Tractor Supply Company, the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, and American Farmland Trust (AFT) announced today the recipients of AFT’s Brighter Future Fund grants. Through the fund, 110 farmers and farm families will each receive a grant of up to $10,000 to help them improve, maintain, expand, and advance their farms.
The grant award announcement comes on the eve of National Farmer’s Day on October 12, recognizing the importance of America’s farmers. This year, 85 of the 110 Brighter Future Fund grants were made possible through Tractor Supply’s $850,000 donation in honor of the company’s 85th anniversary. The Company’s anniversary is also being commemorated with a special nationwide 85th anniversary sale during the week of October 16.
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.
“Tractor Supply’s 85th anniversary donation to AFT is a 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.”
This year’s grant recipients include:
“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.”
AFT created the Brighter Future Fund 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. 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 and is sustained by the support of AFT’s generous corporate donors, including Tractor Supply, and thousands of individual members of American Farmland Trust. Tractor Supply also contributed to the Brighter Future Fund in 2021 and 2022.
About the Tractor Supply Company Foundation
The Tractor Supply Company Foundation is committed to supporting vibrant rural communities for all by investing in the future of Life Out Here through today’s youth and being a good neighbor in the communities Tractor Supply calls home. Founded in 2020, the Foundation’s priority areas include supporting agriculture education initiatives through longstanding partnerships with FFA and 4-H, caring for pets and animals and preserving land for future generations. The Foundation expands upon the charitable work of Tractor Supply Company, supporting causes that are important to customers and Team Members. In 2022, the Company donated over $15 million through direct giving, sponsorships, fundraisers and more. To learn more about The Tractor Supply Company Foundation, visit Corporate.TractorSupply.com/Community.
About American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through our No Farms, No Food message. Since our founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.8 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families.