Dec 18, 2018
Tree fruit project gets Farm Aid grant

A tree fruit project by the Plainville, Massachusetts-based nonprofit Red Tomato is a recipient of a grant from Farm Aid, the celebrity-backed agriculture charity.

In New England, where Farm Aid held its annual music and food festival at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, Connecticut, this past September, Farm Aid invested $100,000 in 18 programs that support family farmers to thrive, take action to change the farm and food system, and grow the Good Food Movement.

Awardees include a Red Tomato project “to help midsized growers through marketing efforts promoting advanced integrated pest management and agroecological tree fruit production,” according to a news release.

In addition to the Farm Aid program grants, it distributes emergency grants to growers and service organizations.

In 2018, Farm Aid granted $695,679 to farmers and 78 family farm, rural service and urban agriculture organizations in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Emergency grants totaling $45,000 were made to farm families to cover essential household expenses.

These $500 emergency grants are recommended on a case-by-case basis by Farm Aid’s farm advocates, who answer calls on the 1-800-FARM-AID hotline and connect farmers with helpful services, resources and opportunities specific to their individual needs.

“As farmers continue to face incredible threats to their survival, our grant decisions were guided by the need to first and foremost strengthen organizations that provide essential resources to keep family farmers on the land,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. “We are so grateful for the hard work and commitment of folks across the country who fight for family farms.”

Earlier this year, Farm Aid granted $40,500 to assist farm and ranch families in the Carolinas who suffered devastation after Hurricane Florence. Farm Aid continues to work with partners in the region to assess the long-term needs of impacted farmers and ranchers. Grants of $19,179 provided scholarships to farmers to participate in leadership trainings, policy advocacy and other gatherings where farmers’ perspectives are essential.

Farm Aid’s mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual festival to raise funds to support Farm Aid’s work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food.

For a complete listing of Farm Aid’s 2018 grant recipients, visit

Above: Farm Aid President Willie Nelson signs 2018 grant checks from his kitchen table. Photo Credit: Farm Aid.

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