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.

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

The 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.

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 1 of our April 2014 newsletter.

2014 Grants

Backyard Beans and Grains Project (GMO testing of corn varieties; testing of popcorn varieties for pollen-blocking traits)
Bellingham Food Bank (seeds, equipment repair and training for three new farms that will select and plant crops for the Bellingham Food Bank)
Bryan Krueger (scholarship to attend the Northwest Agriculture Business Council’s Pastured Poultry Workshop)
Community to Community Development (start-up funds to increase the size of the “Finca Esperanza” garden to three acres, and to develop a farm worker led and operated organic farming cooperative)
Garrett Franz (purchase and training of an ox team at Moondance Farm)
Growing Veterans (GV) (veteran transition specialist—the last year GV will need grant support for this position)
Local Food Works! (Deming Library Learning Garden)
SEED—the Untold Story (a documentary film about saving our planet’s seed diversity)
Springtime Farm (garlic separator and peeler—two other organic farms in Everson will also use the equipment)
Sustainable Connections—Food To Bank On (farm tours that connect new farmers with mentor farmers; a spring field walk; program resources, materials, and scholarships for training)
Uprising Seeds (non-GMO, non-hybrid, cauliflower seed trials)
Viva Farms (basket weeder—a cultivation and weed management tool)

2010/2013 Loan Recipients (allocated on an ongoing basis)

Matheson Farms
El Rancho Jacal
Cloud Mountain Farm Center
Roll Organic Farm
Misty Meadows Farm
Heritage Lane Farm
Neighborhood Harvest Farm
Osprey Hill Farm
Sumas River Farm
Tailwind 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
Brigget LeClair – Wakerobin Farm, owner
Billy Tate – Moondance Farm, owner
Rio Thomas – Uprising Seeds, farm staff
Laura Ridenour – Food Systems Resilience Strategies consultant; Community Food Co-op Board director
Steve Powers – Archdiocesan Housing Authority, division director; Big Sky Garden, former owner
Dennis Lane – Whatcom Television and Communications, director
Beau Hilty-Jones – Bellingham Urban Gardens; Community Food Co-op staff
Mike Long – The Growing Garden, farm manager
Mariah Ross – Raptor Group, vice president of development; Community Food Co-op Board director
Zach Zink – Bellingham Farmers Market, site manager; Growing Washington, farm staff


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