MONTEREY, CA (January 28, 2016) – Greener Fields Together, the sustainability and local produce initiative created by PRO*ACT, the produce supply-chain management company, has announced winners of the first Cultivating Change grant program. Cultivating Change is committed to supporting local farms financially to improve their ability to produce, market and distribute fresh produce.

Twelve grants were awarded to eleven local farms in amounts ranging from $3,000 to $10,000. Grants for $10,000 were bestowed by a panel of industry leaders. Farms winning awards of $3,000 and $5,000 were selected by peer review and online voting. One farm, Jaemor Farms in Alto, GA, won both a panel judge and peer review grant.

The industry review panel included:
Nova Sayers | NSF | Business Development - Global Food Division Johnna Hepner | PMA | Director Food Safety & Technology
James Barham, Ph.D | USDA Rural Development | Agricultural Economist Jim Ebersold CSW CSS| Purchasing Manager | Ted’s Montana Grill JoAnne Berkenkamp | Tomorrow’s Table LLC | President
Glenda Yoder | Associate Director |Farm Aid

The winning local farms are:

FarmLocation       ProjectAmount AwardedPRO*ACT Distributor
Jaemor FarmsAlto, CA

   Plastic Bins to Improve Food Safety Practices

$13,000Royal Food Service

Central Texas Specialty Growers, LLC

Plano, TX

   Rainwater Conservation Collection System

$10,000Hardies Fresh Foods
Poche Family FarmIndependence, LA   High Tunnels$5,000Capitol City Produce
Hunt Family FarmSan Luis Obispo, CA   Refrigerated Delivery Truck$5,000Family Tree Produce
Fullei FreshMiami, FL

   In-House Listeria Testing

$5,000Freedom Fresh
J&C Farms & GrovesMiami, FL

Purchase equipment to automate, streamline, maximize farming    practices and employee well being

$5,000Freedom Fresh
Sage FarmsTulsa, OK

   Increase greenhouse sq. ft. for additional growing capacity

$5,000Vinyard Fruit & Vegetable Co.
DLF InternationalFt Pierce, FL

   Website development

$3,000Freedom Fresh
R. Pontano ProduceLake Worth, FL

   Microgreen Dryer

$3,000Freedom Fresh
Rendleman OrchardsAlto Pass, IL

   Food Safety Permanent Training Facility and Enhanced Traceability Technology

$3,000Ole Tyme
StoneCreek HydroponicsHartwell, GA

   Build a 1,200 square foot refrigerated packing house

$3,000Royal Food Service

“We are extremely proud of the winning farms,” says Max Yeater, president of PRO*ACT. “Greener Fields Together was developed to achieve measurable sustainability improvements in the fresh produce supply chain and this program supports that mission. The grants will be a boon to the winners’ ability to produce high- quality, local produce. We look to them as leaders in the future of our industry.”

Cultivating Change grants will be funded on an annual basis to qualifying growers. Applications for the next round of awards will be accepted between September 1 and October 31, 2016.






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