Funding for beginning farmer initiatives is as diversified as programs themselves: governmental grants, foundational support, and private donors are often all a part of the funding used to sustain beginning farmer initiatives. Some beginning farmer initiatives also use entrepreneurial strategies to supplement grants and donations. This report has been prepared based on the assumption that to have long-term social impact for any program supporting systems change, it is important to have entrepreneurial, self-sustaining funding. This report, generated by conducting an environmental scan and reviewing case studies of current beginning farmer initiatives across the U.S., explores self-sustaining entrepreneurial fundraising strategies and activities, and offers a creative pathway forward for evaluating strategies to fund Michigan’s beginning farmer initiatives.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is most often thought about as a strategy that supports farmers by providing payment at the beginning of the season when costs are the highest. While that purpose of the CSA is clear and established, should we also be considering how CSA programs can improve wellness in communities? What is Community Supported Agriculture? CSA is a direct to consumer sales model where the consumer buys a share of produce from the farmer early in the season, then receives regular distributions of produce throughout the season, similar to a subscription service. What is wellness? This report defines wellness as physical, social, and economic health.
A farmers' guide for applying to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The most important thing to remember when working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is that they fund conservation practices for farmers to reduce existing risks to natural resources. This means that when you want to obtain funding for a conservation practice like a hoop house or cover crops, you need to identify the associated environmental risks. When you work with NRCS, you will typically work with the District Conservationist or a Soil Conservationist. This guide will take you through the programs available..
EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations. The MIFFS Farmers' Guide to Applying for EQIP shows how to apply for the programs available.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is made up of 29 agencies and offices and provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science, and effective management. The vision of USDA is to provide economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve our Nation's natural resources through conservation, restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands. A Farmers' Guide: Getting Started with USDA outlines Agriculture and Conservation agencies and how to start working with the available programs.
MIFFS is a statewide nonprofit with a mission to connect beginning and historically underserved farmers to each other and resource opportunities; ensuring social justice, environmental stewardship, and profitability. We leverage strategic, highly collaborative partnerships to create and enable networks of small-scale urban and rural farms that give rise to a resilient local food system. Our work supports entrepreneurial farm business development by serving as the bridge between the resources of USDA service providers, knowledge of subject matter experts, and wisdom from diverse communities throughout Michigan.
MIFFS es una organización sin fines de lucro en todo el estado con la misión de conectar a los agricultores principiantes e históricamente desatendidos entre sí y oportunidades de recursos; garantizar la justicia social, la administración ambiental y la rentabilidad. Aprovechamos asociaciones estratégicas y altamente colaborativas para crear y habilitar redes de pequeñas granjas urbanas y rurales que dan lugar a un sistema alimentario local resiliente. Nuestro trabajo apoya el desarrollo de negocios agrícolas empresariales sirviendo como puente entre los recursos de los proveedores de servicios del USDA, el conocimiento de los expertos en la materia y la sabiduría de diversas comunidades en todo Michigan.