Funding our Farmers
Funding Farmers and Ranchers
HDFFA is committed to supporting farms in our region. This means working hand-in-hand to understand their needs and finding and providing resources to improve their ability to grow food for us, the community, and meet our values of making food accessible for everyone. Throughout the years, HDFFA has offered a variety of funding opportunities to Central Oregon producers.
These programs are offered through grants received by HDFFA, generally from USDA and Oregon Department of Agriculture, and through private donors. Continue reading to learn more about the programs and their awardees.
Local food connects communities with their farmers and ranchers and is a value that is important yet difficult to measure. In 2016, OSU Extension, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council and the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance conducted a study of the economic impact of local food in central Oregon.
We found that for every $1 spent on local food, $0.76 stays in the local economy compared to $0.28 per $1 for imported food. This means that the money spent by producers on their supplies, such as seeds and gas, creates additional jobs and millions in sales throughout the region’s economy.
We also learned that the multiplier effect (the ripple effect of spending money in the economy) for local farmers was 1.74, compared to 1.38 for non-local farmers.
Click a tab to learn about our past programs
- 2022 On-Farm Efficiency Grants
- 2021 Resiliency Awards
- 2018-2020 Season Extender Grants
- 2020 Hailstorm Relief
2022 On-Farm Efficiency Grants
In 2022, approximately $45,000 in funds were distributed to 14 farmers and ranchers in Central Oregon through the 2022 On-Farm Efficiency Grant. The origin of the funds is from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. Projects included:
- Permanent fixtures
- Professional development.
This program was offered again in 2023 due to a generous contribution from a private donor and future opportunities for the On-Farm Efficiency Grant are dependent on HDFFA seeking additional funding. Read about the 2022 grantee projects here.
2021 Farm and Ranch Resiliency Award
The Farm and Ranch Resiliency Award was an opportunity for HDFFA to showcase what makes farm and ranch operations resilient. From production challenges to market disruptions and climate change, agricultural producers are faced with volatility in all aspects of their business. This award highlights our Partners who are incorporating resilience into their business plan and educating the community on what sustainable farming truly means. Funding for this was provided by Roundhouse Foundation and private donations.
HDFFA believes everyone deserves good food, and that the backbone of a resilient food system is our farmers and ranchers.
Throughout 2020, producers experienced a multitude of disruptions including market shifts, reduced access to water for irrigation, and hailstorm damage. In 2021, HDFFA highlighted the change-makers in our community of farmers and ranchers who are taking a proactive approach to agricultural resiliency.
In Cahoots Heirloom Apple Collaborative
2018-2020 Season Extenders
From 2018-2020, HDFFA offered producers the opportunity to apply for Season Extender Grants through the Growing it Forward project funded by USDA Community Food Project grant (CFPCGP). The overall goal of this project was to increase food production opportunities and low-income access to fresh food utilizing season extenders in Central Oregon.
The CFPCGP is intended to bring together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems. Understanding that low-income individuals experience disproportionate access to healthy foods, projects are to address food and nutrition insecurity, particularly among our nation’s most vulnerable populations. Nutrition Security is defined as having consistent access, availability, and affordability of foods and beverages that promote well-being.
Grant Awards and Outcomes
Grants ranged from $500-$3500 depending on the type of project and funding request. Over the three years of this program, more than $35,000 was distributed to farmers and ranchers.
Expected outcomes for producers that received these funds were:
- Knowledge of greenhouse management, plant selection and succession planting; and other topics
- Viability and profitability of agricultural producers
- Local food markets for Central Oregon consumers
- Amount of fresh food delivered to food pantries/banks
- Self-reliance and confidence in using season extenders
In order to be more inclusive of ranchers, we expanded the program into the On-Farm Efficiency Grant Program.
Greenhouses are crucial to farming in our region and this grant allowed us to extend our growing season tremendously. – 2018 Grant Recipient
2020 Emergency Hailstorm Relief
After a devastating hailstorm and tornado hit the region of Central Oregon in 2020, damaging crops and infrastructure, HDFFA put together an Emergency Relief Fund with donations from a private donor and community members. These funds were to provide emergency relief for farms and ranches that sustained major damage during the storm. A total of $14,000 was distributed to farmers and ranchers to rebuild lost infrastructure.