Brighter Future Microgrant Program Awardees
The Brighter Future Microgrant Program provides grants to farmers across the country to assist in successfully improving farm viability, accessing land, improving land security, facilitating farm transfers, and increasing resilience to climate change. In 2020, American Farmland Trust, in partnership with Tillamook, awarded grants up to $5,000 to farmers across the country. Awards were made to highlight the variety of agriculture nationally, and 96% of awards went to farmers identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, female, or beginning. Below are stories from a few of the 2020 farmers awarded grants.
Hameed and Ayo Bello work to provide accessible healthy food and to give sound advice on the nutritional benefits of their produce. They purchased four hoop houses with a BFMP grant to provide consistent, high-quality produce.
Aloha Redland Farm is preparing for climate resiliency and nurturing the land they steward. With support from BFMP funds they will install irrigation, improve infrastructure, and purchase equipment needed to maintain and expand their operation.
After the Bob Cat fire destroyed nearly 80% of Angeles Crest Creamy, this goatherder in the San Gabriel Mountains used her BFMP grant to study how the ecosystem and goats adapt to the evolving landscape after a wildfire.
Meg Barton Galvin & her 5 siblings own & operate a 1400+ acre diversified farm. They used a BFMP grant to purchase a rainwater harvesting & solar drip-irrigation system, investing in agricultural diversification, on-farm water development, & on-farm energy.
Owned and operated by The Briermost Foundation, Ellsworth Acres is committed to helping residents in recovery learn how they can heal their self-worth and give back. They used a BFMP grant to build an additional hoop house.
Eloheh Farm and Seeds invested the BFMP grant to build a farm stand and finish a greenhouse for their non-GMO, open-pollinated seeds. They specialize in perennial plants native to Oregon or the local Northern Kalapuya Indian tribal bands.
Fat Beet Farm is an ever-evolving production farm/kitchen/bakery & education space. They used BFMP funds to install a native plants food forest to maintain challenging ecosystems & provide produce during the lull of Florida’s summer heat.
Fisher Farms has been serving their community for five generations. With support of a BFMP grant, they will install and improve their fencing infrastructure to ensure their valued produce makes it to market.
Gentry Farm is investing in sustainability for the land and people. With a BFMP grant, they will expand their orchard and their toolbox of maintenance equipment.
Monica Bongue, farmer, artist & conservationist, runs a 27-acre nut, fruit, vegetable, & sheep farm. Recognizing a need in the sheep industry, Monica used the BFMP grant to purchase wool-processing tools.
Dayna Burtness and her partner, Nick Nguyen, own and operate a 67-acre farmstead where they rotationally graze heritage pigs for meat. They used the BFMP grant to install two stainless steel waterers.
Robert Baldwin Jr., a beginning farmer, is growing his own 10-acre vegetable operation while working full time for another farmer. He used a BFMP grant to purchase a string bean picker, diversifying the produce for his customers.
Trefoil Gardens is bringing neighbors together around local foods grown in the yards of the neighborhood. With BFMP dollars they will invest in a propagation house, fit to serve their growing business.