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Chapter Capacity Grant Feature: Hudson Valley Young Farmers Chapter

This is the fifth installment in a blog series featuring the ten recipients of our 2023 Muck Boot Chapter Capacity Grant program. Through this year’s grant program, the chapters received fundraising training and support to help them build long-term financial sustainability.

Last year, the Hudson Valley Young Farmers Chapter received the Chapter Capacity Grant to support the work of Choy Commons, a coalition of Asian American farmers and community organizers seeking to build food sovereignty in Asian communities in New York City and the Hudson Valley. The chapter received the grant again this year with the hopes of supporting the work they are doing to increase access to affordable housing for farmers in their region.

According to the 2022 National Young Farmer Survey, most young farmers who work on a farm but don’t lease or own farmland named housing as a top challenge: 81% said that finding or maintaining affordable housing was at least a little bit of a challenge, with almost half (47%) finding it very or extremely challenging. The difficulty and expense of finding housing is also a top reason why farmers end up leaving agriculture. The high cost of living in the Hudson Valley exacerbates these challenges.

The chapter has been working with the Hudson Valley Farmer Housing Working Group, advocating for wider access to affordable housing for farmers in the Hudson Valley and across New York state. The working group conducted their own farmer survey in late 2022 to learn more about farmers’ housing needs and identify the main concerns of farmers in their area. Since then, the working group has been workshopping development pathways to get farmer housing built out across the mid-Hudson Valley. The chapter and working group are also collaborating on a project to train farmer leaders on how to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for themselves and their communities. 

All recipients of the Chapter Capacity Grant have been working with a development consultant to learn more about how to financially resource their work. The chapter received a calendar to keep track of grant deadlines, training on how to determine their eligibility for different grant opportunities, advice on how to understand requests for proposals, and feedback on proposals they submitted. The chapter aims to expand their capacity to engage in housing access organizing, and through the grant program learned how they can be more creative and flexible in seeking funding opportunities to achieve their goals. The chapter also hopes to hire a part-time employee to increase their capacity to continue engaging in this work, since all members are currently involved as volunteers.

Chapters of the National Young Farmers Coalition are the purpose for and partners in our mission to shift power and change policy to equitably resource our new generation of working farmers. Check out our website to see existing Chapters in your area and email us at to discuss starting a Chapter.
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