Next Stage Grant Program
The Mill City Farmers Market Charitable Fund (MCFM-CF) is committed to the success and sustainability of the local food economy. MCFM-CF designed the Next Stage Grant to provide funding to local, regenerative farmers and other food producers who are improving sustainable farming and business practices or growing toward the “next stage” of their local food businesses. Since 2013, we have awarded over 105 Next Stage Grants totaling over $316,000. Learn more in our video below.
The Next Stage Grant program is funded solely through community support. Your donation directly empowers the farmers and producers at the heart of our local food system, giving them the resources needed to create long lasting community and environmental impacts.
2022 Next Stage Grant Awardees
- 2JCK Organic Produce – deer fence for vegetable crops
- Yawelyahsi·yó Farm – soil regeneration with vermiculture and no-till
- Cattail Organics – stone burier, conservation tiller and bed maker multitool
- Gardner Family Farm – broiler processing equipment
- Kiss My Cabbage – renovations for commercial kitchen
- Live Organically – fence to protect vegetable crops and chickens
- Saltless Seas Urban Farm – increasing strawberry production
- Sleepy Bison Acres – expanding walk-in freezer storage
- The Early Birds – cold storage for vegetable crops
- Turnip Rock Fam – heated greenhouse for winter greens
“The project is actively changing our lives and bringing much needed financial security to the farm.” -2020 Awardee Leah Bailey, Salt and Light Heritage Farm
Next Stage Grants range from $1,000 to $7,000 and past projects have included season extension, cold storage for produce and flowers, organic certification and experimenting with new tools and techniques.
Through equipment, technologies and other capacity building that increases yields, improves growing practices and supports small sustainable businesses, farmers and makers become more efficient and successful. We have seen these farmers’ hard work and innovation and know they can be successful with a little help from their community.