Farmer Development Scholarships for Illinois CRAFT Program

CRAFT Farmer Development Scholarships Program, 2012 in Illinois The Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) and Angelic Organics Learning Center (AOLC) created the Farmer Development Scholarship Program to help farmers in our network offset the costs of continuing education as they build and grow their young farm businesses. This program is made possible through a grant from the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, and through our partnerships with Prairie Crossing Farm Business Development Center and Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. Are You Eligible? If you meet all of the following criteria, your farm is eligible for up to $150 in scholarship funds each program year:

  • You are a current CRAFT member and/or a Stateline Farm Beginnings student or graduate;
  • You have a “farm-start,” meaning you have made your first sale of a farm product; and,
  • It has been 10 years or less since your "farm-start," or first sale.
Scholarships are to be used by CRAFT members or Stateline Farm Beginnings students or graduates and cannot be transferred to other farm employees or interns. If you share your CRAFT membership or participated in Stateline Farm Beginnings with another individual (i.e. a spouse, partner, etc.) please note that your family or “farm unit” is eligible for a total of $150 each program year.

A limited amount of funding for scholarships is available each program year and awards will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. As long as funds are available, you may apply for multiple scholarships until you have reached your $150 maximum. We expect this program to be quite popular, so we urge you to take the time to plan your training(s) as soon as possible. What Can You Use Your Scholarship For? No one knows your farm business better than you, so we would like you to choose the professional development opportunity that best suits your needs – it might be a one day training, a three day workshop or a week long conference. Attached you will find a list of organizations in our region that offer programs that might be of interest to you (this list will grow and we would love to add your favorite program provider – please let us know where the excellent trainings are happening). Scholarships funds are to be used for registration fees and materials directly related to an actual training event.  Funds cannot be used for books that are not designated as part of the course materials requirements.  They also cannot be used to cover travel and mileage expenses, meals, and other costs you may incur while participating in a training. How Do You Apply? Once you have chosen a training opportunity, please fill out the attached application and mail (or email) it to AOLC. We will notify you if your application has been approved. Once approved, register and pay for your training, and send us a copy of your payment receipt. When we receive your receipt, we will promptly reimburse you for the cost of your training, up to the $150 limit. You may also register and pay for the course and THEN send your application in, but we cannot guarantee that you will be awarded a scholarship. Please submit your application as soon as possible. Applications for the 2012 Farmer Development Scholarship Program are due by September 1st, 2012 (but your training opportunity may take place at a later date). Applications received after this date will not be considered. Additional application forms are available at the AOLC website, at http://www.learngrowconnect.org/farmer/scholarship. Please send your application to: Angelic Organics Learning Center 1547 Rockton Road Caledonia, IL  61011 Attn: Rebecca Haldeman Or email it to: rebecca@learngrowconnect.org Questions? Please call or email Rebecca at 815.389.8455 | rebecca@learngrowconnect.org This project was supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant# 2009-49400-05943.

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