I working with a not-for-profit organization that provides education,
marketing and promotional assistance to farmer/ranchers in our region of the
California foothills. This area is historically family farms but has been
succumbing to development pressure from the urban Sacramento and Bay Areas
over the past 20 years. The program was set up under the theory that the
holding line involved raising consumer awareness of the benefits of
agricultural to the communities, the opportunities to purchase locally grown
or produced products either directly or through retail and restaurants using
these local products; educating producers to the most efficient and effective
ways of providing their products to the market; and education of children -
our future farmers, voters and household decision makers.
The bulk of the clientele are operating small acreages but we're also working
with some rice and hay producers and larger cattle operations. Crops include
stone fruits, citrus, pomes, flowers, herbs, vegetables, poultry, sheep/wool,
cow/calf, ratites - mostly direct marketed.
We have developed programs for our adult producers, consumers (about the
benefits of eating locally grown produce in season) elemetary school children
(to educate them about agriculture and where food comes from and the effort
it takes to produce)
Our current funding has been a large county grant, curriculum development
grants through SARE and the University, and member dues. We need to identify
quality private sources of funds for some capital and supply uses.
Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. The group doesn't have anyone
familiar with private sources and no funding to hire a professional