Purchasing Farmland with an AFT Microgrant
In the fall of 2019, after years of working on farms, Bari Zieger was preparing to purchase 12 acres of land in Wyoming County, New York, to start a farm of her own. Soon after putting in her first offer, Bari was awarded a microgrant from American Farmland Trust, which she used to help cover the closing costs on the property. According to Bari, the grant relieved financial pressure and allowed her the flexibility to pay for other necessities and emergency expenses while she fulfilled her goal of purchasing the farm property.
Bari plans to grow organic produce to serve communities in and around Buffalo, New York—but she has some work to do to prepare the land first. The land was previously cropped for hay, so there was no preexisting infrastructure, and the soil needed improvements to support vegetable production. Bari is working to build up the infrastructure and soil health before she starts farming full time.
Bari works off-farm jobs to mitigate the risks of starting a farm of her own while she focuses on observation, design, and beginning land establishment. She has recently moved closer to the farm and taken a new position as Director of Development and Administration at Providence Farm Collective. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, she was able to make progress on the farm, even installing a road.
Read more about Farmland for a New Generation New York.