Communities from coast to coast are rallying behind local farms who have submitted grant applications in hopes of securing funding for sustainability-focused initiatives at their operations.
National Produce Distributor PRO*ACT launched Cultivating Change in 2015, using the platform to give over $325,000 to farms growing for their local distributors across North America. This year, a record number of 143 farms from 34 states applied for funding, with up to half the money being awarded via an online vote taking place until January 31, and the rest through an industry review panel.
Voters are signing up at cultivatingchange.org, and sharing their local farm’s application with their communities through social media tools. Farms that have won the vote in the past have been encouraged by the positive outcomes that go far beyond the awarded grant money, the organization says.
“Beyond the $6k we received for our refrigerated truck, our farm saw an amazing outpouring from our community. We saw more visits to our farm store, and this has given us the needed boost to establish more business with customers” said Stacy Reeves, of Reeves Family Farms in Princeton, Texas.
Winners of the vote are eligible to receive up to $10,000 for their projects, with grant awards announced on February 3, 2019.