Letter to the Editor: Disturbing news

1 min read

Thank you for your article describing local farmer dismay about the award process for the grants to farms under the American Rescue Plan Act. It really is disturbing that they awarded funding to only one farm in Franklin County, a large farm with plenty of infrastructure already: Black Acres’ $224,500 grant will fund additional cold storage, update their processing facility, and upgrade their commercial kitchen.

If what the state was trying to do was to increase food security for our future in this state, their logic eludes me: why would you only fund well-established and capitalized farms who have access to financing already? Meanwhile I understand numerous smaller farms throughout our county requested far smaller amounts to simply establish or acquire one or more similar features, such that the same amount of grant funds might have allowed 3 farms to take significant steps up in their production capacity.

With these points in mind, it makes sense that James Black of Black Acres Farm “never imagined” that he’d be funded at the level he requested. The fact that many smaller farms like the highly productive Rustic Roots and Speak-Easy Chevre imagined they would, makes even more sense.

Cynthia Stancioff

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