Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI-USA) is excited to announce the recipients of our Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund grants. The grant program, now in its third year, has awarded grants ranging from $6,000 to $10,000 for projects including installing new refrigerators and cold storage, as well as building new barns and greenhouses.
Grant applications were sent out via invitation this year and reviewed by a team of farmers and farm advocates from partner organizations. Grantees were selected based on the strength of their project and the impact the project will have on the farm and on their community. This year, RAFI-USA is supporting 12 farmers across four states and the U.S. Virgin Islands with a total of $100,300 in grants.
Other farm projects supported by the 2022 Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure Fund include projects to expand poultry and livestock operations, construct walk-in coolers for storage and processing, build solar-powered fencing for livestock grazing fields, and create mobile produce markets. See grantee profiles on the RAFI-USA website and learn more about the Farmers of Color Network.
RAFI-USA also awarded 24 supplemental grants to 2021 grantees whose project costs were severely impacted by inflation and supply chain issues, after hearing from last years’ grantees that the cost of everything from labor to lumber skyrocketed while they were carrying out their projects.
The Farmers of Color Network Infrastructure grant program provides support to farmers for new and innovative agricultural projects and ideas that will increase farm viability, support community food sovereignty efforts, preserve traditional and cultural farming practices, as well as assist local food economies. Between 2020 and 2022, RAFI-USA has awarded $603,300 to 90 grantees in nine states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This project is generously supported in part by a three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, as well as WhyHunger/Vitafusion, Weaver Street Market, Rosenbaum Family Foundation, and Liberating Investment in Food & Farm Ecosystem. Additional support of FOCN is provided by The Schmidt Family Foundation/11th Hour Project and the Seeds, Soul and Culture Fund/New Field Foundation.
RAFI-USA challenges the root causes of unjust food systems, supporting and advocating for economically, racially, and ecologically just farm communities. We envision a thriving, sustainable, and equitable food system: where farmers and farmworkers have dignity and agency; where they are supported by just agricultural policies; where corporations and institutions are accountable to their community. RAFI-USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and incorporated in 1990.