Farming is very well one of the most essential necessities in life. Imagine living in a world where small farms no longer exist, where meat and produce are mass raised or grown in plants using chemicals and other unnatural means of production; where communities can no longer come together while supporting local farmers, the ecosystem and agriculture.
This is a possibility our country faces.
Farms are unable to compete in today’s cruel economy. They are driven out of business, their livelihoods and land, because they are unable to operate under policies that put financial strain and hardship on their pursuits, puts power in the hands of large factories, and makes it impossible to earn a living off of work that requires such dedication.
Imagine those who are faced with this reality after them and their descendants worked tirelessly for a century or more to keep a farm operating and in their family?
At Centennial Farms Foundation, we believe first and foremost in our farm families, and their right to a secure future. With dedicated teamwork and encouragement through aid and continued support services, we can build relationships with our longest operating farms; providing all areas of support in exchange for our appreciation of their family’s persistent efforts for the past one hundred years or more.
Centennial Farms Foundation (CFF) was created by Emily M. Hay, a fourth-generation farmer from Dutchess County, NY. Growing up as a child, Emily’s fondest memories were waking up early summer mornings on her family 100 acre century farm and stepping out into the fields to smell the hay, fresh cut by her father; climbing the lofts of hay in the old barns, and finding “sunken treasures” from generations past buried under years of dirt on the farm.
Now raising her three children in Pine Plains, NY with her husband, Bradley Hay, she has studied and worked in the fields of business and finance for over the past 10 years. All the while, she helped her father on the side with his feed business and to explore additional business opportunities for the family farm in order to keep it running.
After many hardworking attempts to make the necessary changes to the farm in order to overcome economic challenges and witnessing neighboring farms post their “for sale” signs, Emily decided a much larger action needed to be taken. She founded CFF with a mission to support Century Farm owners facing hardship. A few of her early steps included months of research on how to establish a 501(c)3, the wisest way to go about it frugally, and the best organizations to go to for allied support.
Some of the foundation’s earliest successes include:
· Raised $20,000 in donations within its first 12 months.
· Incorporated the Organization’s Articles and established a New York State 501(C)3 certification within 14 months.
· Established a broad list of Corporate and private sponsors to support its Mission.
· Doubled the attendance of supporters at the annual fundraiser each year since its inception.
CFF has already made a difference by:
· Holding three separate public events that connected local farmers with Organizations and Resources available to them for support. These events helped open-up community discussion on the need for united support of farmers and agriculture, both locally and nationwide.
· Establishing an infallible support system by teaming up with non-profit NyFarmNet so that our support encompasses all areas of hardship every applicant faces.
· Raising awareness to this extremely important cause and taking urgent action to seek unanimous support.
Centennial Farms Foundation deserves unwavering support to continue pursuing and achieving our mission of saving our nation’s most fundamental farms; leading to an increase in stable communities, a prolific economy, and a healthier ecosystem.
We must keep farmers farming.
CFF campaigns for funds to provide debt-fulfillment grants to Century farm owners facing hardship, specifically those who have kept the farm in the same family for one hundred years or longer. These grants may be used to pay-off a lingering debt incurred by the operations of farming, it can be used for a restoration project of existing historical structure(s), or put towards a past due property-tax bill; alleviating at least one or more immediate challenge(s).
Free to any farmer of any experience, are the personal and business support services offered through our non-profit ally NyFarmNet. By combining immediate aid and continued support, our farmers are able to foresee a positive future for the legacy they have strived to continue, and the communities they fought to provide for.
Some of these services include:
· Personal and Family Well-being
· Business Transfers
· Business and Succession Planning
· Financial Analysis and Decision-Making
· Retirement and Estate Planning
· Interpersonal Dynamics and Communication
If you have a craft, product, or trade you want to share at the event on 9/23, email Emilyhay@cff100.org for a vendor application today!
The deadline to apply is September 15th, 2023.