Scholarship available from the Historic Lewes Farmers Market | Agriculture

Susan Maddox of Earth Harmony Produce in Ocean View was one of two recipients of a Debra L. Schaefer Grant for Emerging Women Farmers this year.

Smallholder farmers in Delmarva interested in learning more about sustainable and growth-oriented farming practices for the local market can apply now for the 2022 Historic Lewes Farmers Market (HLFM) scholarship program. Completed applications must be sent by Friday, December 17 at the latest.

The HLFM awards a number of scholarships for the 2022 Sustainable Agriculture Conferences. Many conferences are virtual, and those that are in person may still switch to virtual format, depending on the COVID-19 situation. Up to $ 150 for virtual conferences and up to $ 500 for in-person conferences will be awarded.

“The challenges of the food distribution chain make these conferences even more important this year, as the farming community explores how to make regional food systems more resilient,” representatives said.

The conferences include some in the Mid-Atlantic: the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) annual Farming for the Future conference, January 4-28, 2022 (; Future Harvest CASA Conference, January 13-14, 2022, (; Delmarva Soil Summit 2022, February 7-8, 2022; and the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Conference, February 1-3, 2022 (

The conferences draw farmers and other members of the farming community interested in education on sustainable farming practices from a large part of the east coast, central Atlantic and south with growing conditions similar to those of Delmarva.

In 2016, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market established a new scholarship fund for women farmers in memory of Debra Schaefer, who died that year. It was his family’s wish that this scholarship be established in loving memory of Schaefer, who was a sustainable farmer in the Frankford area. On the application, applications should indicate whether they are applying for a Debra Schaefer scholarship.

To be eligible for scholarships, the Delmarva farmer must:

  • Currently developing a sustainable agricultural business, or currently agriculture, on the Delmarva.
  • Currently operating a small farm (low sales) as defined by the Economic Research Service (ERS) for the United States Department of Agriculture (less than $ 350,000 gross in agricultural sales), in Delmarva, or be in able to demonstrate the financial need to attend this conference. (Only one applicant per farm.)
  • Currently being a farmer / producer who sells what he grows, raises or produces on his own farm. A farmer / producer can be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation, and should include family members and employees who assist in the production and / or sale / marketing of farm products.
  • Commit to sharing their experiences during a virtual workshop for HLFM farmers to be held in the spring.

To receive an application and more scholarship information, call (302) 644-1436 or email [email protected] Completed applications should be submitted by Friday December 17, and all scholarship applicants will be notified of the awards by January 7, 2022.

James V. Payne