by a panel of industry professionals, who carefully reviewed and scored all projects. Reeves Family Farm was selected twice: by popular vote and by panelists.
“It’s our hope that these investments provide the needed support for them to continue to grow,” Pro*Act CEO Max Yeater said in the release.
The 2019 winners include:
> Arizona Microgreens, Phoenix, $10,600;
> Reeves Family Farm, Princeton, Texas, $10,500;
> Merchant’s Garden, Tucson, Ariz., $10,000;
> Dawson’s Orchards, Enon Valley, Pa., $10,000;
> Huntsinger Farms, Hegins, Pa., $7,000;
> Valhalla Organics, Talent, Ore., $6,000;
> Vigeo Gardens, Akron, Ohio, $5,000;
> Long and Scott Farms, Mt. Dora, Fla., $5,000;
> Rendleman Orchards, Alto Pass, Ill., $5,000;
> Loylang Urban Farms, Raleigh, N.C., $5,000;
> Trempler Family Farms LLC, Corvallis, Ore., $4,000;
> Mari’s Gardens LLC, Honolulu, $3,000;
> Sun Farms, Fredric, Wis., $2,000; and
> Mahonia Gardens, Sisters, Ore., $2,000.
The application window for the next Cultivating Change competition will start Oct. 1. Requirements, contest rules and winner profiles, are at https://cultivatingchange.org/.