CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Farm Aid today announced that 67 family farm and rural service organizations received $532,300 from its grant program during 2012. These organizations work to strengthen family farm agriculture nationwide.
"These grants empower grassroots organizations to put new farmers on the land and amplify the voices of family farmers," said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. "Farm Aid funds create opportunities for all of us who seek good, healthful food, and stronger economies and communities across America."
Farm Aid funds were invested in programs that:
- Help farm families stay on the land;
- Build new market opportunities for farmers and increase consumer access to good food;
- Confront corporate concentration in agriculture;
- Advocate for fair farm policies on behalf of all family farmers;
- Inform and organize farmers and eaters around issues such as factory farms, GE (genetically engineered) food, food safety and climate change;
- Recruit and train new and beginning farmers and increase their access to farmland; and
- Support farmer-to-farmer programs for more sustainable agricultural practices.
"Farm Aid enthusiastically supports the groundbreaking work in communities across the country to grow a better farm and food system," said Farm Aid Executive Director Carolyn Mugar. "We're honored to call these hard-working organizations our partners in the Good Food Movement."In Pennsylvania, where Farm Aid held its annual benefit concert in September of this year, $49,000 was granted to support sustainable farm transition, regional and local food systems development, hands-on organic farming workshops, and beginning farmer apprenticeship and training programs. The total amount distributed in the Mid-Atlantic region, including Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia, was $126,050. "The support we get from Farm Aid is critical. Farm Aid really gets it done by partnering with grassroots, family-farm-centered organizations that know how to make the best use of the precious resources available," said Brian Snyder, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), a Farm Aid grantee and long-term partner. "Because of the ongoing strength and conviction of Farm Aid, there are more and more farmers out there doing the right thing by their families, the land and animals they care for, and the communities in which they live." For a complete listing of Farm Aid's 2012 grants, visit www.farmaid.org/grants . Farm Aid's grant-making is one aspect of its work to keep family farmers on the land, growing good food for all. In addition, Farm Aid inspires an increased demand for family farm food, advocates for policies that serve farmers and consumers alike, and calls on everyone to be part of building a thriving family farm system of agriculture.