There’s nothing better than fresh produce from a local farmers’ market. Whether it’s juicy tomatoes or perfectly globular pumpkins, farm-to-table foods are seasonal delights. But the reality is that small-scale farming is hard work and earning a living from it can be even harder. From land prices to equipment, animal housing to securing bank financing, there can be many headaches that sprout up along with farming.
But a growing group of organizations and businesses spearheaded by Slow Money Minnesota are seeking to help farmers ease those hardships through the Grow a Farmer Fund, and they’re turning to the public for support through a fundraising campaign on Barnraiser, where an anonymous donor recently stepped forward and offered to match every dollar raised on Barnraiser from now until October 11–up to $10,000.
Slow Money Minnesota is aiming to raise $100,000 for the Grow a Farmer Fund to provide low-interest loans to help farmers improve their operations and increase their net earnings—and they’re about halfway to reaching that goal. If they reach their $100K goal, the Grow a Farmer Fund will be able to help around 10 farmers, according to Slow Money Minnesota’s website.
“Growing vegetables, fruits, grass-raised livestock, honey, maple syrup or other ‘specialty crops’ is risky business,” Jan Joannides, executive director at Renewing the Countryside, says. “These are the farmers who produce some of the best food we eat. We see them at the farmers markets or buy their products at food co-ops. They supply all our favorite farm-to-table restaurants, and some supply our breweries. They are important to growing vibrant rural communities and to caring for our environment. People who love good food and understand that small, good food farmers can be successful, but need access to patient capital.”
See the below testimonials from Minnesota farmers about how a Grow a Farmer Fund loan would help them.