Thursday, March 10, 2022

Farms invited to apply for Adirondack Council mini-grants

Full and By farmFor the first time, the Adirondack Council’s Essex Farm Institute’s Micro-Grants for Adirondack Farms and Value-Added Producers will offer grants of up to $8,000 for the implementation of environmentally-beneficial and sustainable projects led by Adirondack farms and value-added producers. Prior grants had not exceeded $5,000, with most awarded in the $1,500 range.  The grant application was updated for the 2022 cycle to provide more resources for larger operations or those projects led by a team of applicants.

The 2022 guidelines have also been updated to provide clarity with respect to eligibility criteria and gives preference for historically-underserved or socially-disadvantaged groups. As the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental advocacy organization, the Adirondack Council recognizes the huge role agriculture plays in meeting climate goals, sustaining the health of natural resources and fostering economically vibrant communities.  It adopted the Essex Farm Institute to ensure that local farmers would have assistance in reducing costs (fuel, fertilizer, electric power, waste removal) and increasing profitability/sustainability by adopting sustainable, environmentally friendly methods.

“Curbing climate change will require new investments in those parts of the economy that can help us conserve energy and reduce fuel use,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway.  “That also reduces pollution, creates more local jobs and make the Adirondacks less dependent on easily-disrupted supply chains that reach halfway around the world.”

“Sustainable, environmentally friendly agriculture can bring more stable prices, local jobs, careful land management and less water pollution,” said Dillon Klepetar, Director of the Essex Farm Institute.

The Adirondack Council’s EFI Micro-Grant program has awarded over $150,000 to support 107 projects since it began in 2016. Last year, the program awarded grants to 21 farms and value-added producers totaling $29,601. The Klipper Family Fund helped establish, and continues to support, this unique and important program in the Adirondacks.

“Local farms are vital to the Adirondack Park’s quality of life for residents and for visitors,” said Courtney Klipper, co-founder of the Klipper Family Fund. “It has been a pleasure to watch this program grow and develop over the past six years.  A great deal of progress has been made.  We can’t wait to see what this year’s grant applications look like.”

“There have been tons of great ideas funded since 2016,” said Nathaniel Klipper, the other co-founder of the Klipper Family Fund. “Each one of the projects the micro-grants have funded was designed to fit the needs of that specific farm and all of them are making a difference for those farmers every day.”

sheep and solar panels

Sheep grazing amid panels on a photovoltaic solar array site. Photo credit: Lexie Hain for Cornell Small Farms Program.

Grants and Application Deadline: 

For the 2022 cycle, a total of $25,000 is available for awards in three competitive levels:

Tier 1: up to $1,500 for projects on small farms or value-added producers so that those businesses might adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change, or improve or restore environmental health.

Tier 2: Larger businesses – those with greater acreage, employees or gross sales — will be eligible to apply for more competitive $3,000 grants.

Tier 3: Grant applications that feature partnerships between farms or value-added businesses who are tackling sustainability efforts at a community scale may apply for up to $8,000 in funding to offset projects. For instance, projects that empower several businesses to collaborate on addressing an environmental issue by sharing resources, technologies, equipment or tools will be eligible for additional funding. Proposed projects will be scored against one another competitively regardless of the applicant’s tier.

Applications are due by March 31, 2022. To apply, please click here.

Funded projects will demonstrate an objective environmental benefit, which may include improving soil health or water quality, reducing carbon emissions, conserving energy, or other environmentally healthy and sustainable farming efforts.  Preference will also be given to applicants identifying as a traditionally underserved population or projects that address social or economic inequities among business owners and/or their employees.

Eligible applicants are commercial farms within the Park as well as value-added producers who use a majority of inputs that originate from within the Adirondack Park. For projects involving 4 or more collaborating entities, each entity named must be eligible by the same criteria.

The Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. The Council envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, comprised of core wilderness areas, surrounded by farms and working forests, as well as vibrant communities.

The Adirondack Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy, and legal action. Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States. The Essex Farm Institute is supported by the Adirondack Council with generous support from the Klipper Fund. For more information contact John Sheehan, Director of Communications, by calling (518) 441-1340.

Photo at top: Full and By Farm, photo credit: Ben Stechschulte.

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Community news stories come from press releases and other notices from organizations, businesses, state agencies and other groups. Submit your contributions to Almanack Editor Melissa Hart at editor@adirondackalmanack.com.




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