Beyond Grants Entrepreneurial Strategies for Funding Beginning Farmer Initiatives
Funding for beginning farmer initiatives is as diversified as programs themselves: governmental grants, foundational support, and private donors are often all a part of the funding used to sustain beginning farmer initiatives. Some beginning farmer initiatives also use entrepreneurial strategies to supplement grants and donations. This report has been prepared based on the assumption that to have long-term social impact for any program supporting systems change, it is important to have entrepreneurial, self-sustaining funding. This report, generated by conducting an environmental scan and reviewing case studies of current beginning farmer initiatives across the U.S., explores self-sustaining entrepreneurial fundraising strategies and activities, and offers a creative pathway forward for evaluating strategies to fund Michigan’s beginning farmer initiatives.
Discovering Ourselves: A Pilot Network of Women-in-Agriculture
This publication outlines the planning process, proceedings, and the lessons learned from a unique pilot project that created the Women in Agriculture of Genesee County and Extended Area Network.
MIFFS is a statewide nonprofit with a mission to connect beginning and historically underserved farmers to each other and resource opportunities; ensuring social justice, environmental stewardship, and profitability. We leverage strategic, highly collaborative partnerships to create and enable networks of small-scale urban and rural farms that give rise to a resilient local food system. Our work supports entrepreneurial farm business development by serving as the bridge between the resources of USDA service providers, knowledge of subject matter experts, and wisdom from diverse communities throughout Michigan.
Marketing Your Food Safety Certification
Food safety certification is no easy undertaking. While there are many reasons to go the certification route, a central reason is market access. Whether you already have a buyer asking for it, hope to gain a new buyer through it, or just want to get ahead of the curve, food safety certification is a useful tool in moving your produce from farm to table. There is a lot more to using this tool than just passing an audit. Once your certification is in hand, how do you communicate it to existing or potential buyers? What types of buyers ask for it? While many guides reference food safety certification, they typically only describe how to get certified, not what happens after. This guide aims to show you how your certification can be a catalyst for growth.
The MIFFS Farmers' Guide to Applying for EQIP
EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to plan and implement conservation practices that improve soil, water, plant, animal, air and related natural resources on agricultural land and non-industrial private forestland. EQIP may also help producers meet Federal, State, Tribal, and local environmental regulations. The MIFFS Farmers' Guide to Applying for EQIP shows how to apply for the programs available.
CERTIFICACIÓN DE SEGURIDAD ALIMENTARIA Y SU COMERCIALIZACIÓN
La certificación de seguridad alimentaria no es una carga fácil. Si bien existen muchas razones para optar por la ruta de la certificación, una razón fundamental es el acceso al mercado. Ya sea que ya tenga un comprador que lo solicite, espere obtener un nuevo comprador a través de él o simplemente quiera adelantarse a la curva, la certificación de seguridad alimentaria es una herramienta útil para trasladar sus productos de la granja a la mesa. El uso de esta herramienta implica mucho más que simplemente pasar una auditoría. Una vez que su certificación está disponible, ¿cómo se la comunica a los compradores existentes o potenciales? ¿Qué tipo de compradores lo piden? Si bien muchas guías hacen referencia a la certificación de seguridad alimentaria, generalmente solo describen cómo obtener la certificación, no qué después. Esta guía tiene como objetivo mostrarle cómo su certificación puede ser un catalizador para el crecimiento.
How Can CSA Improve Wellness? An Exploration of Physical, Social, and Economic Health
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is most often thought about as a strategy that supports farmers by providing payment at the beginning of the season when costs are the highest. While that purpose of the CSA is clear and established, should we also be considering how CSA programs can improve wellness in communities? What is Community Supported Agriculture? CSA is a direct to consumer sales model where the consumer buys a share of produce from the farmer early in the season, then receives regular distributions of produce throughout the season, similar to a subscription service. What is wellness? This report defines wellness as physical, social, and economic health.
MIFFS Brochure (en Español)
MIFFS es una organización sin fines de lucro en todo el estado con la misión de conectar a los agricultores principiantes e históricamente desatendidos entre sí y oportunidades de recursos; garantizar la justicia social, la administración ambiental y la rentabilidad. Aprovechamos asociaciones estratégicas y altamente colaborativas para crear y habilitar redes de pequeñas granjas urbanas y rurales que dan lugar a un sistema alimentario local resiliente. Nuestro trabajo apoya el desarrollo de negocios agrícolas empresariales sirviendo como puente entre los recursos de los proveedores de servicios del USDA, el conocimiento de los expertos en la materia y la sabiduría de diversas comunidades en todo Michigan.
Registering with USDA Farm Service Agency
A farmers guide to applying for a farm number with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Farm numbers are required for many FSA services and this guide explains how to obtain a farm number, what to bring with you, what questions to ask and what forms you will need to fill out.
The MIFFS Farmers’ Guide to EQIP
A farmers' guide for applying to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The most important thing to remember when working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is that they fund conservation practices for farmers to reduce existing risks to natural resources. This means that when you want to obtain funding for a conservation practice like a hoop house or cover crops, you need to identify the associated environmental risks. When you work with NRCS, you will typically work with the District Conservationist or a Soil Conservationist. This guide will take you through the programs available.