I am writing to tell you about a project Catskill Mountainkeeper is involved in to support our region: FarmHearts -- an important new partnership to support and protect small family farms, the backbone of life in the Catskills for generations and an essential driver for our region’s economy.
Small farms play an integral role in our communities, providing healthy produce and dairy for our families and broader markets, and protecting open space that is critical for wildlife habitat and the overall heath of our environment. Unfortunately, without our help, the rich tradition of small family farms in the Catskills is at risk of becoming just a fond memory. As the market for agricultural products skews in favor of huge industrial farms, small farms are increasingly being squeezed out of business.
FarmHearts provides much-needed emergency relief and economic assistance to help keep our small farms viable and operating. Small-scale farmers in need of help can apply for funding through our website or by mail to receive grants ranging from $500 to $2,500. FarmHearts also offers information and referral for technical assistance, grants, and other resources that support small farms.
FarmHearts is a collaboration of community organizations working to conserve agriculture as an important community value and economic asset. An advisory committee made up of representatives from the farming sector—along with community groups including Catskill Mountainkeeper, Bethel Woods, Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, and Sullivan Renaissance—guides the work and grant-making of FarmHearts.
The program relies on contributions from friends like you. Mountainkeeper and our partners hope you will consider lending your support to keep the rich tradition of family farms here alive and well. Our small farms represent who we are as a community and keeping them strong will help ensure the future of our region as a viable place to farm and produce food, and a healthy and sustainable place to live.
**When you donate through this email it will be matched, up to $2,500 by an anonymous donor.**
Ramsay Adams, Executive Director