Tractor supply company awards LeRoy farmer with grant for small business
Published 4:33 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2023
In partnership with American Farmland Trust, the rural lifestyle retailer supports local farmer with a $10,000 grant
Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, and American Farmland Trust (AFT) have awarded Rachel Davis, in LeRoy, $10,000 for her business, Fiddlehead Knob.
Davis is making use of her family’s farm acreage by growing mushrooms with sustainable and regenerative practices. She plans to use these funds to install a 24,000-watt solar system and 60 solar panels to reduce her farm’s carbon footprint and lower energy costs.
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This award is part of a nationwide campaign where, in honor of the company’s 85th anniversary, Tractor Supply donated $850,000 to AFT’s Brighter Future Fund, which was created in 2020 to help farmers across the country start, grow and sustain farms in the face of myriad challenges, including COVID-19, severe weather and shifting markets.
“Tractor Supply’s 85th anniversary donation to AFT is demonstration of our ongoing commitment to agriculture across the nation,” said Mary Winn Pilkington, president of the Tractor Supply Company Foundation. “Farmers and farm families are the backbone of our country and the communities we serve. These 85 grant recipients fill us with tremendous optimism about the future of Life Out Here, and we are excited to see how these grants move their farms forward.”
Launched with initial underwriting from Tillamook County Creamery Association, the program seeks to uplift, support and amplify the work of a wide range of farmers. This year, 85 of the 110 Brighter Future Fund grants were made possible through Tractor Supply’s contribution.
AFT received 1,522 applicants from 48 states during the application period, an all-time high and nearly double the prior year’s applications. Priority was given to applicants who are starting their agricultural pursuits, veterans, socially disadvantaged, women or have limited resources. Funding was allocated for both professional services and equipment or infrastructure costs, with focus areas including improving farm viability, accessing farmland and adopting regenerative agricultural practices.
“As the Brighter Future Fund continues to develop and evolve year to year, the level of support and recognition this work receives is remarkable,” said Ashley Brucker, Deputy Director of Agriculture Conservation Innovations at American Farmland Trust. “This year’s record-breaking numbers were made possible not only by the generous contributions of Tractor Supply and other donors, but most importantly by the farmers and landowners who take valuable time to share the stories of their land, their background and their vision for the future. We aim to grow our outreach as long as needed for farmers to continue developing through innovation and commitment to agriculture.”
To learn more about Tractor Supply’s partnership with AFT and other agricultural organizations, visit TractorSupply.com/community.