As you know, many small farms were devastated by Hurricane Irene and the ensuing flooding. Many lost crops, since flooded produce cannot be sold, and some lost uninsured structures such as hoophouses. Vern Grubinger of the University of Vermont has been collecting data on crop losses and he estimates more than $1 million in fruits and vegetables has been lost. “While there will be some federal assistance, philanthropic funds are going to be needed, too,” Grubinger said. “Some smaller growers lost almost everything and loans are not of much use to them at this point.”
If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to help your fellow farmers, here are some non-profits that have established funds for that purpose:
- Vermont Community Foundation http://www.vermontcf.org/give-now has a Farm Disaster Relief Fund that will provide grants to farms of any size.
- Regional Farm & Food Project will provide help to farmers in the Hudson and Mohawk valleys of New York. http://www.causes.com/causes/632299-support-local-farms-damaged-by-hurricane-irene?recruiter_id=7310163
- NOFA-Vermont’s Farmer Emergency Fund will make grants and no-interest loans available to organic farmers as funds are donated. http://nofavt.org/programs/farm-financial-resources/farmer-emergency-fund
- The Vermont Farm Fund was established by Pete's Greens in partnership with the Center for an Agricultural Economy last year after many people contributed money to help rebuild the farm's barn after it burned down. Pete's Greens paid forward $40,000 of those donations to establish the fund. Now the fund will make $5,000, zero-interest loans to help flooded farms. To make a tax deductible donation, please visit hardwickagriculture.org/donate.html to donate online or write a check to the Vermont Farm Fund and mail to the Center for an Agricultural Economy, PO Box 451, 41 S. Main St., Hardwick, VT 05843.
We will update this list as more assistance programs are created. Please let us know of others we should add to the list.