ARC Greenhouses and Long & Scott Farms are looking to grow more than just their amazing produce this year, applying for a grant from Cultivating Change for automatic seeding and an educational program, respectively, and they are leaning on their community to help!
During the month of January, communities from coast to coast are rallying behind local farms who have submitted grant applications in hopes of securing funding for sustainability-focused initiatives at their operations.
Freedom Fresh and Weyand Food Distributors and their network of distributors at PRO*ACT, launched Cultivating Change in 2015, using the platform to give over $325,000 to farms growing for their local distributors across North America. This year, a record number of 143 farms from 33 states applied for funding, with up to half the money being awarded via an online vote taking place until January 31, and the rest through an industry review panel.
Voters are signing up at cultivatingchange.org, and sharing ARC Greenhouses and Long & Scott Farms applications with friends and family using easy-to-use social media tools. Farms that have won the popular vote in the past have been encouraged by the positive outcomes that go far beyond the awarded grant money.
“Beyond the $6k we received for our refrigerated truck, our farm saw an amazing outpouring from our community. We saw more visits to our farm store, and this has given us the needed boost to establish more business with customers” said Stacy Reeves, of Reeves Family Farms in Princeton, Texas.
Winners of the popular vote are eligible to receive up to $10,000 for their projects, with grant awards announced on February 4, 2019.
About PRO*ACT: PRO*ACT is North America’s leading distributor of fresh food to the foodservice and retail industries, sourcing from premier national, regional and local farmers. PRO*ACT streamlines the produce supply chain, offering significant cost benefits and an easy, one-call solution to source the freshest produce from more than 70 third-party inspected, independently owned, local distribution centers across the United States and Canada.
About CULTIVATING CHANGE: Founded in 2015 as a way for PRO*ACT and their regional distributor companies to further invest locally through giving grants to small farms across the United States, Cultivating Change is primed to reach half a million dollars in funding in 2019. With hundreds of farms applying for grants, and hundreds of thousands of people voting, sharing, and engaging with small farms in 41 states, PRO*ACT has exceeded the goal of giving, and elevating farms in their communities.