We are proud to offer the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund; a grant opportunity for local farmers through a partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District.
When we ask farmers in our area what some of their biggest barriers to growth and profitability are, the reply “infrastructure” is usually just before or after “reliable seasonal labor” and “the weather.” While it is not within our scope of operation to help with the latter two, we hope to address the investment needed to grow efficient and reliable production for farms that can’t always meet all their infrastructural needs through the current financial system.
The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund’s mission is to support local farmers in increasing sustainable food production and wholesale sales to contribute to a thriving local farm economy.
This grant supports several of our co-op’s End’s Statements, and the Cheshire County Conservation District’s focus on supporting the viability of farm businesses and the stewardship of natural resources that farmers provide.
So far approximately $25,000 has been given to a total of 7 local farms so they can increase their wholesale food production. Find out what they have used this grant for.
Apply for a Grant
2018 Grant Cycle Request for Proposal Applications has closed. We will accept applications for the 2019 Grant Cycle starting December 2018.
Funds can be used for a range of needs including the purchase of equipment or infrastructure, packaging and labeling design needs, and technical assistance. Eligible applicants include farms in Cheshire County and abutting NH towns who would like to develop or expand their production for wholesale markets, including the Monadnock Food Co-op and Monadnock Menus.
Make a Donation to the Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund
During months where we do not have a specific Round it Up Donation Drive at our co-op’s cash registers, you can always ask to round your total up when you shop at the co-op.
Tax-deductible donations to this fund can also be made to the Cheshire County Conservation District by using the button below and writing “Farm Fund” under “Add Special Instructions,” or by making a check payable to “Cheshire County Conservation District” and write “MFC Farm Fund” as a note. Mail your check to:
CCCD, 11 Industrial Park, Dr., Walpole, NH 03608
Manning Hill Farm: of Winchester, NH. Sarah & Sam at Manning Hill Farm installed a large energy-efficient cooler to increase the storage capacity of their grass-fed milk before distribution. Previously, their herd had started producing enough grass-fed non-homogenised milk that once their old cooler and refrigerated delivery van were full, the rest of the milk had to be dumped. Meanwhile, the co-op would run out of milk frequently. Sam says the new walk-in cooler also reduces his back ache, which is worth a lot to a farmer!
Flying Cloud Dairy: Bill & Kelly installed a freeze-free water system which more efficiently gets water to cows, allowing them to increase the production of their organic, raw milk dairy products. Spending hours hauling defrosted hoses over snowy ground each day took long enough that it was a barrier to getting other important things done on the farm and was not sustainable for Bill in the long-run. Since this system also makes water available to cows 24/7 in the summer too, year-round milk production will likely increase.
Archway Farm: Mark at Archway Farm built a new walk-in freezer to store his own pasture-raised pork products, and to provide freezer space for other local producers to utilize at a reasonable cost. Being able to freeze and store pork has enabled Mark to better meet customer demand, for example, he was able to double his supply of Easter hams to our co-op in the first year. Since we sold out of these hams within the first week they were offered, there is plenty of room for production growth going forward.
Picadilly Farm: will use their grant towards Crop Storage Expansion which will help them stretch sales to local wholesale customers like our co-op through February, March, and April. To accomplish this, they aim to install and build one additional crop storage space with temperature control. Once in place, they’ll have low-cost, long-term, on-farm storage space for 12 pallets, an estimated 18,000-20,000 pounds of root crops.
Echo Farm will use their grant to replace their pudding filler machine with a newer, more efficient machine capable of producing multiple sizes. This will also increase the quality of the pudding and make a more consistent product because batches can be able to be packaged faster (pudding gets thicker as time passes). Currently, their 1998 filler can package at a rate of 10 cups per minute. A new machine would be able to package 30-35 cups per minute!
Brookfield Farm will use their grant to improve their Certified Organic 100% grass-fed ground beef labeling and promotional materials — to better tell the consumer about the benefits of the product— therefore increasing the sale of this farm product, and increasing the profitability of their meat sales. This product aligns well with the values of many co-op customers, but without labeling or a website, customers would not be able to recognize this great product for what it is.
Tracie’s Community Farm will use their grant for the purchase a row seeder in order to increase their seeding efficiency of wholesale crops (Asian Greens, Lettuce Mix, Cilantro, Kale, Spinach, Dill, Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, Turnips, and Radishes). It will also enable them to increase the percentage of land planted under cover crops in the fall and winter to help both reduce weeds and enrich the soil.