Farmraiser Grant Program
The Ethical Farming Fund is raising the standards of Western Pennsylvania's foodshed by funding projects that improve the welfare of animals on local farms.
Our 2022 Awardee:
Big Maple Family Farm
Big Maple Family Farm plans to make big improvements to the feeding system of their sheep. They will build a feeder that will keep the feeding hay dry and clean, which is very important for keeping their herd healthy and free of parasites, especially in the winter months.
Big Maple Family Farm is run by the Balon and McMinn family in Ridgway, PA. Their sheep and beef cows are grazed on pasture through a rotational grazing system, allowing them to have access to fresh pasture from spring to fall. Their chickens are also free ranged on grass and pasture with constant access to their coop for water, shelter, and fresh-ground feed.
Past Recipients of the Farmraiser Grant
Savage Mountain Farm (2020 Awardee)
Savage Mountain Farm is a family owned and operated 140-acre diversified farm in Meyersdale, PA. They grow vegetables, mushrooms and fruit trees, and they raise beef cattle, hogs, poultry and rabbits on pasture. The feed for the hogs and poultry is grown on the farm following organic methods. The farm strives for environmental sustainability through carbon sequestering, livestock-vegetable integration and water conservation.
With the Farmraiser Grant, farmers Hana and Ben Yoder originally planned to build three new farrowing huts for their pigs. They ended up building four! Shelter is especially important for sows and piglets living on pasture. The design of these mobile huts allows the farmers to more easily check on the pigs while they are safely sheltered.
Second Wind Farm (2018 Awardee)
Second Wind Farm (part of Vough Generations Farm) raises beef cattle and chicken, and grows produce, hay, corn, and oats on their fifth generation farm in Markleton, PA. Their cattle are grass-fed, supplemented with homegrown hay and grain, and the chickens raised for meat and eggs are free-range. Find them on Facebook at @voughfarm.
Completed in the summer of 2019, Second Wind Farm used the Farmraiser Grant to install a permanent fence around a 15-acre pasture designated for their younger cattle to graze. This new enclosure allows the younger members of the herd to graze without competition from older cattle, and also expands the benefits of grazing to previously undeveloped parts of the property. Farmer Karey told us, "We view this process as a first step in creating
new practices that were once part of our family's farm in earlier generations."
Check out the farm and Vough family below.
Streets Family Farm (2016 Awardee)
The Streets Family Farm used the Farmraiser Grant to build a permanent fence that will accommodate all livestock in a rotational grazing system. Rotational grazing provides a constant source of fresh grass for livestock and improves the health of the land by giving the pasture intervals of rest from grazing.
Watch the project's progress below. You can see more of the Streets Family Farm through our Streets Family Farm virtual tour.