Exclusive: LGBT Minority Farmers Given Taxpayer-Funded ‘Wellness’ Grants

A rainbow appears during the Powerade PGA Assistants' Championship 2nd Round at The London Club on August 14, 2008 in Ash, England. (Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The University of Delaware is promoting a “Northeast Queer Farmer Wellness Microgrant program” to support “queer and trans farmers” through taxpayer-funded grants.

The university’s website explains what the grants can be used for:

This project is administered by queer agricultural service providers and queer farmers across the Northeast to support queer farmers holistically in their needs. We believe queer and trans farmers know best what they need! We define stress and mental health broadly including the impacts of structural barriers and oppression of white supremacy and heterosexism. [Emphasis added].

The funding for the grants is provided by the multi-billion-dollar Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, which was created through the 2018 Farm Bill.

Email Screenshot/Pasa Sustainable Agriculture

Screenshot from email/Pasa Sustainable Agriculture

Any “LBGTQ+” farmer, farmworker, or land steward in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, or Washington, DC, is eligible to apply for a grant, ranging from $100 to $500.

“Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color” are prioritized, as well as those “not usually defined as ‘farmers’ by dominant funding structures.”

The funds are promoted for a variety of uses on the Expression of Interest form:

We believe queer and trans farmers know best what we need! Please use this money however may support you including – but not limited to – therapy, childcare, a massage, rent, compensating you for unpaid organizing work you already do, attending community events, getting your nails done even if they are about to get dirty again, etc. [Emphasis added].

Breitbart News spoke to Bo Dennis, a New Farmer Programs Specialist with Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners, who is in charge of outreach for the program and “grows flowers in Maine.”

Bo Dennis, pictured, is in charge of communication for the Northeast Queer Farmer Wellness Microgrant program. Bo Dennis/The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Bo Dennis/The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association

Dennis said the program has $23,000 to distribute, and they are prioritizing farmworkers. The “wellness” microgrants, initially publicized on September 24, have had hundreds of applicants so far, and he is concerned that they will not have enough money for everyone.

The most recent round of Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network funding awarded $4.8 million to organizations in four U.S. regions. The Northeast is the only region where a university was not given the money, but instead, it was given to the National Young Farmers Coalition. The group, which supports “affordable land” and advocates for farmers of “every gender, race, and sexual orientation,” received federal dollars for their project, “Building an Inclusive and Comprehensive Network for Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance in the Northeast.”

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) funding

Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN) funding

Dennis declined to speak further with Breitbart News.

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