ONEIDA CO., N.Y. — When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it quickly became evident that it was going to have a huge impact on farmers. Early on in the pandemic the #SaveOurFarmsSaveOurFood fundraising campaign was launched, by CCE of Oneida County, to educate people about agriculture and to introduce them to local farmers.
When stories began circulating about dairy farmers dumping milk and plowing fields under, consumers couldn’t understand “why.” Especially when they were witnessing short supplies and empty shelves in the grocery stores. Packaging, transportation, illness and plant shutdowns and more played into this COVID-19 food bottleneck and many farms were affected financially.
CCE Executive Director, Mary Beth McEwen said, “We wanted to make sure people were aware that almost everything they come in contact with originates from agriculture and that it’s vitally important to support our local farmers!”
The #SaveOurFarmsSaveOurFoods campaign resulted in over 750,000 impressions just on social media. Many people donated and received a T-Shirt to wear proudly and to remind farmers that “they had their backs”. The campaign raised $3600 and in May CCE will be awarding three $1,200 grants to Oneida County farmers.
Starting March 1st farmers can apply for one of the grants by visiting our CCE website http://cceoneida.com/ then clicking on “Agriculture” and then on the #SaveOurFarmsSaveOurFood Campaign. Farmers must register and tell us how COVID-19 impacted their family and farm.
Applications are due by 4 pm on March 31, 2021. If you need an application mailed to you call 315-736-3394 Ext. 100. Applications will be reviewed by a committee and grantees will be notified by April 30th, with awards being distributed by May 31, 2021. Names will be kept confidential.
The direct link to the registration is: https://pub.cce.cornell.edu/event_registration/main/events_landing.cfm?event=SAVEOURFARMGRANT2021_230
–Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County
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