A Hudson Valley farm has just been awarded $40,000 for its commitment to breaking barriers in the farming industry.

Rock Steady Farm operates on 12 acres of land in Millerton, not far from the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The queer and trans-owned farm is growing more than just food. Rock Steady is also cultivating social justice, food access and farmer training.

The work of co-owners D. Rooney, Maggie Cheney, Kyle Ellis and Rica Bryan has caught the attention of Capital Impact Partners and Cooperative Bank who have awarded Rock Steady Farm with a $40,000 grant.

Rock Steady sustainably grows produce that is then made available to "historically marginalized" communities in the Hudson Valley. The grant money will go towards launching a paid apprenticeship program called "Pollinate" directed at queer and trans farmers as well as farmers of color.



The owners of Rock Steady say that their mission is to disrupt the current barriers that exist for minorities and LGBTQ farmers while uplifting the communities in which they live.

This award will help Rock Steady Farm create the conditions for queer, trans, and BIPOC farmers to thrive, despite the structural barriers that exist for queer and trans farmers of color in the food and farm industry... Through our longstanding community partnerships and with this funding, we will expand our support to beginner QTBIPOC farmers who seek to establish community-centered and co-op farming ventures.

The grant is part of $170,000 that was given to four cooperative organizations from across the country including a group that provides ownership opportunities to formerly incarcerated people, a resident-owned housing cooperative and an organization that improves maternal health in Louisiana.

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