Lundberg Family Farms®, a leading producer of organic rice and rice products, today announced the first recipients of its Raising Organic Family Farms initiative, which provides education and financial support to organic family farmers.
Lundberg awarded a total $25,000 in grants, with $19,500 in grants to 19 organic farmers in various disciplines including bee farms, livestock farms, mushroom farms and food pantries. Another $5,500 in education grants was awarded to six applicants who requested funds for education expenses or conference fees.
The Raising Organic Family Farms multi-year program is designed to inspire a new generation of organic family farmers and support aspiring agricultural entrepreneurs. Due to the success of the first program, Lundberg has decided that the grants will be award twice yearly in amounts totaling $25,000, to be used for investment in equipment and supplies, and education in organic and sustainable agriculture. The Raising Organic Family Farms program will take applications for the next round of grants from January 16, 2012 through March 16, 2012.
“These recipients merited our support for their commitment to responsible land stewardship and sustainable agriculture,” said Grant Lundberg, chief executive officer of Lundberg Family Farms. “Raising Organic Family Farms is our way of building on the Lundberg Family legacy of responsibility and sustainability in our business, a legacy that our generation inherited from our parents, which we are passing down to our children.”
By sharing the Lundberg family’s legacy of expertise and success, Raising Organic Family Farms hopes to advance the importance of organic farming methods that produce wholesome, healthful foods while improving and protecting the environment.
“New farmers often need a boost to get their businesses to the next level,” Lundberg said. “Whether it’s a piece of equipment, advice from an expert, an opportunity to expand their networks, or just a kernel of wisdom that brings a big idea to life, Raising Organic Family Farms and its partners will provide the support these farmers need to establish their own legacies in sustainable agriculture.”
The recipients of the Raising Organic Family Farms grants were determined by a panel of judges comprised of representatives of Lundberg Family Farms. The panel chose grantees in two categories from a wide pool of applicants that included commercial farmers of all ages and experience levels, beginning or transitioning organic farmers, college students, organizations and influencers active in growing the organic farming movement.
To learn more about the winners and to find information and an application for the next round of grants, visit www.raisingorganicfamilyfarms.com.
The Raising Organic Family Farms program is supported and underwritten by Lundberg Family Farms in cooperation with several established organizations, including: the National Family Farm Coalition, National Young Farmers Coalition, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and Renewing the Countryside.
About Lundberg Family Farms
Since 1937, the Lundberg Family has been farming rice and producing rice products at their farms in the Sacramento Valley. Now led by its third generation, Lundberg Family Farms still uses organic and eco-positive farming practices to produce wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations. For more information, visit www.lundberg.com or follow Lundberg on Facebook and Twitter (@lundbergfarms).