We are in planning mode at the farm and looking forward to the 2023 farm season and spring goat babies! While planning for the upcoming season we always take a look back to see what worked on the farm and what we could do better in the future.
One of the things we could improve on is our system to get water to all the animals both in the pasture and in the barns. Our current “system” is about as low tech as it gets! In the winter months we haul warm water to the animals multiple times a day. When the temperatures dip below zero our plastic Farm and Fleet heated water buckets have a hard time keeping up and we’re left with frozen water. We spend a lot of time chipping out ice in the super cold winter months. We have been dreaming about frost free drinkers for the animals for many years.
Yep, farmers dream about frost free drinkers!:) We were super fortunate to learn in December that we had been nominated by some of our customers for a mini grant through the For Farmers Foundation. We were then super surprised and honored to learn that we had received the grant! This grant was nationwide. There were 271 nominations for 146 farmers in 36 states. 81 farmers made it to the second round and there were 28 finalists with 6 awardees. We were one of the 6! This grant will enable us to purchase one frost free drinker for one of our barns. We hope to outfit the rest of the farm with drinkers by the end of 2023. We will see how it goes!
Keep reading if you would like to learn more about the other awesome farms nominated and what they will be using their grants for. It is inspiring to me to learn about other small farmers making positive changes in their communities and non profits groups like For Farmers helping to make those dreams and changes happen! This info is copied from the For Farmers Foundation.
What if 1,000 people you’ve never met all came together for you? Because what you do every single day is important. Wouldn’t that feel amazing?
The For Farmers movement is off and running! Its first-ever mini grants process was a tremendous success. 271 nominations. 146 farmers. 65 founders. 36 states. 11 round one outreach volunteers. 12 volunteer mini-grant reviewers. 28 finalists. 6 awardees. $4500, much of it $1 at a time. From you. And people like you… who believe.
The nominees and the 81 first round farmers who stepped into the spotlight of For Farmers have been seen and celebrated. I hope that matters to each and every farm and farmer in the way it was intended. And while our reviewers wanted to award mini-grants to all of them, we had to make decisions. It WAS tough. Here they are.
Six farms from 6 states that produce many different products, are engaged with their communities, tell farm stories, and connect you to their farms in a powerful way. Some are pioneering in new spaces and others with new products. All have powerful needs – mainly for infrastructure and support from our extended For Farmers community.
Nautical Farms – Maine – Farmers Jake and Morgan – a regenerative ocean farm that grows seaweed and mussels and produces sustainable pantry and bath items. NEED – a greenhouse for drying seaweed to increase production and efficiency.
Giving One Tenth Garden – Newark, NJ – Urban farm that provides access to organically grown fresh, local, in-season crops to the City of Newark and surrounding towns. NEED growing towers to grow more food vertically in less space.
Covey Rise Farms – Central Ohio – Farmers Charlie and Kerissa — pastured, non-GMO chicken, pork, and beef, using rotational grazing to heal the soil and grow a nutrient-dense product for families across the US. NEED — to build a pickup-pack shed to pack orders out of the elements and to allow more customers to do farm pickups – which cuts down on deliveries and builds relationships with customers.
Heritage Farm & Ranch aka @kodiakgoatdairy – Kodiak, Alaska – Farmers Kelli and Stephen Foreman — a mixed species regenerative farm that provides food sustainability to a remote island and youth programming. NEED – support for increased hay prices and a shelter upgrade.
Beringer Family Farms – Cascade, Iowa – Farmer Lillie Beringer — 3rd Generation family farm raising high-quality Angus beef. NEED – farm expenses including feed, processing, packaging, and some new recipe cards to further engage consumers in the farm-to-plate process.
Short Leg Farm aka Gretta’s Goats – Illinois – Farmer Gretta – a 25-acre woman-owned pasture-based goat dairy farm and creamery, rotationally grazed with chickens, certified Animal Welfare Approved by a Greener World. NEED – 1) a batch freezer for a new added-value product 2) two frost-free drinking fountains to eliminate daily water haul 3) an upgrade to the kidding barn.