Since being founded in 2000, the Farm Fund has:
♦ Partnered in launching Whatcom County’s first local labeling program to highlight local products; assisted the Bellingham Farmers Market with county-wide marketing.
♦ Founded Food To Bank On (FTBO), a program that provides training, markets, and mentorship to new farmers, who are paid to deliver fresh food to local food banks (now part of Sustainable Connection’s Food and Farming Program).
♦ Sponsored Whatcom County’s first organic seed saving workshops presented by a local farm business, Uprising Seeds, in collaboration with the Organic Seed Alliance.
♦ Funded work by Community to Community Development on cooperative development for farm workers and Latino consumer access to local food.
♦ Provided startup funds for the Food Bank Farm and funding for the Food Bank’s Seed Money Project. Farms receive funding toward early season costs and return a portion of their crops to the food bank. The program benefits the farms with early-season capital while opening doors for future contract purchasing with the food bank.
♦ Funded a number of projects offered by Local Food Works, a grassroots volunteer effort to promote food equity, self-reliance, and sustainable living practices through the cultivation and sharing of knowledge, skills, and resources within the Mount Baker Foothills community of eastern Whatcom County.
♦ Provided startup funding for the Ferndale, Lynden, and Twin Sisters farmers markets.
♦ Funded Cloud Mountain Farm Center’s leafy greens variety trials for local season extension (workshops, fact sheets, consumer tastings, and field trials with five local farmers).
♦ Gave a grant to Inspiration Farm for a set of screens for a seed cleaner to benefit local seed growers, improve grain trials, support a community seed network, and educate about seed production methods.
♦ Provided a grant to McIntyre Farm for sheep shearing tools made available to other farmers, along with sheep shearing workshops.
♦ Gave a grant to City Sprouts Farm, a new urban farm supplying vegetables and other farm products in the Birchwood neighborhood.
♦ Provided grants for a field cultivator and a wash/packing station for Viva Farms, a business incubator that helps new farmers learn how to farm and establish their own businesses while minimizing prohibitive startup costs. .
♦ Contributed scholarships for local growers to attend the first Northwest Washington Sustainable Agriculture Conference.
♦ Developed a low-interest secured loan fund in partnership with Whatcom Community Foundation and Industrial Credit Union for farm infrastructure needs. The $72,000 fund is on its third round of circulation in the local farming community.
♦ Created the Next Step Project in partnership with the Sustainable Whatcom Fund of Whatcom Community Foundation. The Next Step Project provides annual grants up to $5,000 for local farmers investing in expansion projects to grow their businesses for Whatcom County wholesale markets (grocery stores, food hubs, restaurants, schools, etc).
♦ Funded many other projects over the years, with more to come!