Farmer engagement has been a long-time strategy supported by Food and Farm Communications Fund to advance systemic change. Over the last ten years of funding, nearly a quarter of the projects we’ve supported focus specifically on farmer engagement which includes outreach, one to one training, organizing and education efforts to build coalitions and strengthen capacity for natural systems farming, to reclaim land and foster economic resilience while building capacity to communicate across networks.
In 2012, in addition to supporting immersive trainings for journalists to increase the efficacy and proficiency of journalists covering complex food and ag stories, FFCF supported the Practical Farmers of Iowa to provide training, staff assistance, and outreach to help a cadre of farmers secure widespread media coverage on how sustainable farmers are successfully bringing more than food into communities.
In 2022, we proudly supported our grantee partner, Black Farmer Fund whose mission of Black Farmer Fund is to nurture Black Community wealth & health by investing in Black agricultural systems in the Northeast.
The Black Farmer Fund provides opportunities for Black food entrepreneurs to access integrated capital that is responsive to their needs. This capital facilitates acquisition of land, infrastructure development, equipment purchases and other operational needs. Black Farmer Fund’s approach to funding reflects an intention to rectify the impacts of discrimination from traditional funding sources and predatory lending practices that have ultimately caused the decline in Black land ownership. In addition to providing alternative forms of capital, Black Farmer Fund is committed to shifting power and access to decision-making. The capital decision-making process at Black Farmer Fund is implemented with a community of twelve Black farmers and food systems entrepreneurs from across the state leading and making decisions around which applicants receive funding. Black Farmer Fund also provides skills development and relationship building for climate-smart farming practices.