Portland-area Farmers Awarded Brighter Future Microgrants
This winter, American Farmland Trust launched the Farmers Brighter Future Microgrants Program (BFMP) to assist farmers in successfully launching, growing, and sustaining their farms in the face of forces impacting the food and agricultural system, including the COVID-19 pandemic, changing markets, severe weather, and climate change.
Pictured: Jennifer Rose Marie Serna of Wapato Island Farm
A generous gift from Tillamook County Creamery Association’s All For Farmers Campaign enabled the first round of microgrants, which farmers could apply to for awards up to $5000. Funding was allocated to two primary categories: professional services and equipment or infrastructure costs. Grants were intended to help farmers improve farm viability, access or transfer farmland, permanently protect farmland, or adopt regenerative farming practices and increase resilience to climate change.
Pictured: Happiness Family Farm
Awards were made to highlight the variety of agriculture in the Pacific Northwest, and nationally 96% of awards went to farmers identifying as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, female, or beginning. Roughly 60% of awards went to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ farmers.
Portland, Oregon was one of the cities identified as a focus area for microgrant awards and eight farmers were awarded. These farmers showed resiliency, commitment to a strong local food system, and a desire to implement sound farming practices.
- Bobby Boungmy Her of Wan and May’s Fresh Bloomer to purchase a compact tractor and walk-in cooler.
- Edith Woodley of Eloheh Farm and Seeds to purchase greenhouse materials and install a produce stand.
- Japhety Ngabireyimana of Happiness Family Farm to purchase culturally relevant crop seeds, purchase a variety of tools, and install a greenhouse for season extension.
- Mark Johnson and the Johnson Family to repair and expand historic farm structures.
- Jennifer Rose Marie Serna of Wapato Island Farm to purchase greenhouse and barn materials and plan for a rainwater system and root cellar.
- Jennifer Van Wey of Quackenbush Farm to purchase necessary food processing infrastructure for distribution to a local school cafeteria.
- Michelle Week of x̌ast sq̓it/Good Rain Farm to purchase and install irrigation equipment.
American Farmland Trust extends our congratulations to these farmers for their contributions to innovative agriculture in the Pacific Northwest. For more information about the Farmer Brighter Future Microgrants Program, please visit: https://farmland.org/brighter-future/.