Calling all Farmers: Application for Financial Grant

B.C. Farmers Market farmers need support to continue to grow local food for us to enjoy

Farmers in this day and age have a heck of a time finding ways to make a living.

Unlike the old days, today most young farmers do not inherit family farm land and rarely can afford to purchase their own, making any financial help much appreciated. There are some programs and grants like the Mary Forstbauer Grant in place to help out.

Deadline for the Mary Forstbauer Grant is January 15. The $500 grant supports a B.C. farmer selling at B.C. farmers markets to implement a new initiative on their farm. It can be used for supplies, training, new equipment, services, contractors, staff or consultants.
Information on the grant and how to apply here.

Mary Forstbauer, a leader and loving mother of the B.C. organic farming movement, in her blueberry field in Abbotsford
Mary Forstbauer, a leader and loving mother of the B.C. organic farming movement, in her blueberry field in Abbotsford

The B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets has named this grant in the memory of Mary Forstbauer. Mary was a force in the organic, biodynamic farming industry and a true loving advocate for the protection of our environment.

Mary and her husband Hans operated Forstbauer Family Natural Food Farm, a certified organic farm near Abbotsford and were pioneers in the organic movement. Together on that farm they raised 13 children and 37 grandchildren, many who continue working on the family farm or in the organic farming industry with great pride in their mother’s legacy.

Mary was a founding member and president of the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets and served on the boards of the Certified Organic Associations of B.C., the Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Society of B.C., and the Artisans Farmers Market Society. She was also the 2015 recipient of Canadian Health Food Association Organics Achievement Award. Mary was instrumental in building the local food movement and farmers’ market community in B.C. Her top priority was to get as many farmers involved in farmers’ markets as possible and she did a lot of peer mentoring to help make this happen.

Mary was admired and loved by many in the farming and farmers’ market community and sadly passed away in 2015.

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