NH Delegation Announces More than $1.2 Million in USDA Funding to Support Granite State Farmers

November 02, 2021

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) announced that New Hampshire will receive $1,249,856 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support Granite State farmers. Of this funding, $749,856 was awarded to Land for Good in Keene through USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to help beginning farmers in New Hampshire and New England gain land access knowledge and skills and to improve their ability to successfully secure land through purchase or secure tenure agreements, thereby increasing their likelihood of a successful farm start or expansion.

In addition, the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture will receive $500,000 in federal funding from the USDA to bolster access to mental health services for Granite State farmers. Specifically, the funding was allocated through USDA’s Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, and will support a multi-pronged approach in New Hampshire to support farmers’ mental health. This includes raising awareness of resources available to farmers to address causes of stress and mental health challenges, such as financial decision making and stress mitigation courses, as well as providing funding and educational training to agricultural service and mental health providers to improve their ability to assist farmers. In addition, the funding will support targeted outreach to underserved farmer populations, including women, people of color and LGBTQ farmers in rural communities.

“From bad weather to volatile market demand for their products, Granite State farmers face a myriad of unpredictable and uncontrollable challenges that can create or exacerbate stress, anxiety and trauma. Now more than ever, ensuring they have access to the resources they need to address these mental health challenges must be a top priority, which is exactly what this funding awarded to the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture will help do,” said Senator Shaheen. “I’m also pleased that Land for Good will receive federal resources to help beginning farmers in New Hampshire successfully acquire land of their own. Not only will these funds allow these new farmers to plant the future seeds of their success, but it will also help cultivate the next generation of leaders in agriculture that will keep New Hampshire and our country healthy and well-fed. I’ll continue to fight for additional funding to support the important work our farmers do each day to sustain our communities.”

“Granite State farmers have helped grow our state’s economy, but this way of life is increasingly threatened, with many farmers facing challenges ranging from financial hardship to mental health issues,” said Senator Hassan. “I am glad to announce these two federal grants that will help new farmers get their businesses off the ground and access mental health services.”

“Our nation’s farmers are the backbone of our food supply chain and economy, and it is essential we support their well-being and success,” said Representative Kuster, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. “I am proud to bring the voices of Granite State farmers to Congress, and I was pleased to secure funding for the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) in the 2018 Farm Bill, as well as federal dollars to support new and beginner farmers through the Land for Good program. I will continue working closely with New Hampshire’s agriculture producers and distributors to ensure they have the tools they need to continue serving our communities and our country.”

“I’m pleased the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and local organizations are among those receiving funding to support New Hampshire’s farming community,” said Representative Pappas. “Our communities are stronger when there are tools to support their health, well-being, and economic security. Taken together, these programs will help train new farmers in sustainable practices, bring their products to market, and give them the support needed to thrive long-term.”