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Local farm receives Farm Emergency Grant

May 11, 2020
Courtesy of: Jenny McNulty of Maine Farmland Trust Jon and Christelle McKee of Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro received a grant from Maine Farmland Trust and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

Copper Tail Farm in Waldoboro was one of 76 Maine farms that have been awarded grants from the Maine Farmland Trust and the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, through the Maine Farm Emergency Grants program.The two organizations collaborated to fundraise and administer the grant program in response to the needs of Maine farmers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Christelle and Jon McKee, of Copper Tail Farm, raise goats and specialize in farmstead cheese, yogurt, kefir, cajeta , goat milk caramels, and goat milk soap.

“We had to cancel Kid Hugging Days, our major spring income generating events at the farm,” said Christelle. “We rely on these events to purchase the supplies we need to start our season. The pandemic also greatly affected our Farmers Market, when the steering committee decided to close the market. We had to quickly pivot to create new avenues for our products. We opened our farm store and joined three different online marketplaces and created an online preorder system for our farmers market customers.”

One hundred percent of the foundation funds that were raised for the grants will go directly to the farm recipients to assist farms with a range of issues brought on by the pandemic. The grants range in amounts from $325 to $2,000, and a total of $141,100 will be distributed through the program. Farms in nearly every county received funds. A key qualifier for the grant was that farms must have participated in a MOFGA or MFT program; many of the farm recipients have interacted with both organizations.

For more information about Maine Farmland Trust, visit mainefarmlandtrust.org. For more information about the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, visit mofga.org.

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