KEENE, N.H. — The Monadnock Conservancy, in partnership with an anonymous donor, has created a new fund to support Monadnock region farmers who have been impacted by disasters, including this year’s drought.
“Time is of the essence, as farmers desperately need cash now to buy hay for the winter,” said Stacy Gambrel of the Conservancy.
The Farm Disaster Relief Fund has $100,000 available immediately to help local farmers. The fund was formed in response to the devastating effects of the recent drought and historically low milk prices — both of which have put significant economic strain on the region’s farmers.
To be eligible for funding, an applicant must operate a farm in the Conservancy’s service area, have suffered at least $5,000 in damages from a fire or natural disaster, and generate at least 25 percent of total household income from the farm operation. Funds may be used to replace or repair infrastructure, seed, feed, livestock, supplies and equipment lost or damaged as a result of the disaster. The maximum award available per applicant is $25,000. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and for as long as funds are available; the first awards could be made as early as this month or in January. For complete guidelines and to download an application, please see http://MonadnockConservancy.org/news-events/farm-fund.html.
“We are honored to support local farmers and farming with this fund. Farms that stay in business are less likely to be developed. This not only benefits our local economy, but also helps protect what’s so special about the Monadnock region — its abundance of open space, wildlife habitat and scenic rural character,” said Ryan Owens, executive director of the Conservancy.
For more information or if you want to discuss an application, please contact Stacy Gambrel at Stacy@MonadnockConservancy.org or call 603-357-0600, ext. 106.
The Monadnock Conservancy, founded in 1989, is the only land trust dedicated exclusively to the 35 towns in the Monadnock region of southwestern New Hampshire. Its mission is to work with communities and landowners to conserve the natural resources, wild and working lands, rural character and scenic beauty of the region. Based in Keene, N.H., the Conservancy is an accredited organization that has protected nearly 20,000 acres of forest, farmland, shoreline, wetlands, wildlife habitat and recreation trails in the region. For more information, visit www.MonadnockConservancy.org or call 603-357-0600.
Photo caption/credit: Dry pastureland during the drought of 2016. Photo courtesy of Monadnock Conservancy, © Stacy Gambrel