Farm Fund “Next Step” grant and loan applications now being accepted
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 a new program: “Next Step” grants and loans for farmers looking to scale up for wholesale marketing. Details in the application packet. Application deadline Thursday, February 18, 2016.
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.
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 application. Applications 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. Right now, your donation will be matched by The Whatcom Community Foundation. There’s no better time to donate to the Farm Fund to help us reach our goal of raising $15,000 ($30,000 with the match)!
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 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.