ANCA secures $100,000 for local farms

Aims to match it in fundraising; applications for farm grants due Nov. 30

Aaron Caiazza of Kate Mountain Farm gives a tour of his Vermontville farm during ANCA’s Bike the Barns event on Sept. 29. (courtesy of ANCA)

Looking ahead into 2020, the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) is setting some big goals to help local farms grow. The nonprofit, which has a mission to “catalyze sustainable economic development across the Adirondack North Country and enhance the quality of life of the people who live, work and visit here,” has secured $100,000 from private donors that will be paid out in grants to farms and food entrepreneurs. At the same time, ANCA has launched a Local Farm Challenge fundraising campaign that aims to double the impact by raising another $100,000.

This past year, ANCA gave out $4,500 in mini-grants to farmers through its FarmShare Fund, so the mechanisms were already in place for the application, scoring process and review committee made up of regional agricultural professionals, said Caitlin Wargo, communications and development director for ANCA. The difference this round is the amount, which will greatly increase the reach and impact of the grant program.

“What we’ve been seeing is that those little bits of capital can make a big difference. To be able to bring this money to local farmers is a great opportunity,” she said.

At the donors’ request, ANCA is moving quickly in seeking proposals in amounts ranging from

$2,500 to $45,000 for projects that will “improve farm viability by addressing gaps in the local food supply chain, increasing opportunity for value-added processing or securing business development services.” The application is open to local farmers, producers/entrepreneurs, food hubs, and cooperatives interested in expanding or diversifying their business.

“The donors wanted to get this money out to farmers as quickly as possible,” said Wargo. The call for proposals closes on Nov. 30, and awards will be given out in January. More information and the application can be found here:!node/1591/.

“We intend to fund as many projects as possible and we anticipate that reading through the applications will give us additional insights into farmer challenges and opportunities that can also help going forward with program development,” Wargo said.

As part of the gift, ANCA was challenged to match the gift through fundraising. The Local Farm Challenge campaign launched at the end of October and has a goal to raise $100,000 by the end of the year. So far, they’ve hit the 25 percent mark, and any new ANCA memberships will be counted toward the goal, said Wargo. To give, go to

About Melissa Hart

Melissa is a journalist with experience as a reporter and editor, combined with work for nonprofits. As the Explorer's digital editor, she serves as editor of Adirondack Almanack.(com) and helps manage the Explorer's website. When not online, she enjoys hiking, camping and other outdoors activities, and spending time with her husband, their twin daughters, and rescue animals -- two dogs and two cats. Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter

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