Efficiency Grant Awardees
On-Farm Efficiency Grant
HDFFA is invested in increasing the ability of Central Oregon farmers and ranchers to overcome shocks and strains on their operations by providing financial support for on-farm infrastructure, supplies, and professional development. In 2022, HDFFA opened applications for the On-Farm Efficiency Grant, with grant amounts for up to $3,000 in grant funds with at least a 50% match by producers.
This year, these projects were funded mainly due to the generosity of a private donor; additional funding came from the Community Food Projects grant from the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
2023 On-Farm Efficiency Grant Awardees
Check out these project profiles for the awardees of the 2023 On-Farm Efficiency Grant! Hover over the images to learn more about how these funds were implemented by local farmers and ranchers. Current Partners with HDFFA have a link to their Get A Taste listing in our online Food & Farm Directory.
Gorilla Greens is a microgreens business in Bend and had a two-part project. In the first half of the project, the owner expanded and made their germination room to be more streamlined and efficient. This reduced water consumption by 50%. The second part of this project consisted of the purchase of new growing racks. Due to both of these changes, the business is now ready to acquire new wholesale accounts and continue to grow.
Fibonacci Farm grows for direct-to-consumer sales. Their project was to purchase and install a propane heater in one of their 70ft x 40ft greenhouses to extend the front end of their season. Last year, they did not have tomatoes until the third week of August. This year, because of the heated greenhouse they were able to bring tomatoes to market on the last week of June – eight weeks earlier than in 2022.
SunLife Farm & Ranch
SunLife Farm & Ranch is currently working toward the final installation of their ASP composting system. Due to delays with their contractor, this project is still in progress, but they hope to have it running this winter.
While we await final project photos, the photo featured here was taken by Cody Roux Media at SunLife Farm & Ranch’s lavender field.
Lazy Z Ranch purchased a trailer and syrup pump setup to be able to better distribute feed to their apiary when natural forage is lacking. Previously, sugar syrup was mixed by hand and transferred to 1 gallon jugs; many hundreds of gallons per season were distributed by hand. Because of this grant, they were able to get the trailer, a pump, and a tote of syrup to park at the apiary and feed the bees SO easily. This has led to saved time, energy, and efficiency in getting their bees’ needs met.
DD Ranchidentified a 3-acre plot of land that was difficult to irrigate. Through this grant, they were able to supplement an NRCS grant to install a center pivot irrigation system. The NRCS grant only covered 47% of the price of the pivot itself, not including labor and excavation; the OFEG covers a small amount of the equipment and piping for the system. It will be used to irrigate this land to grow forage for their animals.
Wild Grown Farm
Wild Grown Farm in Redmond had two main focuses: 1. irrigation and energy upgrades to their greenhouse system and 2. a printer for plant labels. They fixed the wiring in their greenhouse; installed capillary mats to soak plants from below, generate humidity in the greenhouse, and provide insulation in the early spring; and installed an irrigation control system and timer that can be operated via a phone app. After completing this project, they decided to use the remaining grant funds to purchase a thermal printing label maker, which they use to price and label their plants instead of hand-writing all labels.
Mahonia Gardens grows produce in Sisters on their small vegetable farm. With the short Central Oregon growing season, a grower can never have enough frost-protected and season-extending growing space. The addition of this “gothic-style” hoop-house and overhead irrigation kit, which was a relatively easy build, added another season extension system to their repertoire. This season they planted tomatoes, broccolini, early kale, and carrots in this particular hoop house.
Hive & Pine Farm, LLC
This project was focused on bringing efficiency to the seeding/germination and transplantation of vegetable starts at Hive and Pine Farm LLC, near Sisters. The farmer, Thomas, has begun a seed trial to “demonstrate the efficacy of the equipment to heighten production while also reducing labor inputs, making for an overall more efficient operation and higher productivity of food.” We are excited to hear more about the specific improvements that this equipment will make!
In Cahoots Heirloom Apple Collaborative
In Cahoots Heirloom Apple Collaborative grows heirloom and rare varieties of apples in Terrebonne. They also work with other local apple growers to supplement their supply in order to sell at a more competitive wholesale scale. Through this project, they purchased a state of the art fruit processing equipment, including a fruit grinder and apple press. They will be working with a local processor to create cider to sell as a value-added product.
Funding Farmers Through the Years
This is the second year that HDFFA has administered the On-Farm Efficiency Grant. In 2022, this grant awarded over $45,000 to 14 successfully implemented projects.
It is our ongoing goal to continue to provide opportunities for direct investments of funds to local food producers. Since 2018, HDFFA has invested more than $120,000 in grant and award funding. To learn more about these previous opportunities and the economic impact of this funding, head to the HDFFA Funding for Farmers page. For ongoing grant and loan opportunities for farmers and ranchers offered by outside organizations, check out the HDFFA Farmer Resources page.
The OFEG through HDFFA helped our farm successfully upgrade our cold storage space and create a space to grow microgreens for our operation. Now we have the ability to grow + store more food and keep it fresh longer.
-Cultivate Farms, 2022 Recipient
This [power harrow] is a game changer on our farm for weed control. Thank you HDFFA for helping me purchase it.
-Well Rooted Produce, 2022 Recipient
[This grant] will allow up to reduce crop losses… to bacteria, mold, bruised fruit. It will also help improve the ergonomics of harvesting. We are thankful to have the support of HDFFA because it has provided us with marketing, educational and local knowledge.
-In Cahoots Apple Heirloom Collaborative, 2022 and 2023 Recipient
Without this efficiency grant from HDFFA, we might never have made the game-changing purchase of this root washer. Larger expenses like this are hard to commit to– even when the payoff is guaranteed.
-Mahonia Gardens, 2022 and 2023 Recipient
We are so thankful for the saved time, energy, and efficiency in getting our bees’ needs met.
-Lazy Z Ranch, 2023 Recipient
Last year, we did not have tomatoes until the third week of August. This year, because of the heated greenhouse we were able to bring tomatoes to market on the last week of June. That made us have tomatoes 8 weeks earlier than last year… We are very grateful [to HDFFA for allowing] us this opportunity by awarding us the grant this year.
-Fibonacci Farm, 2023 Recipient
This project is supported by the Beginning Farmer Rancher Development Program grant [grant no. 2020-70017-32426] and the Community Food Projects grant [grant no. 2021-33800-35848] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.