Submitted by the San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild and FARM Fund Advisory Committee.
The San Juan Islands Agricultural Guild FARM Fund is excited to announce the distribution of $72,048 in grants to San Juan County farms. These grants were made possible by generous gifts from Orcasong Institute, Orcas Food Co-op, Regen Fund, San Juan Islands Grange #966, and two anonymous donors.
The 2022 FARM Fund grants will support projects that strengthen and develop regenerative agriculture in San Juan County while increasing the supply and availability of local food. The FARM Fund is committed to pursuing innovative ways to create a more resilient local food system while promoting the economic growth and viability of San Juan County farmers.
“We started the FARM Fund with less than $3,000 in 2015, awarding a handful of grants to Orcas Island farms. Those funds were derived from 0.5% of all Orcas Food Co-op produce sales, which continues to make up part of the annual funds,” said FARM Fund Advisory Chair, Learner Limbach. “It has been remarkable to watch the fund grow exponentially as a countywide program of the Ag Guild, and we are thrilled to partner with the many amazing farms on Orcas, Lopez and San Juan Island that are receiving grants this year. Strengthening our local food system and regenerating island soils is more important than ever, and we are grateful to all the FARM Fund partners and supporters who have helped grow the fund and make these grants possible.”
Fifteen farmers submitted grant proposals for $500 – $7500, with a total of $99,017.56 in requested funds. A seven-member committee ultimately chose to fund 12 high impact projects that will increase local food production, regenerate our local ecosystem through agriculture, and unlock new economic opportunities for island farmers.
Funds were distributed throughout the county. Recipients include: Orcas Island – Lum Farm ($7500), Rising Oak Farm ($6750), West Beach Farm ($6382), Crozier Farm ($5500); San Juan Island – New Hannah Farm ($7500), Joon Farm ($7500), Mitchell Bay Farm ($4840), Seagate Farm ($1450); and Lopez Island – Horse Drawn Farm ($7500), Stonecrest Farm ($6500), Goosefoot Produce ($5416), Baba Yaga Farm ($5210).
“We were impressed and humbled by the proposals we received, from pasture restoration to adoption of no-till practices to increased compost production,” said Ag Guild Executive Director, Emma Rastatter. “We greatly appreciate the generosity of our donors to support farmers as essential stewards of our island landscapes.”
The FARM (Food, Agriculture, Relationships, Markets) Fund, a program now under the umbrella of the Ag Guild, is actively seeking philanthropic gifts to fund the 2023 grant cycle to support our farming community. Farmer applications will open in early Spring 2023. To learn more about the FARM Fund, please go to https://sjiagguild.com/farm-fund-2/ or email email@example.com.