Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is calling for applications for its Fund-a-Farmer Project, which provides grants up to $2,500 to qualifying poultry and livestock farmers for projects designed to improve farm animal welfare. This year the Fund-a-Farmer Project will offer two distinct types of grants, one for pasture-based farming systems and the other for farm improvements that result in successful animal welfare certification. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is generously underwriting the Fund-a-Farmer Project's animal welfare certification grants.

Pasture-based systems grants are for projects that help farms transition and/or improve access to pasture-based systems. FACT is interested in providing funds to working, independent family farmers that raise pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens, dairy cows, turkeys and/or beef cattle. Applications will only be considered from farms already considered highly welfare-oriented, as determined by holding or substantially working toward one of six specified humane certifications for their livestock or poultry. FACT will consider funding for a variety of projects that are designed to improve animal welfare within pasture-based systems.

Animal welfare certification grants are for on-farm improvements that are required for successful application and attainment of one of three specified animal welfare certifications. This first-time grant category will make it possible for farmers to attain animal welfare certification from Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane, or GAP (specifically steps 4 - 5+). These farmers are eligible to apply for funding to underwrite on-farm improvements that are directly related to certification requirements, allowing them to attain certification.

All applications must be submitted online by Nov. 21 for grants that will be awarded in March 2017.

Since the Fund-a-Farmer Project's inception in 2012, FACT has awarded 67 Fund-a-Farmer grants to independent family farmers across 26 states, directly impacting more than 54,000 animals.

"FACT's Fund-a-Farmer Project is creating a higher standard of animal care on farms across the country, and helping farmers undertake needed on-farm changes that otherwise could not happen," said Larissa McKenna, FACT's Humane Farming Program Director.

For grant application guidelines and to access the online grant application, please visit www.fundafarmer.org. In addition to awarding grants, FACT also offers free webinars, conference scholarships, and an online farmer forum.

FACT promotes humane farming and the safe production of meat, milk, and eggs. Learn more at www.foodanimalconcerns.org.