American Farmland Trust's New England Farmer Microgrants Program Awards Nearly $1M to New England Farmers - American Farmland Trust

We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.

Please use a new browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge to improve your experience.

We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.

American Farmland Trust’s New England Farmer Microgrants Program Awards Nearly $1M to New England Farmers 

(Northampton, MA) – American Farmland Trust’s New England Farmer Microgrants Program (NEFMP) awarded nearly $1M in grants to support New England farmers between Feb. and March 2024. In its fifth year, NEFMP continues to address key barriers faced by farmers in the region, including access to land, farm succession and land transfer planning, and adopting regenerative agriculture or soil health practices on livestock operations. The NEFMP has grown from an initial crop of 40 awardees in its first year to 351 awardees and just over $2 million awarded since the program’s inception. 

This year the program is excited to award 117 farmers with $954,850 in funds to support a range of important projects. This is the largest cohort in the history of the New England Farmer Microgrants Program and the highest dollar amount awarded via NEFMP in any year. 

The NEMFP provides funding under two grant programs — the Western New England Regenerative Livestock Farming Grant (RLF) and the Farmland Access, Succession, and Transfer Support Grant (FAST). This year, $855,000 was awarded to 95 farms through the RLF. To date, this grant has awarded over $1.6 million to livestock operations in 23 specific western New England counties, supporting projects that facilitate regenerative agriculture and improve soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat. 

The NEFMP’s Farmland Access, Succession, and Transfer Support Grants (FAST) provide direct financial assistance to farmers for projects that facilitate farmland access and acquisition, succession, or transfer assistance. This year, just over $99,850 was awarded to 22 farmers across Maine, Rhode Island, and the nine eastern counties of Massachusetts through FAST grants.  

In Rhode Island, where farm real estate values are highest in the nation at $18,300 per acre, farmers like 2024 FAST awardee Pat McNiff of Pat’s Pastured in East Greenwich, RI, have years-long struggles to find secure and affordable access to farmland. “Our farm has been working very hard on finding land that will provide us with the security and stability that we need to keep farming the way that we know is best for the land, the animals, and the community who support us. Having a long-term lease or owning our farm is incredibly crucial to finding that stability. This grant will really help us on our pathway to attaining that stability,” Pat says. 

According to 2024 RLF awardees Maggie Toran and David Fisher of Natural Roots Farm in Conway, MA, “We are so grateful to have received a Western New England Regenerative Livestock Farming grant! Thank you! Over this past year, our appreciation for all those working in the realm of policy and financial support has grown tremendously.  Because of the work of you and your team, we feel deeply supported and encouraged to keep doing what we do.” The team at Natural Roots Farm will use RLF funding to support regenerative practices like organic soil amendments that will help “maintain the highest soil stewardship practices on our farm. This, in turn, will help us to safeguard water quality in the South River, a tributary to the Deerfield River, which runs for about 3/4 of a mile through the middle of our farm. With support from AFT, we can easily enhance acres of our cropland to provide optimal habitat for a plethora of beneficial insects while increasing biological diversity in the soil as well.” 

Projects will take place over the course of the 2024 season. View a map of all NEFMP projects since 2020 here. 

Learn more about the 2024 Awardees here. 


American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 7.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families. 

About the Author
Maya Rappaport

New England Communications and Outreach Manager

Read Bio