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Monadnock Food Co-op
Farm Fund

The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund's mission is to support local farmers in increasing sustainable food production for wholesale markets to contribute to a thriving local farm economy.

 

This local grant opportunity, now in its eighth year, is a partnership between the Cheshire County Conservation District and the Monadnock Food Co-op.

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Now Accepting Applications for 2024!

The mission of the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund is to bolster local farmers' efforts to expand sustainable food production for wholesale markets, contributing to the vitality of our local farming economy. Funds can be used to support a range of projects, including the purchase of equipment and infrastructure, farmland conservation, packaging and labeling design needs, and technical assistance. The Farm Fund grant program aligns with several shared goals of the Co-op and Conservation District, such as fostering the sustainability of farm businesses and the local economy, preserving farmland, and ensuring the responsible stewardship of our natural resources.

Since starting in 2017, the MFC Farm Fund has awarded over $152,000 in grants to 19 local farms!

Apply for the MFC Farm Fund Grant!

Now Accepting Applications for 2024!

The Farm Fund awards funding to help farms in Cheshire County and abutting New Hampshire towns develop or expand their production for wholesale markets, including selling to the Monadnock Food Co-op and Food Connects. Farmers may apply for grants ranging from $500 to $20,000. Funds can be used to support a range of projects, including the purchase of equipment and infrastructure, farmland conservation, packaging and labeling design needs, and technical assistance. 

 

This year, there will be an additional funding category for emergency disaster relief - relief from the financial strain of crop and/or livestock loss caused by weather events.  Please use the Emergency Relief Application Form if seeking support in this category.

Apply Now!

Applications for general funding are due February 1, 2024. Applications for Emergency Relief were due October 31, 2023.

Application Materials:

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Interested farmers are invited to attend the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund Zoom Information Session

Learn more about the Farm Fund grant, hear about past successful applications, and have your questions answered about the upcoming grant round!

Click here to download a calendar invite

Register to receive an email reminder

Eligible applicants include farms in Cheshire County and abutting NH towns. If applying for Emergency Relief, the eligibility has been expanded to also include agricultural producers in NH and VT that have an established vendor relationship with the Monadnock Food Co-op. 

If you have inquiries about the grant or would like to make a donation to the fund, please call Amanda Littleton at 401-578-1608, or send an email to amanda@cheshireconservation.org.

Donate to the MFC Farm Fund!

Help us to support the vitality of local farms with a donation to the Farm Fund. Your donation contributes to the pool of money offered each year through the Farm Fund. This year, donations made to the Farm Fund through October will directly support farmers impacted by frost, flooding or other disaster-related events.

 

Tax deductible donations to this fund can be made to the Cheshire County Conservation District through our donation page (please be sure to write “MFC Farm Fund” under “Add Special Instructions”)

Donations may also be made by check - made payable to “Cheshire County Conservation District” and write “MFC Farm Fund” as a note and mail to: CCCD 11 Industrial Park Dr. Walpole, NH 03608

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Past Recipients & their projects:

Abenaki Springs Farm (Walpole, NH)

Bruce Bickford at Abenaki Springs Farm built a wash/pack shed that will be utilized in their certified organic vegetable production. The wash/pack shed will be the location of all washing, processing, packing, and storage of perishable produce. The structure will include an area with cement padding and drainage, an area for storage of packing materials such as boxes, crates, and bags, and a lean-to which will cover the currently built walk-in cooler.

 

Archway Farm (Keene, NH)

Mark Florenz at Archway Farm built a new walk-in freezer to store his own pasture-raised pork products and provide freezer space for other local producers to utilize at a reasonable cost. Being able to freeze and store pork has enabled Mark to better meet customer demand, for example, he was able to double his supply of Easter hams to our co-op in the first year. Mark also designed and purchased new labels for his products with additional funds in 2019. 

 

Bascom Farm (Charlestown, NH)

Dean & Donna of Bascom Farm will use their grant to remodel and equip their current barn to serve as a packaging and processing area for their produce.

Blackfire Farm (Hancock, NH)

Douglas and Elizabeth Higley of Blackfire Farm will use their Farm Fund dollars to construct a new propagation house powered by a wood pellet stove. This project will allow for increased production on their farm and will also allow for increased energy efficiency, reducing their fuel use.

 

Brookfield Farm (Walpole, NH)

Christian and Holly Gowdy of Brookfield Farm used their Farm Fund dollars to develop new product labels, their first-ever website and other promotional materials needed to better promote their grassfed beef. These marketing materials better reflect the story behind Brookfield Farm’s products, and they expect sales to double as a result. Through additional funds awarded in 2022, they will also upgrade their transport cooler system for their frozen meat sales. Upgrading this system will increase sales by allowing for further transportation to farm stands, as well as allowing for a new delivery service direct to their bulk customers.

Dog Days Farm (Fitzwilliam, NH)

Jack Rixey of Dog Days Farm will use their Farm Fund dollars to construct an automated, heated high tunnel to increase production and efficiency of retail ready plant starts.

 

Echo Farm (Hinsdale, NH)

Beth & Courtney Hodge of Echo Farm Puddings replaced their 20-year-old packaging machine. The Fund Fund award allowed them to purchase a more reliable, efficient machine that will help increase sales of their 16 oz line of puddings, as well as add larger containers for food service kitchens. They expect sales to increase by 10-20%.

