The Monadnock Food Co-op Farm Fund program, in partnership with the Cheshire County Conservation District, is now accepting applications from local farmers. Currently, in its fifth year, the fund has supported 13 farms in the Monadnock Region.

This year, the Farm Fund will award up to $30,000 to help farms in Cheshire County and abutting New Hampshire towns develop or expand their production for wholesale markets, including selling to the Monadnock Food Co-op and Food Connects. Farmers may apply for grants ranging from $500 to $10,000. Funds can be used to support a range of projects, including the purchase of equipment and infrastructure, packaging and labeling design needs and technical assistance.

Interested farmers may apply for the 2021 Farm Fund grant cycle now. The deadline to submit applications is Feb. 1. A request for proposals and the 2020 Application can be found online at https://monadnockfood.coop/community/#farm-fund

“The Farm Fund empowers local farmers to grow their businesses to help them become more financially sustainable,” said Michael Faber, Monadnock Food Co-op general manager. “It also helps the co-op broaden its offerings of locally grown, raised, and made foods — that means more local food for you, your family and our community.”

Tax-deductible donations to this fund can be made to the Cheshire County Conservation District at http://www.cheshireconservation.org/make-a-donation. Additional fundraising activities will occur at the Monadnock Food Co-op, including Round It Up Donation Drives in January, February, April, July and November.

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 the co-op’s goals, including building a healthy, sustainable food system, supporting local farmers and producers, and contributing to a strong, sustainable, and improving local economy.

For more information on eligibility, to apply for a grant, or to make a donation to the fund, please visit http://cheshireconservation.org/farm-fund or call Amanda Littleton at the Conservation District at 756-2988 ext. 4.