Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is a national nonprofit organization that works to ensure that all food-producing animals are raised in a humane and healthy manner. It recently awarded more than $170,000 in Fund-a-Farmer Grants to a diverse slate of 60 livestock farmers and ranchers. In solidarity with the movement to address racial inequity in agriculture, 45 percent of the grants were made to farmers who identify as black, indigenous or people of color. Eighty percent of the grant recipients are first-generation farmers, and a majority are women-owned operations. 

Since 2012, FACT has cumulatively awarded 521 grants totaling over $857,000 to farmers across 44 states, directly benefiting an estimated 735,000 animals. 

Of the 60 total grants awarded this year, FACT awarded 19 grants to farmers who are seeking to attain or who already hold one of three animal welfare certifications (Certified Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) by A Greener WorldCertified Humane, or Global Animal Partnership (GAP) (Animal Welfare Certified), and 41 grants to farmers who wish to improve or expand access to pasture for their animals. As in past years, the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is again generously underwriting the grants to farmers pursuing or holding one of the above animal welfare certifications. 

“The ASPCA is honored to fund FACT’s annual grants for the fifth year in a row to support farmers transitioning to more humane and sustainable systems that improve animal welfare and meet the demand for greater transparency in the marketplace,” said Kara Shannon, director of Farm Animal Welfare Policy at the ASPCA. “FACT grantees continue to illustrate the benefits higher-welfare farming has not just for animals, but for farm businesses, local communities and our environment.”

A recent 2022 survey of past grant recipients found that the grants have produced a wide range of long-term benefits. Overall, 98 percent of farmers reported that their FACT-funded projects improved animal welfare, 95 percent experienced a positive environmental impact and 88 percent found that the grant improved their farm’s financial viability. Individual farmers report that their FACT-funded projects have increased biodiversity, improved soil fertility, enhanced livestock health and comfort and reduced stress for both the farmer and their animals.

“After a decade of grantmaking, there is no doubt that our Fund-a-Farmer Grants are significantly benefiting farmer livelihood, animal welfare, and environmental health,” said Larissa McKenna, FACT’s Humane Farming Program director. “We believe that partnering with--and investing in-- humane farmers is one of the best ways to make a difference in the lives of food-producing animals.”

FACT is working to change the way that meat, poultry and dairy are produced, and these grants are a key to making these changes. The Boston-based business ButcherBox is also promoting these changes through its national humane meat delivery service. The company has supported FACT’s grants to farmers for the past three years.

“The change needed in our agriculture industry is multi-faceted-– =we need to increase the humane treatment of animals, environmental sustainability and racial equity,” said Evadne Cokeh, ButcherBox’s vice president of Social & Environmental Responsibility. “I’ve been impressed with FACT’s commitment to increasing racial equity through its Fund-a-Farmer grant program as they have made a concerted effort to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and farmers of color know about their grants and it’s been rewarding as a supporter of this program to see the racial diversity of their grantees grow.”

Wendy Johnson of Jóia Food Farm in Charles City, Iowa, received a grant this year to purchase mobile handling equipment to sort and handle the farm’s growing flock of sheep. The farm’s sheep and lambs are Certified Animal Welfare Approved and Certified Grassfed by A Greener World.

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“Thank you so much for providing Fund-a-Farmer grants to farmers. It is so helpful, especially when making capital purchases, to enhance the safety and respect of the animals. They give us so much, the least we can do is give them a safe, respectful and healthy life on farms,” Ms. Johnson said.

Tim and Delicia Brown of Broadview Farm and Gardens in Marengo, Illinois, received a grant this year to purchase fencing and mobile housing to expand their flock of pastured broiler chickens.  

“The project will benefit the birds by providing a high-quality forage tailored to their needs. It will also increase the health of the soil, by improving soil structure, and increasing the cycling of nutrients,” Mr. Brown said.

