Applications Open for AFT’s Brighter Future Fund
Grants up to $10,000 available to farmers across the United States
(Washington, D.C.) American Farmland Trust has opened applications for the 2023 cohort of the Brighter Future Fund program. The program helps farmers nationwide improve farm viability, access, transfer, or permanently protect farmland or adopt regenerative agricultural practices. The last day to submit applications is July 15th.
AFT’s Brighter Future Fund provides farm grants up to $10,000 per project. A project may involve one or more individual farmer(s) or farm families, and projects will be awarded on a one-per-farm basis.
“Farmers and ranchers work hard to provide for their communities, their families, and their land. But they sometimes need our help – The Brighter Future Fund can provide that help,” said Nathan L’Etoile, AFT’s Managing Director of Farm Viability. “The Brighter Future Fund invests in the viability of America’s farms and ranches, helping to make them resilient and viable.”
The Brighter Future Fund was launched in 2020 to help farmers launch, grow, and sustain farms despite forces impacting the food and agricultural system, including the COVID-19 pandemic, changing markets, severe weather, and climate change. Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA), one of America’s favorite farmer-owned co-ops, helped launch the fund in 2020 and has underwritten the program ever since. Continued support of the 2023 farm grant round is made possible by Tractor Supply, which donated $850,000 to the program in celebration of the company’s 85th anniversary. The donation will provide 85 grants of $10,000 each.
The impacts of Brighter Future grants ripple beyond individual awardees. Microgrants help drive new solutions for resolving key challenges facing our society, by:
- Scaling up the adoption of regenerative farming practices and increasing the resilience of farms to climate change;
- Strengthening local food systems to be more resilient to disruptions caused by global events as well as providing equitable access to healthy food;
- Creating greater equity in opportunities for historically underserved farmers;
- Ensuring the availability of sufficient clean water and habitat for threatened wildlife;
- Improving long-term farm viability and community vitality.
“For 85 years, Tractor Supply has been there for our nation’s farmers, providing the supplies they need to care for and sustain their farms,” said Marti Skold-Jordan, manager of the Tractor Supply Company Foundation. “Supporting the Brighter Future Fund has been a natural extension of our longstanding mission to sustain “Life Out Here.” We are incredibly proud to support these hardworking farmers as they work the land, innovate their practices and serve their local communities.”
“As a farmer-owned cooperative, TCCA really wanted to focus our impact where it makes a tangible difference – on the farm,” said Jocelyn Bridson, TCCA Director of Environment and Community Impact. “Over the last three years, we have proudly sponsored American Farmland Trust’s programs to protect farmland and support farmers across the U.S. Our underwriting of the Brighter Future Fund ensures that all donations will go straight to farmers in need to make critical advances to their businesses, such as improving irrigation or accessing new markets. We’re looking forward to seeing the next crop of BFF grantees!”
Additional supporters of the 2023 fund include: Domino’s Pizza, Giant Food, iHeart Radio, and members of American Farmland Trust.
Applications for farm grants will be reviewed and awarded in the order the applications are received based on eligibility. To apply, farmers should submit a completed electronic Brighter Future Fund Application here to AFT .
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 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.