Release Date: 09-18-2018
Northwest producers who seek to scale urged to apply by Oct. 5
PORTLAND, Ore. – Sept. 18, 2018 – Calling ranchers, farmers, and fishers! Ecotrust, the Portland-based nonprofit forging new ways of living and doing business, together with a network of supporting organizations across the region, today opens applications for the Ag of the Middle Accelerator (Accelerator). A two-year, capacity-building and business development program, the Accelerator is designed for food producers and value-added processors who want to grow to supply mainstream regional markets while maintaining their commitments to community and restorative production practices. Interested small- to midsize-producers from Northern California, Oregon, Washington or Alaska who produce or harvest food items important to human nutrition are encouraged to apply. The program focuses on three key areas: business structure and taxation; credit and finance; and market development, that are intended to deliver the skills and support producers need to scale up and reach financial stability. The 20-person Accelerator cohort will be selected by Oct. 23 and kicks-off Nov. 7–8 in Portland, Ore. In forming the group, preference may be given to:
- Producers and harvesters who have a demonstrated commitment to their community, building soil health, clean water, healthy ecosystems, sustainable harvesting practices, and other restorative production practices.
- For fishers, those working, landing, and processing in a remote/rural community with a population of less than 25,000.
- For farmers and ranchers, those working with priority products such as whole- and minimally-processed grains, legumes, and rotational crops, as well as grass-finished beef, pastured pork, and other differentiated proteins.
- Producers meeting the USDA definition of “socially disadvantaged.”
###About Ecotrust Ecotrust is powered by the vision of a world where people and nature thrive together. Since 1991, we have partnered with local communities from California to Alaska to build new ways of living and doing business. From forestry to finance, food access to green building, we work to advance social equity, economic opportunity, and environmental well-being. Together, we are making this place we live a home that we love. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org