Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles wants Kentucky farmers to be aware of cash grants up to $1,000 available from the American Farmland Trust (AFT) to help weather potential market disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“American Farmland Trust says it best: 'No farms, no food,'” Quarles said. “I want to praise this organization for launching a Farmer Relief Fund to provide another way for farmers to keep whole during the COVID-19 pandemic. I encourage Kentucky producers to see if they qualify for the grants and urge Kentuckians to locate producers they can support at kyproud.com.”
The Farmer Relief Fund program details can be found at farmland.org/relief. Initially, eligible applicants include small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores or makers who use farm products.
AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1. AFT is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through the No Farms, No Food message. Since AFT’s founding in 1980, the organization has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families.