^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

New Farm Crisis Fund Created to Help Struggling North Texas Farmers

A new fund started by the Seed Project Foundation aims to give money to North Texas farmers who are struggling because of natural or economic crises.EXPAND
A new fund started by the Seed Project Foundation aims to give money to North Texas farmers who are struggling because of natural or economic crises.
iStock

A June 16 tour of farms in the McKinney area offers the usual perks: Guests will get to taste local food, have cocktails and mingle with other people who bought tickets in the four days before the event sold out.

But this tour isn’t just for schmoozing.

The Farm Tour for the Farm Crisis Fund will take guests on a six-hour, three-course dinner, touring farms no farther than 30 minutes away from McKinney.

The goal is not just to eat, drink and explore area farms but to raise money for this new fund, which falls under the Seed Project Foundation, a nonprofit that "funds educational, agricultural and community initiatives that support sustainability."

“We are really trying to get this Farm Crisis Fund off the ground — farming, but local, within 100 miles,” says Meg Neubauer, executive director of the Seed Project Foundation. “It’s for natural disasters and economic crises.”

In agriculture, a lot can go wrong. Farmers can lose entire fields of crops from drought, fire or flood, and economic factors can cripple a small farm. The trade war with China has left American soybean farmers in the lurch after orders from China dried up.

The foundation started the fund last year, raising about $17,000 for local farms in crisis, and it hopes to raise more this year. The Seed Project Foundation started the fund after hearing requests from North Texans such as Matt Hamilton, president of Local Yocal in McKinney and a big player in the agriculture scene. Other people, including Robert Lyford (Patina Green Home and Market) and Graham Dodds (the Statler), are pitching in to put on the tour.

Pure Land Organic Farm, an organic pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm in McKinney.EXPAND
Pure Land Organic Farm, an organic pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm in McKinney.
courtesy Meg Neubauer

Guests will start off at McKinney Square, exploring Local Yocal’s new barbecue restaurant, then hop on a bus for the first farm tour. The ride will take them to Profound Microfarms in Lucas, N&P Farm and Dairy in Farmersville and McKinney's Pure Land Farm.

Along the way, guests will try dishes from Dodds, Lyford and Andrea Shackelford of Harvest Seasonal Kitchen.

Neubauer owns Pure Land, an organic pick-your-own fruit and vegetable farm in McKinney, which she runs with her father, Jack. She knows firsthand how rough it can be for farmers who experience disaster or lost crops.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

“Insurance takes months; you just need money right now to keep your farm going in a crisis,” she says. “We’ll have a very fast turnaround.”

A five-person board will oversee the application process, and farmers can apply at any time on the foundation’s website.

While the upcoming tour is sold out, you can still contribute to the cause on the site or join the Seed Project Foundation's mailing list to hear about future events. Neubauer says there's no shortage of farms in need of a helping hand.

“We can do this for years and not repeat farms,” she says.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.