Donations to Mill City Farmers Market Charitable Fund (MCFM-CF) on Give to the Max Day 2020 will support our Next Stage Grant Program. MCFM-CF is committed to the success and sustainability of the local food economy. We designed the Next Stage Grant to provide funding to local, regenerative farmers and other food producers who are improving sustainable farming and business practices or growing toward the “next stage” of their local food businesses. Learn more in our video below.
Across Minnesota and Wisconsin, hardworking farmers who grow and make the best, high-quality food are struggling to stay in-business. With declining numbers of wholesale orders from specialty stores, restaurants and schools coupled with fewer customers at farmers markets, small farmers and makers are feeling the pandemic’s impact on their livelihoods.
Farmers market vendors support the health of our community, our local economy and our environment. University of Minnesota researchers estimated 4.3 million visitors shopped for local food from nearly 600 farmers at the farmers markets in the metro area in 2019. They also noted that our local farmers markets supported 8,400 jobs and small market farmers cared for 32,000 acres of farmland.
Ensuring market vendors stay in-business and thrive is part of the Mill City Farmers Market Charitable Fund’s mission of supporting a healthier community. We designed the Next Stage Grant program to provide funding to local, regenerative farmers and other food makers who are improving sustainable farming and innovating their work.
Equipment and capacity building technologies increase yields, improve growing practices and support small sustainable businesses, farmers and makers in becoming more efficient and successful. Our grant program also provides hardship grants for farmers whose income has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have seen these farmers’ hard work and innovation and know they can be successful with a little help from their community.
“The project is actively changing our lives and bringing much needed financial security to the farm.” -2020 Grantee Leah Bailey, Salt and Light Heritage Farm
Next Stage Grants range from $2,000 to $7,000 dollars and past projects have included season extension, cold storage for produce, organic certification and experimenting with new tools and techniques to improve efficiencies.
Click here to read more about past grant projects, grantee requirements and more.
This grant programs is sustained through the generosity of the market community. Please join us in supporting a healthy and sustainable local food economy by donating to this program today. Ways your donation could have an impact:
• $50 Buys 100′ of plastic sheeting to extend the growing season with a greenhouse
• $100 Supports a portion of the commercial equipment needed to effeciently process farm produce into sauces, baked goods and dried products for additional year-round income
• $350 Provides a “coolbot” temperature controller for a farmers’ cold storage system, improving produce shelf life and quality of produce
• $1,000 Funds new tools that reduce hard labor of prepping fields, transplanting and processing harvested crops
Thanks to a generous donation from CoBank, your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $21,000!
In accordance with IRS guidelines, 100% of your donation is tax deductible.