 

Flying Cloud Dairy (Alstead, NH)

Bill & Kelly Jahos of Flying Cloud Dairy installed a freeze-free water system which more efficiently gets water to cows, allowing them to increase the production of their organic, raw milk dairy products. Since this system also makes water available to cows 24/7 in the summer too, year-round milk production will likely increase. Through additional funds awarded in 2022, they will update their milk cooling tank to ensure product stability. By upgrading to a new cooling tank, this will allow for increased production and more time for deliveries. The upgraded tank will also increase energy efficiency.

Green Wagon Farm (Keene, NH)

Bill & Kaisa Jarrell at Green Wagon Farm purchased Harvest Carts to improve the ease and efficiency of harvesting strawberries and vegetable crops. The picking carts are designed to straddle a crop row and assist in getting crops out of the field. The carts have the ability to adjust in height and allow for use in a wide variety of crops. Through additional funds awarded in 2022, they will install a third walk-in cooler at their retail farm stand in Keene. This new cooler and upgraded system, will allow for better storage of crops to increase sales, efficiency, and sustainability.

 

Grow A Pear Farm (Charleston, NH)

The Grow A Pear Farm orchard which grows using organic practices and currently sells 34 varieties of rare heirloom apple trees, will work with a local contractor to install wildlife exclusion fencing around the perimeter of the orchard. This fencing will allow the orchard to expand to 250 fruit trees, while protecting trees from deer to ensure continued tree growth and fruit production. 

 

Lucky 13 Farm (Winchester, NH)

Jake & Gerianne Fierro of Lucky 13 Farm will build a wash and pack shed to build their capacity to sell to wholesale markets and meet on-site retail demands. This shed will ensure their crops maintain their high quality in a climate-controlled wash house while also providing adequate cold storage. 

 

Manning Hill Farm (Winchester, NH)

Sarah & Sam Costa at Manning Hill Farm installed a large energy-efficient cooler to increase the storage capacity of their grass-fed milk before distribution. Sam says the new walk-in cooler also reduces his back ache, which is worth a lot to a farmer! Additional funds were awarded in 2021 for the purchase and installation of a walk-in freezer to store their inventory of cut meats. This increased storage capacity will allow them to increase production to meet their sales demand. It will increase the farm's energy-efficiency practices, saving them operating dollars. Additional funds were also awarded in 2023 to upgrade to a new milking parlor, saving time, increasing farm efficiency, and will allow for increased milk production.

 

Partners' Gardens (Nelson, NH)

Jenna & Tyler Rich of Partners' Gardens will build a passive solar propagation house for seed starting. This infrastructure project will increase their capacity to get more crops in the ground and meet the market demand. It will also lower their dependence on fossil fuels and lower their heating bills. Through additional funds awarded in 2022, they will also install a 50-foot movable caterpillar tunnel. This infrastructure will allow them to harvest their greens earlier in the season, as well as harvest more fall greens as their season ends. During the middle of the season, the caterpillar tunnel will provide protected space for delicate vegetables such as cucumbers and tomatoes. 

 

Pete's Stand (Walpole, NH)

John & Teresa Janiszyn at Pete’s Stand scaled up their potato production for their retail sales and to accommodate wholesale demand. To do this, they purchased a potato planter, potato digger, and wholesale packaging. Pete’s Stand has the available land, and a ready market for the expansion of their potato production.  

 

Picadilly Farm (Winchester, NH)

Jenny & Bruce Wooster of Picadilly Farm added a 25-foot long storage space that will accommodate another 18,000 – 20,000 pounds of root crops. Jenny & Bruce also purchased a new set of three precision vacuum seeders for field seedings of root crops and greens, of which they currently grow around 10 acres worth each season. Through additional funds awarded in 2022, they will also upgrade the cooling system of one of their walk-in coolers. This upgraded system, will allow them to extend late winter and early spring sales of their storage crops.

 

Stonewall Farm (Keene, NH)

Julie Davenson & Heather Mason of Stonewall Farm purchased and built a 14x100’ caterpillar tunnel to expand their spinach production in the winter and purchased a 50% shade cloth so the structure also offers cool growing space in the summer.  

 

Tracie's Community Farm (Fitzwilliam, NH)

Tracie Loock of Tracie's Community Farm purchased a Jang 6-Row Seeder. Picture it, instead of seeding one row at a time as they did with their previous seeder, they can now seed up to six rows at a time. This significant time saver will boost productivity, grow sales, and provide more delicious food for our community.

 

Sun Moon Farm (Rindge, NH)

Craig & Megan Jensen of Sun Moon Farm will use their grant to build a greenhouse structure to expand space for curing onions and garlic and will purchase a rolling dibbler to reduce transplanting time.

 

Windyhurst Farm (Westmoreland, NH)

The Adam's family at Windyhurst Farm is looking to increase their milk tank storage from their current 2000 gallon tank to a 6700 gallon tank. Their milk tank is 35 years old and does not have enough capacity for their current and future milk production, and has been working very inefficiently, using a lot of electricity, and requiring multiple costly repairs annually. This upgrade will save Windyhurst Farm with annual production and trucking costs.  

Thank you to our funders!

This grant would not be possible without funding support  from the You Have Our Trust Fund, the Monadnock Food Co-op, and MFC Co-op customers through the Round It Up program.

Round Up Your Change for the Farm Fund when
Shopping at the  Monadnock Food Co-op! 

Rounding up your change makes a difference! This fund is made possible through your support! During May and July co-op shoppers can round up their change at the registers to donate to the fund for the 2023 grant cycle!

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Additional Funding Resource:

Producers who need additional storage should consider funding from the USDA's Farm Servce Agency through their Farm Storage Facility Loam Program

 

Visit the program page at the link above for more details or contact the Cheshire-Sullivan County Office at 603-756-2970 ext.2

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