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Back Home Farms receives FACT mini-grant

A local farm has received funding to stimulate an on-farm store and farmers' market business impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

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Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT), a national nonprofit organization promoting safe and humane production of meat, milk and eggs, recently awarded an emergency mini-grant to Back Home Farms of Park Rapids.

Owned by Josh and Judi Weiss, Back Home Farms used its FACT grant to purchase insulated delivery bags. The bags keep perishable items at a safe temperature and enable the farmers to deliver food to a broader customer base.

According to a July 9 press release, FACT launched an emergency mini-grant program this spring to help independent livestock and poultry producers respond to the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since April, FACT has awarded more than $95,000 to 202 farmers in 40 states. Projects include buying cold storage units, upgrading websites, developing online farm stores, purchasing supplies for home delivery and shipping perishable food, and sanitation supplies to protect farm workers and their customers.

With many of the funded projects still underway, more than 97 percent of the mini-grant’s recipients report it has helped their farm business address a COVID-19 related challenge, and 93 percent report it has helped their financial viability.

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Larissa McKenna, director of FACT’s humane farming program, said the global coronavirus crisis shows the fragility of the industrial food system. “It’s become crystal clear that family farms are an essential part of a more resilient food system,” she said.

Back Home Farms produce can be found at the on-farm store and at the Park Rapids Farmers’ Market. For more information about FACT, visit foodanimalconcernstrust.org.

Related Topics: AGRICULTURECORONAVIRUS
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