Local farmers and food producers are at the core of our mission, and helping them to thrive is a pillar of our work. In addition to operating over a dozen vibrant farmers markets and farm stands that provide vital economic opportunities, we help farms and small food businesses access financial assistance, professional training, and referrals that will expand their capacity and fulfill their potential.
Farmer Support at a Glance
- At the heart of our Farmer Support program is the Jean Wallace Douglas Farmer Fund which provides farmers and producers with scholarships.
- We initiated a partnership with regional Small Business Development Centers to provide farming and food business with education and business skills training. Eight farms and food businesses are actively being trained and counseled.
- Working with The Conversation Fund, we are helping farmers achieve the food-safety certification (GAP certification) they need to expand their businesses. Eight farms have started the work toward this certification; twenty farms will be certified before this work is completed in 2017.
- We initiated a partnership with Cabbige.com to provide farmers with technology that enables them to right-price their products and maximize their profits. Four farmers are currently using the Cabbige.com to maximize profits.
- FRESHARM works in partnership with Kiva to help farmers access zero-interest loans to improve their businesses. We've helped secure nearly $80,000 in loans which have been used to purchase everything from tractors to butter churns.