Change the Story about Farms and Climate Change!
Climate Farmer Stories is USDA-funded project to promote the positive role farming plays in climate resilience, involving Upper Valley farmers and artists from this region. The project aims to boost farm produce sales and improve public awareness of the important roles farms play in climate resilience. The project builds on the 2021 “Climate Hero” campaign – just with more farms, more art, more stories, and more marketing and events.
A Call to Artists: Apply by May 27!
The Climate Farmer Stories project seeks professional artists to portray our region’s leading climate farmers in original portraits. Artwork will be reproduced in a marketing campaign and exhibition that will promote sustainable farms and educate the public on the value of ecological farming —capturing carbon, cooling the climate, and building resilient food systems in the face of climate change.
Applications closed on April 15, 2022, for the FREE Vital Communities Climate Farmer Stories Cohort.
Farms selected for this cohort will receive 10 hours of marketing assistance, art/sound story materials for their farm, and $3,000 for marketing activities. You will reach new customers through our traveling Climate Farmer Stories exhibit and help educate the public on the value of ecological farming. Farms at all levels of climate knowledge and marketing expertise are invited to apply. It’s free, it’ll be fun, and we will change the story told about farms and climate change. (The image on this page is art from a related pilot project run by Vital Communities and Vermont Organic Farmers in 2021- check it out here!)
Join Vital Communities, fellow farmers, scientists, marketing experts, and community activists.
Timeline, and time commitment
Spring 2022: Apply to join the cohort of farmers BY APRIL 15, and receive notification of admission BY APRIL 30. After April 15, we will take applications on a rolling basis.
Summer/Fall 2022: Local visual and audio artists will visit your farm at a time of your choosing. The visual artist creates a ‘climate farmer portrait’ of yourself or your farm. The audio interviewer records an interview with you. Estimated maximum time this will take during the season: 6 hours.
Winter 2022-23: Farmer cohort works with professionals in marketing and climate change, and farmer-chosen topics. Cohort discussions and training sessions, schedule, topics, and frequency determined by cohort participants.
Farms receive 10 hours of marketing assistance, art/sound story materials for their farm, and $3,000 for marketing activities.
2023: Visual and audio art is used in Climate Farmer Stories campaign run by Vital Communities, and roving exhibition of Farms & Climate Stories art, supporting the cohort farms’ own use of the art in their promotions. Vital Communities implements a regional advertising and promotional campaign using the farmer portraits and audio interviews
Vital Communities creates and promotes a traveling exhibition of climate farmer stories, images, and audio/text at community locations, libraries, businesses, and events.
December 2023: Cohort ends with evaluation and income reporting.
Answers to Questions
Yes, the funder of this project is the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program. The FMPP only funds farms who have a direct sales enterprise as part of their business.
No, this program is only for farms.
Yes, if that artist applies to be a part of the project. The artist application will be out by the end of March 2022.
How long do the farms have to use the stipends? What type of records/invoices needed to show what the stipends were used for?
Cohort members will fill out an extremely simple application indicating the amount and purpose of the stipend. We will ask cohort farms to report on stipend spending at the end of 2022.
Can the $3000 be used for a website? Can it be used for a raffle to increase customer engagement? Can it be used to buy t-shirts/merch that the farm then sells?
We hope so. It will depend on who applies and what the participants want, and if there aren’t COVID restrictions.