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AgriSpirit fund supports rural communities

A program with a goal to provide financial support for rural projects is now accepting applications.

Since the inception of the Farm Credit Canada (FCC) AgriSpirit Fund in 2004, FCC has supported 1,615 capital projects in rural Canada totaling $21 million for registered charities, non-profit organizations and First Nations, Métis and Inuit governments and communities in Canada.

FCC Manager of Community Investment Carla Warnyca said eligible projects can get between $10,000 to $25,000.

“Past projects include everything from greenhouses to community gardens and other agriculture and food-related projects,” she said. “We’ve also done a lot of work with things like refrigeration or equipment upgrades to support things like food waste reduction or recovery. We’ve done some projects that improve accessibility and inclusion, and upgrades that reduce a building’s energy footprint.”

It also comes at a time when all the talk in the agriculture sector has been around sustainability and climate change. Warnyca said they have heard that it’s having an impact.

“Sometimes accessing funding can be tricky particularly in rural areas where there are fewer organizations that are available to provide that support so that’s why this is focused on rural communities,” she said. “That’s why we really encourage those rural communities to come forward if they’ve got those projects.”

The application deadline for the 2024 fund is May 15. Applicants can view the eligibility requirements, past projects and apply online by visiting fccagrispiritfund.ca.

There is a total of $1.5 million in funding available. FCC will announce the selected projects in the fall.

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