2022 Fund-a-Farmer Grants for farmers seeking or holding animal welfare certification:

  1. American Flock Farms in Rushville, IN, $1,700
  2. Ardent Acres Farm in Palisade, MN, $3,000
  3. Bar-A Ranch in Normangee, TX, $2,965
  4. BOTL Farm in Ashford, CT, $3,000
  5. Callywood Farms in Westminster, SC, $2,975
  6. Crow Fly Farms in Marion, NC, $3,000
  7. Final Frontier Farm in Paris, KY, $3,000
  8. Four Hills Farm in Versailles, KY, $3,000
  9. Graze The Prairie in Latham, KS, $1,751
  10. Halal-N-Tayyib Meat Shares in Macon, GA, $3000
  11. Harris Cattle Company in New Orleans, LA, $3,000
  12. High Desert Hogs in Sisters, OR, $3,000
  13. Jóia Food Farm in Charles City, IA, $3,000
  14. Rolling Pastures Ranch in Henagar, AL, $3,000
  15. Serendipity Farms in Wolverine, MI, $2,996
  16. Slow Farm in Cameron, NC, $3,000
  17. Souder Station Farm in Winterport, ME, $3,000
  18. Tucker's Black Angus Ranch in North Lawrence, NY, $3,000
  19. Waterline Farm in Pryor, OK, $3,000

2022 Fund-a-Farmer Grants for pasture improvement projects:

  1. 7 Lazy A Ranch in Thatcher, AZ, $3,000
  2. Alchemy Farms and Plants, LLC in Hampton Cove, AL, $3,000 
  3. Baseline Farm in Dexter, MI, $1,110 
  4. Bennett Family Farms in Adel, GA, $2,995 
  5. Black Ranch in Williams, AZ, $2,900 
  6. Broadview Farm and Gardens in Marengo, IL, $3,000 
  7. Bugtussle Farm in Gamaliel, KY, $3,000 
  8. Collins Farm LLC in Rome, NY, $3,000 
  9. Enos Farms in Spring Green, WI, $3,000 
  10. Eyrie Summit Farm in Hamptonville, NC, $3,000
  11. Florida Best Nursery, Inc. in Inverness, FL, $2,388
  12. Graylight Farm in East Chatham, NY, $3,000
  13. Honor Bound Farm in Maxwell, NE, $1,094
  14. Jones Farm in Cuba, AL, $3,000 
  15. K&L Organics in South Wayne, WI, $2,022
  16. Lydia's Flock Icelandic and Shetland Sheep in Bellingham, WA, $3,000 
  17. Mayday Farm in Leeds, ME, $3,000 
  18. Medicine Creek Farm in Finlayson, MN, $1,750
  19. Moxie Ridge Farm in Fort Edward, NY, $2,934
  20. Muse 3 Farm LLC in Greensburg, LA, $3,000
  21. North Sky Farm LLC in Springfield, IL, $3,000
  22. Outlaw Acres Farm in Lake Junaluska, NC, $3,000
  23. Plow and Stars Farm in Poolesville, MD, $3,000
  24. Pork & Greens in Troy, NY, $3,000
  25. Pumpkin Vine Family Farm, LLC in Somerville, ME, $3,000 
  26. Pure Pasture Farms in Springfield, TN, $2,967
  27. Raven & Boar Farm in East Chatham, NY, $3,000
  28. River Valley Country Club in Seattle, WA, $2,784
  29. Roach Family Farm in Vevay, IN, $3,000 
  30. Rogue Artisan Foods in Jacksonville, OR, $3,000
  31. Rx Grazing Services LLC in Lewis, CO, $3,000 
  32. Saudade Farms in Sherburne, NY, $3,000 
  33. Shat Acres Highland Cattle, LLC in Plainfield, VT, $2,820
  34. Silver Shade Ranch in Eagle Bend, MN, $3,000
  35. Southern Sunny Acres in Winona, TX, $3,000
  36. Sparkplug Farm in Leeds, ME, $3,000 
  37. Terra Vitae Farms in Woodstock, IL, $3,000
  38. The Nation's Farm in Covington, GA, $3,000 
  39. The Smiling Farm in Winston Salem, NC, $2,917
  40. Willow-Wist Farm in Sequim, WA, $3000
  41. Woven Stars Farm in Ghent, NY, $3,000

A summary of each of the funded projects is available on FACT’s website.

In addition to the grants, FACT also offers free webinars, conference scholarships, and a mentorship program for livestock and poultry farmers who wish to improve the welfare of their farm animals. Please contact Larissa McKenna, Humane Farming Program Director, at (773) 525-4952 or lmckenna@foodanimalconcerns.org