A group effort from several agricultural organizations has enabled Oneida County's Cornell Cooperative Extension to offer $1,200 grants to three area farmers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit its stride, many Central New York farms were forced to dump milk as restaurants and schools closed.  Making the situation even more frustrating was many grocery store shelves were bare. Cornell with the help of Wagner FarmsNew York Farm NetHarbor Point Minerals, and White's Farm Supply began the Save Our Farms, Save Our Food campaign.

The main goals were to encourage donations to help those hardest hit by the pandemic, to show support for farmers with a special t-shirt, to educate the general public about the farming industry, and introduce CNY's farm families to everyone. As usual in a time of need, Central New York residents stepped up donating money and purchasing the shirts.

With the funds collected, CCE will be awarding three $1,200 grants. Applications for one of the grants can be made by a farmer or in the name of a farmer you know. Simply provide information about the farm and how COVID-19 impacted the operation, names will be kept confidential.

Applications are available online and are due by 4 p.m. March 31st. You can request an application to be mailed to you by calling 315-736-3394. Once collected, a committee will review all applications and announce the grants on April 30th. Funds will be distributed by May 31st.

More information is available at the Extension Office's website, or contract Bonnie Collins at (315) 736-3394 Ext. 104 or email: bsc33@cornell.edu.

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