Farmer / Producer Grants

Slow Food West Michigan is kicking off its third year of the Biodiversity Micro-Grant program. Taking on a new project for a small farm can be risky. We hope to provide funding to small-scale local farmers that will support the cultivation of heirloom varieties and/or heritage breeds. The program encourages farmers to explore more niche product offerings, as many heirloom and heritage breeds are unique in the marketplace better enabling farmers to distinguish themselves.

Grant Application Information

Please fill out the application questions and follow the submission instructions at the end of this form.

Applicants will be selected annually and can only be selected to participate once per year. However, applicants who were awarded previous funding are eligible to apply again the following year. Selection priority will be given to applications that:

  1. Articulates clear identifiable goals supporting biodiversity.
  2. Introduces a NEW product/variety into the West Michigan market that will be sold at a farmers market, CSA, grocer, food pantry, food-buying club, food truck, and/or restaurant. Sales to schools, colleges, and/or institutions are also encouraged.
  3. Outlines an approach for introducing and marketing niche product in the local/regional marketplace.
  4. Summarizes the maintenance of varieties or breeds using clear identifiable sustainable farming methods.Please Note: Due to the multitude of heirloom tomato varieties that are already present in the marketplace, we will not be giving grants for tomatoes. Also, please do not include labor costs in your grant application.

Eligibility

We welcome applications from current West Michigan small-scale local farmers, producers, and individuals interested in getting into farming, those with experience with heirlooms and heritage breeds as well as those without.

Applicants who have received grant funding from any other source in excess of $500 in the past year will be asked to list those funding sources and their amounts. In such cases, we will consider prioritizing need for funding, food desert locations, serving lower income customers, creativity of project, etc.

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2017 growing season are now closed. We will be excepting applications for the 2018 growing season shortly.

Application Submission Instructions

If you have any questions or want to discuss your plans before applying please feel free to contact: Cindee Dresen, Slow Food West Michigan President at info@slowfoodwestmichigan.org or 616.863.9412.

Additional Requirements

All grant recipients will be expected to present their project experience and/or do a tasting event featuring the product at a Slow Food West Michigan event and/or meeting if requested. We will also invite you contribute to our blog to highlight your project and farm. Finally, we will require photos and an update including a report containing a summary of expenses, success of harvest, where products were sold, etc. We would like to feature each successful applicant in our Snail of Approval Directory, E-Newsletter, Facebook page, website and other relevant communications.

Please note: All grant recipients must provide a written acknowledgement/receipt to Slow Food West Michigan within 30 days of receiving a grant. A completed application is not an agreement to honor your request.

Also you must respond to e-mails and/or phone calls from Slow Food West Michigan leadership inquiring about the status of your grant project.