Farmer Programs Funding Partners
The following funding partners support OGS to offer affordable farmer training programs:
The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina. Their vision is a vibrant 18-county region where all people can find opportunity and enjoy the region’s many resources. Their Food & Farming Focus Area supports the revitalization of a sustainable local food system in Western North Carolina while preserving our mountain farm heritage. The goals of this focus area are 1. To increase opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs that support the sustainability and profitability of WNC farms, and 2. Address food insecurity and facilitate nutrition and healthy eating for all.
Clif Bar Family Foundation was started in 2006 to support grassroots groups with inspiring ideas and limited funds. They believe in the wisdom of starting small, seeing what works, and growing it genuinely. Clif Bar Family Foundation supports innovative small and mid-sized groups working to strengthen our food system and our communities, enhance public health, and safeguard our environment and natural resources. Their theory of positive change is straightforward. Just as they celebrate the interconnections among their funding priorities, they seek to build interconnections among their grantees and support groups that leverage relationships to enhance their influence.
“Farmers Advocating for Organic (FAFO) began with the 2002 Farm Bill, which included an exemption for organic farmers from contributing to national promotion programs like “Got Milk?” In response, Organic Valley devised a way for farmers to pool their exemptions into an organic-focused granting fund as a way to promote and advance organic farming.
… FAFO is a grant program funded entirely by annual, voluntary contributions from Organic Valley farmers. It’s the largest farmer-funded grant program in the U.S. and one of the few focused solely on organic.
The fund provides a way for Organic Valley farmers to address the long-term needs of the organic marketplace and the future of organic agriculture by supporting the development of long-term solutions. Through combining resources, Organic Valley farmers are able to invest in projects that affect the livelihoods of organic farmers across the country.”
- Research into organic production methods and crop improvement
- Educating farmers on organic growing techniques, certification standards and documentation
- Educating the public on the value of organic agriculture
- Developing projects that help organic farmers increase efficiency and produce better, more valuable products
The USDA offers funding through their Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Beginning farmer education for adult and young audiences in the United States can be generally traced back to the advent of the 1862 and the 1890 Morrill Land Grant Acts. But for the first time, USDA appropriated $75 million for FY 2009 to FY 2012 to develop and offer education, training, outreach and mentoring programs to enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers. The Agriculture Act of 2014 provided an additional $20 million per year for 2014 through 2018. The reasons for the renewed interest in beginning farmer and rancher programs are: the rising average age of U.S. farmers, the 8% projected decrease in the number of farmers and ranchers between 2008 and 2018, and the growing recognition that new programs are needed to address the needs of the next generation of beginning farmers and ranchers. OGS received a development grant in 2015 which supported all of our Farmer Programs.