Small Delmarva farmers interested in learning more about sustainable practices and focused on growing for the local market can apply now for the 2021 Historic Lewes Farmers Market scholarship program.
Completed applications are due no later than Dec. 14.
Due to COVID-19, 2021 sustainable farming conferences are virtual, making them less expensive as nonvirtual events held in previous years. The HLFM is awarding a number of scholarships for the 2021 conferences. Up to $150 in scholarship money with proof of registration — one scholarship per farm — will be awarded.
The challenges of the pandemic to the food chain make these conferences more important this year, in a time when the farming community is exploring how to make regional food systems more resilient.
Conferences include these in the mid-Atlantic: the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Annual Farming for the Future Conference, Jan. 19 to Feb. 5, 2021, pasafarming.org; Future Harvest CASA Conference, Jan. 14-16, 2021, futureharvestcasa.org; and the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Conference, Feb. 8-11, 2021, mafvc.org. These conferences draw farmers and others in the farming community interested in education about sustainable agriculture practices from a broad section of the East Coast, mid-Atlantic and South with similar growing conditions to the Delmarva.
In 2016, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market established an emerging women farmers’ scholarship fund in memory of Debra Schaefer who died that year. It was her family’s wish that this scholarship be established in memory of Schaefer, who was a sustainable farmer in Frankford. Those applying for one of the Debra Schaefer Scholarships should make note on the application.
To be eligible for the scholarships, the Delmarva farmer must:
— Currently developing a sustainable farming enterprise, or currently farming, on the Delmarva.
— Currently operate a small farm — low sales as defined by the Economic Research Service for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, or less than $350,000 gross in agricultural sales — on the Delmarva Peninsula, or be able to demonstrate financial need to attend this conference.
— Currently be a farmer/grower who sells what they grow, raise or produce on their own farm. A farmer/grower may be a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a corporation and shall include family members and employees who assist in the production and/or sales/marketing of the farm products.
— Commit to sharing their experiences at a virtual HLFM farmer’s workshop to be held in the spring.
For application and more information, call 644-1436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Completed applications are due no later Dec. 14. All scholarship applicants will be notified of awards by Jan. 8, 2021.
For more on the Historic Lewes Farmers Market, visit hlfm.org.