The Tractor Supply Company Foundation has donated $50,000 to the American Farmland Trust’s Farmer Relief Fund to help farmers in weathering the storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
American Farmland Trust is a national organization dedicated to protecting agricultural land, promoting environmentally sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Farmers nationwide applied for a grant from the Farmer Relief Fund during the pandemic. American Farmland Trust has awarded more than 1,000 grants so far, and the Tractor Supply Company Foundation is proud to aid them in supporting 50 more farmers with the funds.
“The value that small- to mid-size farms provide to our communities with food and related products is paramount, and we are glad to do what we can to help support them through this pandemic,” said Mary Winn Pilkington, Tractor Supply’s Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Public Relations and President of the Tractor Supply Company Foundation.
The $50,000 is being donated from the newly formed Tractor Supply Company Foundation that was introduced in March with an initial focus on COVID-19 recovery efforts.
The fund’s first round of grant distribution began in the spring. California vegetable farmer Guillermo Lazaro suffered from a decrease in restaurant and farmers market sales, but with the assistance from the Farmer Relief Fund, he was able to keep his business running. In North Carolina, grant recipient Nicole Coston, a former dietitian, has been able to maintain her farm’s Community Supported Agriculture program that provides fresh produce to support Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), along with providing recipes and menu plans centered on health and wellness. Other grant recipients have used the funds to create direct-to-consumer sales, pay employees, relieve COVID-related debts and more.
“American Farmland Trust is grateful for Tractor Supply’s support of the Farmer Relief Fund. Their investment will support 50 family farms across the country. This gift comes at a critical time,” said Ryan Lauer, American Farmland Trust Director of Corporate Partnerships. “With many farmers facing reduced traffic at farmers markets, fewer sales to restaurants and an uncertain future — Tractor Supply is helping to support rural communities and stabilize operations for farmers who help put food on our tables.”