Rural Lifestyle Retailer Donates $100,000 to Fund Grants that Aid in Starting, Growing and Sustaining Small Farms
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, and its foundation have partnered with American Farmland Trust (“AFT”) to support small family farmers and ranchers through a $100,000 donation to AFT’s Brighter Future Fund. The Fund launched 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. This donation marks the third consecutive year that the Tractor Supply Company Foundation has supported AFT.
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Aimee Morris is a veteran who transitioned her family’s 60-year-old Pennsylvania farm into a nonprofit to help veterans overcome the trauma of combat through farming activities. Photo Credits: American Farmland Trust
“As a business committed to serving and supporting those who live and love the rural lifestyle, Tractor Supply has a unique passion and respect for our nation’s family-owned farms and ranches,” said Mary Winn Pilkington, president of the Tractor Supply Company Foundation. “We are dedicated to doing our part to support the viability of farming for future generations. It is so inspiring to read these farmers’ stories and a true privilege to support them through these grants.”
Through its donation, Tractor Supply Company Foundation will fund 20 grants of $5,000 each to help farmers improve farm viability; access, transfer or permanently protect farmland; and adopt regenerative agricultural practices. Eligible projects may involve one or more individual farmer(s) or farm families, and grants are typically awarded to those who have been historically underserved or lack access to traditional methods of funding. AFT received hundreds of applications from 48 states for the 2022-2023 Brighter Future Fund grants. Additional contributions to the Fund will allow AFT to support more farmers.
“Farmers must be resilient and financially stable in order to address some of the greatest challenges facing our society,” said David Haight, vice president of programs at AFT. “The Brighter Future Fund makes small investments that have big impact with participating farmers – particularly those who face barriers to accessing other types of support.”
Previous grants have been used to support:
- Glenn Hope Care Farm in Red Lion, Pennsylvania, to build a new brooder house and Cornish hen pen to expand its poultry production. The farm’s owner, Aimee Morris, is a female veteran who transitioned her family’s 60-year-old farm into a nonprofit to help veterans overcome the trauma of combat through farming activities.
- Three Dogs Seed Farm in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to drill a well and install a solar-powered pump to water crops during periods of drought, increasing the farm’s resilience and viability and reducing crop loss. Danielle Fegan, or Little Fox Woman as she is known in the Ojibwe-Anishinaabe community, started Three Dogs in 2020 to contribute to regional seed and food sovereignty progress for both Tribal and non-Tribal community members through seed offerings and seed-keeping education.
- VEGGI Farmers Cooperative in New Orleans, Louisiana, to improve infrastructure and mitigate issues such as erosion and flooding. VEGGI farmers are Vietnamese Americans who emigrated to the U.S. after the Vietnam War, many of whom lost their jobs after the BP oil spill. The farm is a way for community members to earn income through produce sales.
“AFT is incredibly grateful for the support of partners like Tractor Supply Company that allows us to expand the Brighter Future Fund and impact more farmers than ever before,” said Ryan Lauer, director of corporate sponsorships at AFT. “Farms are vital to feeding our society, providing jobs and sustaining the vitality of rural America. These grants provide much-needed support for hardworking farmers.”
In addition to impacting recipients, Brighter Future Fund grants are critical to generating solutions that resolve key challenges facing the country’s agricultural communities, including feeding society, sustaining the vitality of rural America, ensuring clean drinking water, fighting the climate crisis and ensuring the availability of wildlife habitat.
The Fund was initially seeded with a generous contribution from Tillamook, one of America’s favorite farmer-owned co-ops. Additional supporters include Butcher Box, Domino’s Pizza, Giant Food, iHeart Radio and members of American Farmland Trust. For more information about the Brighter Future Fund and to donate visit https://farmland.salsalabs.org/brighterfuturefund/index.html.
To learn more about Tractor Supply’s commitment to supporting the communities it calls home, please visit TractorSupply.com/Community.
About Tractor Supply Company
Tractor Supply Company (NASDAQ: TSCO), the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, has been passionate about serving its unique niche, targeting the needs of recreational farmers, ranchers and all those who enjoy living the rural lifestyle, for more than 80 years. Tractor Supply offers an extensive mix of products necessary to care for home, land, pets and animals with a focus on product localization, exclusive brands and legendary customer service for the Out Here lifestyle. With 50,000 Team Members, the Company's physical store assets, combined with its digital capabilities, offer customers the convenience of purchasing products they need anytime, anywhere and any way they choose at the everyday low prices they deserve. At September 24, 2022, the Company operated 2,027 Tractor Supply stores in 49 states, a consumer mobile app and an e-commerce website at TractorSupply.com. In October 2022, Tractor Supply acquired 81 stores from Orscheln Farm and Home that will be rebranded to Tractor Supply by the end of 2023.
Tractor Supply Company also owns and operates Petsense by Tractor Supply, a small-box pet specialty supply retailer focused on meeting the needs of pet owners, primarily in small and mid-size communities, and offering a variety of pet products and services. At September 24, 2022, the Company operated 180 Petsense by Tractor Supply stores in 23 states. For more information on Petsense by Tractor Supply, visit Petsense.com.
About The Tractor Supply Company Foundation
The Tractor Supply Company Foundation was established in 2020 and is committed to supporting vibrant rural communities for all by investing in the future of the Out Here Lifestyle through today’s youth, helping close the rural digital divide and being a good neighbor in the communities Tractor Supply calls home. The Foundation’s priority areas include agriculture education initiatives, broadband connectivity for rural America, 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 2021, the Company donated over $14 million to charitable causes 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 throughout 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.