Farm Fund “Next Step” grant and loan applications

Application deadline Thursday, November 17, 2016.

The Farm Fund is currently accepting Next Step grant and loan applications.

Application materials: Farm Fund Next Step application, Farm Fund Secured Local application and Industrial Credit Union Local application.

Feel free to contact us with any questions. The Community Food Co-op and Farm Fund Committee, in partnership with The Sustainable Whatcom Fund of the Whatcom Community Foundation and the Industrial Credit Union, are excited to offer this new program for farmers looking to scale up for wholesale marketing.

Secured Loan Applications

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 applicationApplications are accepted on an ongoing basis for the Farm Fund Secured Loan program.

Be a Farm Fund-er

You can help support and strengthen our local farming community. It’s easy. Simply click on the donate button below and become a Farm Fund-er today! Any size donation is welcome. When you support the Farm Fund we all benefit from even more local, organic, and sustainable food. 

The Farm Fund is supported entirely by donations from the Community Food Co-op, support from The Whatcom Community Foundation, and the generous donations of community members like you! 100% of all donations go directly to local farms, and food and farming programs.

Want to know more? Take a peek at this video to get a glimpse at the Farm Fund program.

Farm Fund Grants

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. The 2016 grant application period is now closed. The 2017 application period will open in November.

Farm Fund Details

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.

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.

2016 Grants

Bellingham Food Bank
Seed Money Program pays new farmers for seeds in exchange for growing produce for this organization.
Goal: increase healthy food access and grow new farms.

Matheson Farms
“Sustainable Grazing Management in a Changing Climate” field day for local farmers.
Goal: climate resiliency, holistic farming practices, and benefits of the cooperative model.

McIntyre Family Farm
Purchase of multi-farm, portable sheep shearing equipment and sheep shearing training for local farmers.
Goal: equipment and skill sharing.

Off Ox Project
Training and demonstration equipment with oxen on several Whatcom County farms.
Goal: skill sharing, reduction of fossil fuel dependence.

Pachamama Organics
Acquire hand tools for the newly forming Nooksack Tool Co-op.
Goal: strengthen equipment access for small farmers in Whatcom County and foster collaboration between farms.

Twin Sisters Market
Enclose the new east county, mobile farmer’s market trailer with rigid, waterproof material.
Goal: increase access to healthy food in underserved communities.

Viva Farms
Purchase of a field cultivator tractor implement for a bilingual, nonprofit incubator farm.
Goal: supports aspiring farmers to overcome barriers to farm ownership.

Read periodic updates on the progress of the 2016 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
Chris Elder – Coyote Bank Farm, owner; Whatcom County Planning Dept., Outreach Coordinator for Purchase of Development Rights
Laura Ridenour – Non-GMO Project, marketing and communications; Community Food Co-op Board director
Margaret Ingebrigtson – Grateful Bounty Farm, owner
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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