The Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program recently awarded $37,300 to 14 organizations to promote Northeast agriculture, support young and beginning farmer initiatives, and encourage agricultural youth programs.
The program is a joint effort of Farm Credit East, Yankee Farm Credit, Farm Credit of Maine and CoBank. Since its inception in 1996, Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement has awarded more than $1.4 million through 553 grants.
Recent grant recipients
The most recent grants highlight Farm Credit's ongoing partnership with organizations that make a significant difference in the lives of people involved in all aspects of agriculture.
. North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (Northeast Region) was awarded a $5,000 grant to support a three-day event for agriculture colleges where dairy students combine into mixed school teams to analyze all aspects of a dairy farm and make recommendations to a panel of judges. This event provides students the opportunity to develop skills and provide insights, as well as to compete, share and make contacts within the dairy industry.
. A $5,000 grant to Northeast Forests, LLC will support production of a booklet on continuous process improvement in logging. This is a joint effort involving Dr. Steven Bick of Northern Forests, LLC and Dr. Jeffrey Benjamin of the University of Maine.
. A $4,300 grant to the New York State Agricultural Society will be put toward the 2014 Century and Bicentennial Farm Family recognition program. This program recognizes the unique and special contributions made by generations of farm families in the Empire State, while also educating the public on farming in New York state.
. New England Green Pastures will use their $4,000 grant to support certain agricultural programs at the Big E, including the "Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year" program and the Salute to Agriculture initiative.
. The New Jersey Agricultural Society received a $3,000 grant to support the Learning Through Gardening National Agriculture in the Classroom program, which provides materials and training for teachers and schools to build school gardens, teaching students how their food is produced.
. A $2,500 grant to New York Logger Training, Inc. will support a Trained Logger Certified training program, a program approved by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative to include up-to-date information related to new best management practices and invasive species. This program provides a CD with over 40 references needed by loggers to enhance their forest harvesting practices to conform with sustainable practices.
. NOFA-New Jersey was awarded a $2,500 grant to support their Young and Beginning Farmer education programs, which provide on-farm training and information on various agricultural topics focusing on solving agricultural problems, showcasing innovation and presenting new research in agriculture.
. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets will put their $2,500 grant toward three regional workshops on human resource management for 50 Vermont dairy producers and farm managers to develop and improve a key component of HR management--conflict resolution skills.
. A $2,500 grant to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board will support Vermont Farm Viability training for agricultural service providers in northern New England. This training will increase their ability to educate and assist farm and food business owners in launching or growing their enterprises.
. The Cornell Junior DAIRY LEADER Program was awarded a $2,000 grant to support Cornell University Animal Science Department's yearlong program for high school youth who have an interest in learning more about the dairy industry and possible career opportunities in the dairy field.
. A $1,000 grant to Community Teamwork, Inc. will support the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. Working in conjunction with local agricultural commissions, planners and farmers, the Farm Friendly Neighbor Campaign will build community support for local agriculture and advance public education efforts surrounding the importance of farming in the community, therefore strengthening the viability of Massachusetts agriculture.
. The Holstein Foundation will use their $1,000 grant to support Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 8, a program that allows participants to develop skills and lasting networks needed to succeed in today's dairy business.
. A $1,000 grant was awarded to the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) to support the development of young farmer leaders who, with staff support, will organize their peers into vibrant NYFC chapters. Through collaboration and close partnerships with peers, this network of young, sustainable farmers tackles local challenges for starting a farm.
. The Urban Farming Institute will put their $1,000 grant toward the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, which is a community-based nonprofit organization that supports the development of urban farming in Massachusetts.
Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program
. Created: 1996
. Total grant dollars since 1996: $1,473,466
. Total projects supported: 553
. Proposal submission dates: April 1, August 1, December 1
. Contact: Robert A. Smith, Farm Credit East, 2668 State Route 7, Suite 21, Cobleskill, NY 12043
. Phone: 518-296-8188
. Send funding proposals to: AgEnhancement@FarmCreditEast.com
. For more information: FarmCreditEast.com/Industry-Support.aspx