Grant honoring Lyle Wells available for innovative LI farmers

The late Lyle Wells’ passion for furthering the farming community has inspired a grant aimed at helping the future of Long Island agriculture.

The Wells family established the Lyle C. Wells Passion for Agriculture organization after the 11th-generation Riverhead farmer died in a workplace accident in January 2018. He was 62.

The $5,000 grant, raised through community donations given in lieu of flowers, is available for an innovative Long Island farmer. The Lyle C. Wells Passion for Agriculture organization has teamed up with the Long Island Farm Bureau to distribute the grant funding. Mr. Wells, former president of the Long Island Farm Bureau, is recognized as an outspoken leader in the Long Island farming community with a gift for growing produce.

These values are reflected in the grant, Mr. Wells’ daughter Jessica de Vera Wells said.

“My dad was really happy to make changes in the name of progress,” she said. “He always wanted to make progress on his farm. He didn’t keep things the same. He was constantly adapting to be innovative. He made the farmer much more impactful than it had ever been and that is what we’re looking for, people who have really innovative ideas.”

This is the first time the grant is being offered and the organization hopes to continue the grant annually, Ms. de Vera Wells said. All Long Island farmers are eligible.

The deadline for submissions is March 31. To receive an application, email [email protected].

[email protected]

Photo caption: Mr. Wells in one of his asparagus fields in Northville. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch Photo)