As part of the Coalition for the Advancement of Latino Farmers: Outreach and Technical Assistance in Oregon, Forest Grove nonprofit has been selected as one of 50 nationwide to receive grant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA 2501 Program provides funds to organizations who support farmers of diverse backgrounds and who are defined by the USDA as socially disadvantaged, which includes farmers who speak English as a second language, according to a press release from Adelante Mujeres.

The CALF is comprised of four community-based organizations in four separate counties: Adelante Mujeres, the Linfield Center for the Northwest, Huerto de la Familia and The Next Door/Raices. CALF provides training and support to socially disadvantaged Latino farmers in the Pacific Northwest through the joint efforts of allied partners for increased viability of their small-scale farming operations.

The funds will also support the Adelante Mujeres Sustainable Agriculture program, which provides aspiring Latino farmers and gardeners with the training and skills necessary to grow produce using sustainable methods and to successfully market their products.

The program features a 14 week sustainable farming course, taught in Spanish, which covers topics like organic farming and gardening, crop planning, pest management and soil maintenance. In addition to the course, the program provides ongoing support through hands-on workshops, farmer internships, advising and check-ins, and offers aspiring farms affordable growing space in a community garden.

“This well-earned support for Adelante Mujeres’ work shows clearly how essential it is to support small farmers and sustainable agriculture in Washington County,’’ said Sen. Ron Wyden. “This grant allows Adelante Mujeres to build on its strong record of accomplishment that benefits both Latino farmers and the entire community.”

“I think it’s been really a life-changing experience for a lot of farmers,” said Adelante Mujeres Grants Manager Anne Morse about the program, which aims to allow Latino farmers to be competitive with other small farmers in the region.

As a whole, the CALF serves more than 100 farmers, with project goals including: delivery of individualized, practical technical assistance that provides the skills needed for socially disadvantaged Latino farmers to operate successful farming businesses; assistance for new and beginning Latino farmers with access to land and marketing outlets for their farming operations; strengthening of relationships between coalition partners and USDA’s local, state, regional and national offices in order to represent the needs of small-scale Latino farmers, and to encourage scale-specific and culturally appropriate programs and services; and serving more Latino farmers in the region by bringing together collaborating partners of the Coalition to share best practices and outreach efforts.

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