GreenStone is supporting the next generation of agriculture by providing $40,000 to young, beginning, and small farmers through 2022 CultivateGrowth Grants.
Whether applicants are starting a business or taking over a generational farm, the money is designed to give people the right resources and knowledge to overcome the challenges of today’s highly competitive market. The grant can help prepare all producers for success, and it helps minimize financial and resource barriers often faced by individuals entering the industry.
This year marks the fifth year GreenStone has dedicated $40,000 to individuals through grant funding. The grant awards up to $1,000 to current customers and up to $500 to non-GreenStone customers.
Grants can be used for a variety of agricultural programs, educational courses, conference fees, consultants, and GreenStone resources like initial tax and accounting services.
“We are invested in the future of agriculture, and the CultivateGrowth Grants are one of the great ways we can help provide that support,” says Dave Armstrong, GreenStone president and CEO. “We want to help remove financial barriers and increase educational opportunities so producers can build a solid foundation. Really, the grants provide recipients with a chance to gain valuable knowledge and achieve personal growth.”
To qualify for up to $1,000, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35, or farming for less than 10 years, or sustain annual gross sales from agricultural production of less than $250,000, in addition to residing in GreenStone territory in Michigan or northeast Wisconsin. Further details are outlined in the application. Both GreenStone members and qualifying non-members are encouraged to apply.
In other news, GreenStone Farm Credit Services was honored with a first place award for its Partners magazine during the Best of National Agri-Marketing Association regional awards program.
The Best of NAMA awards program honors the best work in agricultural marketing and communications. Entries are judged by industry professionals at a regional level, and top entries advance to the national competition.
The Partners magazine is a quarterly publication GreenStone shares with their agricultural and country living customers, prospects, and others in the related industries. It focuses on financial, educational, and personal interest topics useful for customers in Michigan and northeast Wisconsin. As an in-house agency, the publication is written, designed and published by the GreenStone team.
“This award for our 2021 Partners magazines is extra special, because it’s the result of a great team effort every quarter,” says Melissa Rogers, vice president of marketing and public relations. “We push ourselves each issue to deliver a valuable and consistently excellent resource to our member-owners, and we are thrilled that effort took top honors among some very talented agencies in our region.”
GreenStone will compete at the national level with the awards ceremony taking place in April 2022 in Kansas City.