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ANCA launches local farm grants

SARANAC LAKE — The Adirondack North Country Association has launched a new grant program to fund projects designed to strengthen local farms and food businesses.

Farmers, food entrepreneurs, food hubs and cooperatives within ANCA’s 14-county service area are encouraged to submit grant requests of $2,500 to $45,000 for projects that address gaps in the food chain supply chain, increase opportunity for value-added processing or secure business development services.

Proposals will be accepted until Nov. 30. More information about the local farm grant program, and how to apply, can be found on ANCA’s website at www.adirondack.org/localfarmgrant. To contribute to the local farm challenge, go to bit.ly/localfarmchallenge2019.

The local farm grants are being funded in full by anonymous donors who participated in ANCA’s fourth annual Bike the Barns event on Sept. 29. Inspired by the farms along the route, they committed $100,000 to go directly to local farms through these grants and challenged the community to match that amount to support the ANCA’s mission.

“Farming is a financially challenging occupation, especially in northern regions like ours,” said Joshua Bakelaar, ANCA local economies and agriculture director. “Investments in our farms and local food system can make the difference between these businesses just barely surviving and thriving.

“We find that farmers are often unable to find adequate or appropriate financing to fund projects that are critical for their business growth. ANCA wants to help bridge these gaps to strengthen farm enterprises and ultimately the local economies that these farms and food businesses support.”

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