Lakewinds Organic Field Fund:

Making a difference in the lives of local farmers.

Lakewinds Organic Field Fund­ (LOFF) is a grant program dedicated to making an impact on local farming and organic food by furthering the development and sustainability of farms in the region. Supporting local and organic farms is key to our mission as a food co-op.  Organic farms and producers are part of Lakewinds Food Co-op’s ongoing effort to build a local food system that values the financial health of smaller scale agriculture, soil health, environmental responsibility, and the desires of our owners for high-quality, organic food.

 

Overview of Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
The goal of Lakewinds Organic Field Fund (LOFF) is to support local farmers in a variety of ways, including helping to:

  • Improve packing sheds and other facilities
  • Purchase equipment and tools
  • Financially support the process of transitioning a farm to organic
  • Make purchases that increase farm productivity or efficiency
  • Undertake projects that improve soil health
  • Take on other projects that benefit the farm

LOFF gives preference to farmers located in Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin.

 

Applicant Eligibility

Tell us your story!  Funding is available for the following types of project proposals:

  1. Organic certification
  2. Transitioning a conventional farm to organic
  3. Any type of project that helps a farm scale its offerings
  4. Any type of project that helps a farm improve efficiency or effectiveness

LOFF will not provide funding for:

  • Start-ups (farms that have never turned a profit or that will have their first growing season in 2021)
  • Political or religious programs
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • General operating or marketing expenses
  • Endowment funds
  • Scholarships
  • Fundraising events
  • Proposals that do not address organic farming issues

 

Proposal Deadline

  • The deadline for application to Lakewinds Organic Field Fund is Friday, January 31, 2021. You may start an application and return to it later if you’re not able to complete it all at once, but the final application must be submitted by the deadline date.
  • If a project is funded, applicants will be notified and funds awarded by mid-March, 2021. Awarded funds will be paid out in full at the time of announcement. If a project or grant contains any special conditions, no monies are disbursed until those conditions have been met.

 

Funding levels
Lakewinds requests proposals which have objectives that are realistically achievable with a modest level of funding. LOFF has a maximum grant limit of $8,000 per farm each year.

 

Multi-year projects

LOFF acknowledges the importance of conducting long-term research to verify experimental results. The LOFF committee will consider funding multi-year projects, but cannot guarantee funding for any project beyond a single year. Submission of an interim report and new proposal is required to be considered for continued funding in subsequent years.

 

Organic Field Fund Proposal Requirements
In order to fairly evaluate grant proposals, all submissions should follow the requirements as stated below. Proposals that surpass the page limit or otherwise do not meet these requirements will not be considered for funding.

References and curricula vitae (CVs) may be uploaded as attachments to the proposal.  CVs are limited to no more than two pages each.

The successful application will provide a clear rationale for the project and demonstrate a significant need for the proposed project. It is important that the objectives for your project be clear, well-structured, and succinct. Demonstrate why your project is necessary, present measurable outcomes, and explain specifically what you hope to accomplish.

 

To Apply

1) Before beginning, look over the required fields in the application form below. Gather all information and documents needed prior to beginning the application process.

2) Enter info and submit attachments for all required fields in the application below. You may start the application, save the information you’ve entered and return to it later as needed.

3) Review your answers and attachments before clicking “submit.”

4) Submit your application no later than January 31, 2021, and expect to be contacted in mid-March regarding whether your farm was selected as a grant recipient.

5) Questions about the application process can be directed to marketing@lakewinds.com or Jennifer Dean at 952-512-2137.

6) By submitting your proposal, you give Lakewinds Food Co-op permission to conduct on-site video and photoshoots and interviews (as requested) to be used for Lakewinds promotional materials including, but not limited to, in-store signage, quarterly owner newsletter, website, and social media channels.

7) After clicking “submit” on your application, a confirmation email containing your completed application will be sent to you.

 

To preview the application questions and requirements before beginning the application process, click here.