Two great opportunities! RAFI Farmers of Color Grant and Cynthia Hayes Scholarship

Two great opportunities! RAFI Farmers of Color Grant and Cynthia Hayes Scholarship

Hello SAAFON Network!

We have two great opportunities to share with you –

1) RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network Grant – deadline is February 19th, 2021

2) Cynthia Hayes Scholarship – deadline is March 8th, 2021

Application details for both below: 

RAFI Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund: 

2021 Grant Cycle

RAFI-USA’s Farmers of Color Network Fund provides support to farmers for new and innovative agricultural projects and ideas that will increase farm viability, support community food sovereignty efforts, preserve traditional and cultural farming practices, as well as assist local food economies.

Where: The geographic priorities in 2021 include the states of North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but applications from across the Southeastern region will also be given consideration.

Examples: Some examples of projects supported by the 2020 Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund include conversion of existing infrastructure into new innovative uses; infrastructure purchases to expand scale of operation; rotational grazing; mobile refrigeration and processing, as well as cultural/heritage projects which are focused on preserving and continuing a specific agrarian tradition.

We offer Funds for….

  • Individual Farmer Projects: Awarded to eligible farmers or farm enterprises. ($6,000)
  • Refrigeration/Storage/Processing: Projects involving refrigerated storage be it mobile or on-farm storage, and on-farm and mobile processing. ($8,000)
  • Collaborative Farm Projects: Collaborative projects involve the participation of at least two or more farm operations ($10,000)

 To learn More about 2020 grantee projects…  Click Here.

 To Apply or to find out if you are an Eligible farmer go to the Online Application: Click Here

Deadline: Extended to Friday, Feb. 19th at 6:00 p.m. 

Cynthia Hayes Memorial Scholarship:

The Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON), the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and Minorities in Agriculture Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) have partnered together to create a scholarship in memory of Cynthia Hayes, co-founder and former director of SAAFON. Cynthia was a founder of the first network for African American organic farmers in the U.S. and dedicated her life to serving these communities. Spending time on her grandmothers farm in Kentucky as a young person, she learned about her family’s history of over 80 years of tobacco farming. This laid the foundation for the work she would spend her life doing. Cynthia would go on to work in non-profits in the Bay Area, using her talents to support grant writing efforts and working in group homes before relocating with her husband to Jamaica where she began working directly with farmers. In 2000 Cynthia moved to Savannah, GA where her work centered on land, environmental justice and the plight of African American farmers. In addition to SAAFON, Cynthia was a founding member of several other non-profit organizations and programs that worked to build power among Black growers. Her impact and leadership was honored with several prestigious awards including the 2013 James Beard Award and the 2013 Southern Foodways Alliance John Egerton Award. Cynthia was an inspirational force in the development of NSAC’s equity platform and initiatives that followed. Her legacy lives on in the work that continues, and we hope to honor her vision with this scholarship empowering younger generations to continue this work.

Scholarship eligibility requirements:
  • This scholarship is open to students who self-identify as Black and/or Indigenous
  • Students should have an interest in grassroots organizing, movement building, or agricultural policy and a commitment to promoting racial equity in our food and farm system
  • You must be a MANRRS member (either independent or university affiliated) enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, seeking a degree
  • You must be a student in good standing (2.5 minimum GPA)
  • PhD students are not eligible to apply


Steps to apply:

  • Complete the application and gather all required materials
  • Download the application file, and review in detail all eligibility requirements and requested application materials
  • Submit completed application and all required materials to by March 8, 2021 deadline
Any questions?
Email with any questions you may have about the application process or required materials

Click here to learn more and to download the application –

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