Farm Fund

The Community Food Co-op’s Farm Fund works to increase the supply of local, sustainable, and organic food by supporting and establishing projects that strengthen the local farming community. The Fund also works to educate consumers, increase access to local food, and to encourage ecological and socially responsible stewardship of our farmland.

Since 2000 the Co-op has dedicated a portion of its annual donation budget to the Farm Fund. Co-op owners have played a critical role by steadily donating to the Farm Fund at the registers. $22,000 in grant funding from the Sustainable Whatcom Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation was used to establish a low-interest, revolving loan fund for local farmers.  In 2013 the Co-op dedicated $50,000 to securing low interest loans for farmers through the Industrial Credit Union (ICU). Individual farms can apply for loans of up to $12,000 through the Farm Fund, or combine Farm Fund and ICU interest rates for larger loan amounts. See the History of the Farm Fund for details on its successful completed projects.

For more information about the program, see the Farm Fund brochure or contact Farm Fund Administrator Jean Rogers.


Secured Loan Applications Now Being Accepted

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for the Farm Fund Secured Loan program. Started in 2010, the loan fund is designed for local farms committed to using sustainable practices. Detailed information about the program, applications forms, and contact information are included in the Farm Fund Secured Loan application and the Industrial Credit Union Loan application.


Farm Fund Grants

Application period for 2015 has closed. The Farm Fund grant program is designed to support projects that strengthen local, sustainable agriculture at large in Whatcom County (for single farm projects please look at our secured, low interest loan program below). Skagit County applicants must either supply Whatcom County or serve Whatcom County farms as part of their program. Detailed information about the program, application, and contact information are included in the Farm Fund Grant application.

Farm Fund Recipients

We are excited to present the following Farm Fund Grant and Loan Recipients. This is your money and support of local food and farming in action! For more details on these organizations, see the full story on page 3 of our April 2015 newsletter.

2015 Grants

Bellingham Food Bank—Seed Money project
Provide seed money for growing staple crops for the food bank.
The Off Ox Project
Workshops, demonstrations, and private lessons in oxen training and applications.
Highwater Farm
Further develop a local organic seed industry and sponsor a hands-on, seed-growing workshop.
Local Food Works!
Expand the Deming Library Learning Garden, create a Pollinator Garden, host hands-on gardening workshops.
Twin Sisters Market
Develop a mobile market trailer to serve as the hub for a weekly market at Nugent’s Corner and in Kendall.
Chubby Bunny Farm
Develop, evaluate, and distribute plans for pasture-based rabbit runs for use by small farms and individuals.
Small Acres
Organize a do-it-yourself compost workshop series and provide participants with the information and support to implement an aerated compost system on their farm.

Read periodic updates on the progress of the 2015 projects in the Co-op News and In Season.

2010/2013 Loan Recipients

Cloud Mountain Farm Center
El Rancho Jacal
Heritage Lane Farm
Misty Meadows Farm
Neighborhood Harvest Farm
Osprey Hill Farm
Roll Organic Farm
Sumas River Farm
Tailwind Farm

2014/2015 Secured Loan Recipients

Brittlebarn Farm
Cedarville Farm
Cloud Mountain Farm Center
Matheson Farms
Sumas River Farm
Triple Wren Farm

Farm Fund Advisory Committee

The Farm Fund is guided by a volunteer advisory committee of local farmers, food and farming advocacy groups, and Co-op member-owners:

Brent Harrison – The Growing Garden, owner; Community Food Co-op Board director
Billy Tate – Moondance Farm, owner
Brigget LeClair – Wakerobin Farm, owner
Chris Elder – Coyote Bank Farm, owner; Whatcom County Planning Dept., Outreach Coordinator for Purchase of Development Rights
Laura Ridenour – Food Systems Resilience Strategies consultant; Community Food Co-op Board director
Mike Long – The Growing Garden, farm manager
Steve Powers – Archdiocesan Housing Authority, division director; Big Sky Garden, former owner
Zach Zink – Bellingham Farmers Market, site manager; Growing Washington, farm staff

 

 

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