AFT supports farmers across California with a variety of programming and financial and technical assistance. We recognize that social and racial injustices are entrenched in the history of California’s agricultural system. Our past informs inequities that persist today, and marginalized agricultural producers have been denied equal opportunity to prosper, facing challenges such as loan discrimination, barriers to accessing federal and private programs, exploitative labor practices, intimidation, and theft and appropriation of land.
In recognition of the need for greater equity and inclusion for all groups who have been, and still are, marginalized, we aim to support the most marginalized producers through the Women for the Land Regenerative Orchard Crops (ROC) Fund. This up to $20,000 grant is focused on resourcing women, gender non-binary and trans-gendered farmers, as well as those historically resilient farmers identifying as socially disadvantaged in alignment with the USDA definition.
To be eligible for this grant, growers must:
- Be a producer within one of the following California counties: Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, or Tulare
- Identify as a woman, gender non-binary, or transgender individual AND as a non-white or biracial individual or individual who fits the USDA definition of a socially disadvantaged farmer.
- Produce almond, citrus, stone fruits, apple, pistachio, or another orchard crop. Raisins may also be considered.
- Produce on a small scale (less than 100 acres), whether owned or rented.
- Be motivated and ready to implement regenerative agricultural practices on their farmland using the grant funding, with spending to start in the Spring of 2024.
- Farmers who previously received a Brighter Future Fund from AFT are NOT eligible. Those who applied but were not awarded previous Brighter Future Fund grants are encouraged to apply!
Additional information that will be taken into consideration when making award decisions includes:
- Priority for individuals who dedicate a majority of their worktime to farming or ranching;
- Need-based consideration of projects;
- Resilience and viability of the operation, as determined by the dollar value of farm products sold, acres in farming and farm products grown, raised, or produced, as well as the geographic location.
- Land tenure (ownership, a lease, license, or other written agreement) for a reasonable time period will be required for projects that involve on-the-ground improvements to farmland. If tenure is less than five years, please be prepared to demonstrate in the application that the tenure is sufficient in relation to the practices that will be implemented with the funds.
- Willingness to allow AFT to share the impact of this grant on your farm via photos and information shared publicly about the project you will implement with the funds.
APPLYING IS EASY!
To be awarded, growers must:
1. Submit an Application . . .
which will include a proposal of the regenerative practices you hope to implement with the up to $20,000, as well as a plan for how you will access the equipment and technical assistance you will need to utilize the funds. Within the application, you will specify which of the following practices, or combination of practices, you would implement with the funds. Please see the list of eligible practices on this page:
- Composting (i.e. via purchase of a spreader)
- Cover crops (i.e. via purchase of a seeder or spreader)
- Irrigation water management (i.e. via installation of moisture sensors or weather stations)
- Conservation cover
- Filter strip
- Reduced till
- Whole orchard recycling
2. Submit photos . . .
of yourself and your farm (optional) to help us get to know you.
3. Submit a letter of recommendation (optional)
This optional component can be from collaborators, mentors, family, friends, or contacts from educational or work settings. It will be especially helpful if they can speak about you as a farmer and your ability to implement the practices you are proposing.
Preview the application questions here to prepare!