Can farmers apply for a For Farmers grant without being nominated? Yes. But here are three benefits of nominating a farmer for a grant first.
What if I showed up at your office or in your home and celebrated you for what a good job you've been doing? For the work you do when no one's looking? For how you handle the day-to-day crises before they become big problems? I could stop here. Right? Isn't the way you would feel reason enough?
We can all use a little credit for the work we do. I know that's true. Hopefully, you don't work in an under-appreciated industry, like farming. One where everyone depends on you for the work that you do, but you remain largely invisible as the hero you are. And as a farmer, your work, while ever-important, results in sub-standard wages, increasingly difficult working conditions, escalating input costs, a series of issues you are blamed for, and a dwindling pool of fellow farmers.
Nominating a farmer is an act of kindness. And it has benefits that come back to you personally. Before we get to the reasons, here's the schedule so you can plan your nominations. And don't forget to tell your friends to do it too!
Nominations & Grant Schedule 2023
October 12, 2023
October 12, 2023
October 22, 2023
October 29, 2023
Application Review Period
October 30 to November 17, 2023
Grant Awards Announced
November 20, 2023
Here are three reasons why you should nominate a farmer for a For Farmers grant:
1. Nominating a farmer is easy, free, and rewarding.
You can nominate a farmer you know personally or just one you admire from afar. To nominate a farmer, you just provide your name, your email, the farmer's name, the name of the farm, how to contact the farm (email, phone, website, Instagram handle), and the nice reason you are nominating them. Maybe you know how hard they work (parents and spouses like this one). Maybe you love their product and can't imagine living without them (this is you, customers). Maybe you know them from afar, but so appreciate the education and tips they share (IG followers are great nominators).
From October 12 to October 22, you can nominate a farmer just by clicking the button on this page and following the instructions. It will take about 5 minutes of your time or less. When you do you will feel like you have done something good, because you have. And when the farmer finds out who did the nominating, that feeling will triple!
2. Nominating a farmer helps farmers feel seen and that their work really matters.
Even if they don't end up receiving a grant, farmers have reported feeling so good as a result of being nominated. Most of them were totally shocked. Many of them cried. They just didn't know that anyone out there was thinking of them.
Farmers work tirelessly to produce our food and to honor their families and the land they work. I don't think any of them are sitting around waiting for a parade (unless it's a tractor parade lol). But you can shine a spotlight on them and their work for a minute to let them know their work matters to you, to your community, and to others as well.
3. Nominating a farmer lets them know that For Farmers has grants available to help them with what they need.
How will farmers know about grants that are available to them? Farmers wear so many hats on their farms -- mechanic, bookkeeper, veterinarian, horticulturalist, midwife -- that its easy to miss grant opportunities. Plus, there are not many grant opportunities like the For Farmers grants out there.
According to the Farm Aid Hotline manager who fields over 800 hotline calls from farmers a year, "There's so few grants available to farmers for the basics: the infrastructure, the equipment, feed, you know, it's really hard to find grants for that stuff." Mainly, this is what farmers need. A little help to get them through to the next day. Safety repairs. New equipment. Help with feed costs in a price spike. For Farmers is here for them and when you take the time to nominate them for a grant, they can apply and get the support they need.
Whatever your reason, I am sure it's a good one. And I know it will have an impact. Mark your calendar for October 12 -- National Farmer's Day. Remember you can nominate more than one and, while farmers can apply for a grant without a nomination, we believe that nominating a farmer is an important part of the spirit of the For Farmers Movement.
Dana DiPrima is the founder of the For Farmers Movement. For Farmers supports American farmers by sharing their stories, replacing myths with facts, and providing them with mini-grants and other helpful resources. Dana is the host of the Talk Farm to Me podcast featuring farmers and farm issue experts from across the country. She authors a weekly letter in addition to this blog. You can subscribe here. And you can join the For Farmers Movement to support your farmers here. You can also follow her on Instagram and Threads.