Farm Disaster Relief Fund

Photo of a beefalo by Emily Hague

The Monadnock Conservancy, in partnership with an anonymous donor, has created a new fund to support Monadnock region farmers who have been impacted by disasters, including this year’s drought.

Making a difference in farmers' lives

“Time is of the essence, as farmers desperately need cash now to buy hay for the winter,” said Stacy Gambrel of the Conservancy.

The Farm Disaster Relief Fund has $100,000 to help local farmers. The fund was formed in response to the devastating effects of the recent drought and historically low milk prices — both of which have put significant economic strain on the region’s farmers.

To be eligible for funding, an applicant must operate a farm in the Conservancy’s service area, have suffered at least $5,000 in damages from a fire or natural disaster, and generate at least 25 percent of total household income from the farm operation. Funds may be used to replace or repair infrastructure, seed, feed, livestock, supplies and equipment lost or damaged as a result of the disaster. The maximum award available per applicant is $25,000.

First round of awards

“We are honored to support local farmers and farming with this fund. Farms that stay in business are less likely to be developed. This not only benefits our local economy, but also helps protect what’s so special about the Monadnock region — its abundance of open space, wildlife habitat and scenic rural character,” said Ryan Owens, executive director of the Conservancy.

The first awards were made to 10 farmers at the end of December 2016. The money will be used to cover the costs of feed, seed and other urgent needs of farms affected by the drought. Due to the overwhelming response of applicants, all available funds have been allocated. At this time, applications are are no longer being accepted. However, if you wish to be considered for any future funding when it becomes available, please e-mail Stacy Gambrel or call her at 603-357-0600, ext. 106, and ask to be added to the waiting list.