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Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Apply Now: Brighter Future Fund Grants from American Farmland Trust & Partners


Applegate, the leading natural and organic meat brand in the nation, has announced a new collaboration with American Farmland Trust (AFT) to support the next generation of farmers. Through a $50,000 donation to AFT's Brighter Future Fund, Applegate aims to assist farmers and ranchers across the country in enhancing their viability, accessing or protecting farmland, and adopting regenerative agricultural practices. This donation will facilitate grants of up to $5,000 for livestock farmers or ranchers striving to bolster their resilience and viability.
Joseph O’Connor, President of Applegate, emphasized the challenges faced by young farmers and ranchers in realizing their vision of a robust, sustainable, and competitive food system. By partnering with American Farmland Trust and contributing to The Brighter Future Fund, Applegate seeks to empower new farmers to establish themselves in the industry securely, thus advancing its mission of "Changing The Meat We Eat®."
Launched in 2020, The Brighter Future Fund aims to support historically underserved farmers and ranchers amidst various challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, market fluctuations, severe weather, and climate change. Past grants from the fund have facilitated access to land, adoption of regenerative practices, and improvements in profitability for livestock farmers. The application process for Brighter Future Fund grants begins in early July, with grantees announced in October.
The impact of Brighter Future Fund grants extends beyond individual recipients, driving solutions to key societal challenges by:
  • Scaling up regenerative practices and enhancing farm resilience to climate change.
  • Strengthening local food systems for increased resilience and equitable access to healthy food.
  • Promoting equity by providing opportunities for historically underserved farmers and ranchers.
  • Safeguarding clean water and habitat for threatened wildlife.
  • Enhancing long-term farm viability and community vitality.
“Oftentimes straightforward projects, like expanding or replacing fencing infrastructure, can make a huge difference for farmers or ranchers. Increasing rotational grazing capacity enhances pasture soil health, and ultimately improves the overall viability of a farm or ranch,” said Ashley Brucker, Deputy Director of Agriculture Conservation Innovation at American Farmland Trust. “We’re grateful for partners like Applegate for supporting and believing in the countless farmers and ranchers who do this vital work.”

“As a former farmer who has raised pastured livestock, I know firsthand how beneficial unrestricted grant funds are to a farm business,” said Carolyn Gahn, Applegate’s Senior Director of Mission and Advocacy. “Fencing, watering systems and animal shelters are all costly but necessary requirements to get an operation off the ground and keep it functioning sustainably. A move towards a regenerative future, means making farming a viable business model for family farms and first-generation farmers.”

Other contributors to the 2024 fund include: Tractor Supply Company Foundation, iHeartMedia, Butcher Box, Giant Foods, and Domino’s Pizza. Grant applications will be processed in the order they are received, with awards based on eligibility. Farmers and ranchers interested in applying should submit a completed electronic Brighter Future Fund Application to AFT.
American Farmland Trust stands as the sole national organization taking a comprehensive approach to agriculture, addressing the land itself, the agricultural methods employed, and the individuals behind the work. AFT pioneered the conservation agriculture movement and continues to promote public awareness through its No Farms, No Food initiative. Since its establishment in 1980, AFT has permanently safeguarded over 7.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advocated for environmentally-sound farming practices on millions more, and supported numerous farm families.

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*Regenerative agriculture is a series of continuous improvement principles and practices that prioritize soil health and manages a symbiotic relationship between plants and animals to have a positive impact on the land.