Agriculture of the Middle: A Business Accelerator Program

Type: 
Funding
Event Date: 
Grant Deadline: 
Organization: 
Ecotrust
Description: 

Deadline Passed 10/05/2018. Deadline Unknown for 2019. Ecotrust's Agriculture of the Middle Accelerator, a business development program, is designed to help cultivate a thriving cohort of mid sized. independent farms, ranches, and fishing operations in the region that spans northern California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Producer-centered, the program will offer resources, expertise and networks to help get wind at the backs of small food producers – including farmers, ranchers, fishers, and value-added processors – who are keen to grow while maintaining their commitment to their community, regional markets, and restorative production practices. This is a two-year,​ hands-on, capacity-building and business development program. It is designed to cultivate an active cohort of successful, independent, midsized farmers, fishers, and ranchers who are growing and harvesting food products, while selling into domestic markets. The goal is a modern-day “ag of the middle” sector that can supply mainstream regional markets with products raised in ways good for land, soil, water, people, and animals. The curriculum will cover three key areas: business structure and taxation, credit and finance, and market development. To best meet the needs of working farmers, fishers, and ranchers, the core program trainings will be conducted remotely in online group sessions and in team-based offline work through the 2018 -2019 winter months. Curriculum for this program is being developed in partnership with Poppy Davis of C2C Consulting and other highly skilled trainers. The program will begin with a hands-on, in-person gathering in Portland, OR on Nov. 7th & 8th. Beyond initial training sessions, this opportunity includes an option to participate in a key local food show, and to interact with Portland’s newest food hub, the Redd on Salmon Street. Activities for the first year of training will culminate in late February, 2019 with a second in-person gathering in Corvallis, Oregon. Participants will develop lasting connections with peers, and learn as much from each other as they will from the formal curriculum provided.

Category: 
farmers, ranchers, fishing operations, business development, food production
Funding Amount: 
unknown
Matching Funds: 
unknown
Eligibility: 
mid-sized independent farms, ranchers, and fishing operations
Contact Information: 
Maia Hardy Ag of the Middle Program Manager mhardy@ecotrust.org