American Farmland Trust and Chobani Award Microgrants to 22 New York Farm Families - American Farmland Trust

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American Farmland Trust and Chobani Award Microgrants to 22 New York Farm Families

Saratoga Springs, NY—American Farmland Trust and Chobani are pleased to announce that 22 New York dairy farms were awarded microgrants through the ‘Dairy Forward’ partnership utilizing proceeds from Chobani’s Farmer Batch yogurt.

Dairy farm families across America are facing tremendous challenges due to many factors, including a struggling dairy economy exacerbated by the pandemic, disruptions from severe weather and an aging farming population. AFT partnered with Chobani to offer grants of $500 to $5,000 to help dairy farm families in New York access information and professional services to plan for the future. These funds supported farm transfer and succession planning, farm business planning, permanently protecting land, or adopting regenerative practices.

Award Highlights

  • In Western New York, dairy farmers Eric and Virginia Carlberg are using their grant to identify possible purchase avenues for the remainder of their 50/50 farm partnership with the previous generation, and to explore diversification strategies.
  • In Central New York, James and Marveen Stanko and their son Tracy are using their grant to pursue options to permanently protect their farm, which will keep their land in agriculture and help finance an expansion to remain viable.
  • In the Hudson Valley, Don Butler and Gwenne Rippon are undertaking Medicaid planning with their grant, in anticipation of transitioning the farm to Holly Rippon-Butler, the third generation on the farm.

“We are excited to be able to partner with Chobani to support these deserving dairy farm families in taking steps to ensure they are part of New York’s economy and landscape for years to come,” said Molly Johnston-Heck, Regional Farmland for a New Generation Manager for American Farmland Trust.

“When we launched Chobani Farmer Batch milk & cookies yogurt in 2019, dairy farms were really hurting, and the pandemic only made things worse,” said Peter McGuinness, President & COO of Chobani. “We believe food can be a force for good, which is why we were so proud to partner with American Farmland Trust on this product to help strengthen our dairy farm families by providing resources for business and healthcare planning, to help create efficiencies, productivity and help ensure a pathway to transition their farm from one generation to the next. All of us in the food industry need to work together to make sure America’s farms and farm families are strong and sustainable.”

Learn more about this program and the farmer recipients at


About American Farmland Trust:

American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting environmentally sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Since 1980, AFT’s innovative work has helped to permanently protect more than 6.8 million acres of farmland and ranchland and led the way for the adoption of conservation practices on millions more. No Farms, No Food. Learn more at

About Chobani:

Chobani is a food maker with a mission of making high-quality and nutritious food accessible to more people, while elevating our communities and making the world a healthier place. In short: making good food for all.  In support of this mission, we are a values-driven, people-first, food-and-wellness-focused company, and have been since Hamdi Ulukaya, an immigrant to the U.S., founded the company in 2005.  We produce yogurt, oatmilk, dairy- and plant-based creamers, ready-to-drink coffee and plant-based probiotic drinks. Chobani yogurt is America’s No.1 yogurt brand, and it’s made with only natural ingredients without artificial preservatives.​

Chobani uses food as a force for good in the world – putting humanity first in everything we do. Our philanthropic efforts prioritize giving back to our communities and beyond: working to eradicate child hunger, supporting immigrants, refugees and underrepresented people, honoring veterans, and protecting the planet. We manufacture our products in New York, Idaho, and Australia. Chobani products are available throughout North America and distributed in Australia and other select markets. For more information, please visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.


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Olivia Fuller

New York Communications Manager


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