Midwest farmers receive grants from Farm Aid


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Farm Aid announced last week that it distributed more nearly $700,000 in grants this year.

Founded in 1985 and headed by Willie Nelson, Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America.

Grants totaling $695,679 were given to farmers and 78 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations in 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Recipients in Minnesota and Iowa are:

• Farmers’ Legal Action Group in St. Paul received three grants — one of $25,000 to operate its National Legal Hotline for Family Farmers and provide legal services to family farmers to stay on their land, $20,000 grant to support legal work related to the dairy crisis, and $5,000 to educate partner farmers on the Small Farm Food Safety Modernization Act.

• Practical Farmers of Iowa of Ames, Iowa, received $6,000 to build a farmer-to-farmer network for Iowa’s orchardists by hosting a series of networking and knowledge sharing events.

• The Food Group of New Hope, Minn., received $6,000 to support Big River Farms, a program that offers organic and sustainable agriculture education to historically under-represented farmers.

• Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement of Des Moines received $7,500 for the Factory Farm Accountability Project that works to support family farm agriculture and protect Iowa’s environment from factory farm pollution.

• The Land Stewardship Project of Lewiston and Minneapolis received $7,000 to help create a health care system that works for farmers and rural Minnesotans.

Since 1985, Farm Aid has granted more than $22 million to more than 300 groups all over the country.

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