One group of unlikely farmers is looking to help others in the community, but first they have a few words for the Governor of Indiana.

In response to Gov. Michael Pence's decision to sign the "Religious Freedom Law," Beekman Boys Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge say, "We stand with the people of Indiana...We actually banned the Governor from shopping at Beekman 1802."

The sentiment behind the tongue in cheek ban by the two New York goat farmers is echoed by many who are criticizing the law which, in effect, grants private businesses the legal right to refuse customers whose lifestyles may conflict with theirs on the basis of religious grounds.  The cover of this morning's Indianapolis Star features an opinion piece by the newspaper's editorial staff urging Pence to "FIX THIS NOW."  In response to the new Indiana law several authorities in surrounding states have banned publicly-funded travel to Indiana, stating that they refuse to support an economy that discriminates against others.

And it is in support of others that Kilmer-Purcel and Ridge were on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning to promote their Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter program, whereby they are awarding grants "to small farms who have a viable, future focused, growth-oriented business strategy."  The grants are not, they say, to be looked at as charity.  These are business development grants that will not require an extensive internal bureaucracy to manage.

The largest grant will total $15,000.  The three smaller grants will be $1,049.00 each.

The transplants from New York City won CBS Television's "The Amazing Race" as "The Fabulous Beekman Boys" in 2012.  The winnings from that show helped them pay off their mortgage for the farm they bought in Sharon Springs after moving from New York City in 2008.  They say that ever since then they have tried to give back to the community and to the farming industry that welcomed them.

The "Beekman 1802 Mortgage Lifter" is named for a 1929 heirloom tomato.  The sauce is New York-sourced.  This is the second year of the program.  Through it twenty-five percent of the proceeds from The Beekman Boys' Mortgage Lifter sauce are donated to small farms.  Last year a total of $15,000 was distributed.

Increased sales are, in part, because of a relatively new collaboration with Target Stores.  In November 2014 Target gave the sauce a trial.  By February 2015 the product was carried in 1,700 stores.

To apply contact the Beekman Boys at: BeekmanMortgageLifter.com.  Entries are due by midnight April 30, 2015.  The winners will be announced on May 12, 2015.

 


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