Last month, Tilth Alliance was awarded a $597,846 grant to create a coordinated and strategic support system in collaboration with SnoValley Tilth, SAgE / Viva Farms, and King County for beginning farmers and ranchers to help them become established and remain viable throughout their initial years in farming.
Tilth Alliance was selected among 35 other non-profits, universities and organizations that received grants totaling $17.7 million through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
“We are thrilled to receive this award and to be able to work together with our project partners to help build a stronger and more sustainable food system in King County by enhancing the support that is available to new farmers.” said Sarah Collier, Tilth Alliance’s Director of Programs.
The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program supports projects that deliver education, mentoring and technical assistance programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises.
This funding will allow us to achieve the following four goals:
- Establish an effective and cohesive regional partnership and platform for common activities and resources
- Facilitate new farmer training and support at three incubator farm sites, each of which will serve unique geographic regions and audiences, including the incorporation of organic and sustainable farming curricula.
- Strengthen the infrastructure of existing land transition services and programs to facilitate land access for new and beginning farmers.
- Provide ongoing technical assistance, education, mentorship and support to help keep new farmer businesses viable.
“According to the 2012 Agriculture Census undertaken by the National Agricultural Statistics Survey, the average age of the American farmer is approximately 59 years old,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy in a press release. “The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program provides the training and resources to attract a wide range of communities – veterans, refugees, socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, women, individuals from underrepresented groups, small farmers, aspiring farm workers, and others – into farming and ranching.”
Details of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s website.
About Tilth Alliance
Tilth Alliance is nurturing a more vibrant and sustainable food culture in Washington state by using farms, gardens and kitchens as classrooms to teach people about growing and eating fresh nourishing food while regenerating healthy ecosystems. We want everyone to be able to eat healthy food, every day, regardless of where they live or their income level. Through Tilth Alliance, farmers and eaters, gardeners, cooks and environmental advocates are uniting to nourish ourselves, our families, our communities and the earth. Learn more at tilthalliance.org.