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The money will go towards the organization's sustainable agricultural program.

COURTESY PHOTO - COUNTRY Financial representative Guillermo Salazar holds a $15,000 check presenting the grant to instructor Alejandro Tecum and his sustainable agriculture class.

A Forest Grove nonprofit is getting funding to provide education and empowerment opportunities to low-income Latina women and their families.

Adelante Mujeres received a $15,000 grant from Country Financial. The funds will go towards the organization's sustainable agricultural program, which provides aspiring and existing Latino immigrant farmers and gardeners with necessary training to grow produce using sustainable methods -- along with how to successfully market their products.

"It's an honor to support Adelante Mujeres and its efforts to help farmers and their families build a sustainable future and prosper," said Richard Lucas, who is an agency manager for Country Financial in Hillsboro. "Country Financial was founded more than 90 years ago by a group of farmers who wanted to ensure their financial livelihood was protected, so this program is close to our hearts."

The program includes a 12-week sustainable agriculture and farm business course taught in Spanish, with one-on-one coaching and access to market.

COURTESY PHOTO - Adelante Mujeres sustainable agricultural program aims to help women like Mago Reyes. After completing the program, Reyes has her own business that sells organic produce.

"At the beginning, I was only thinking about how to make money, but when you start with your plants and learn all the benefits of eating without pesticides or how you are polluting the water, I made the decision to plant without pesticide," said Mago Reyes, a young mother of three, who participated in the program.

Reyes credits the program for helping her create her own business.

She was 15 when she immigrated to the United States and became a single working mother when her husband was deported to Mexico. Reyes had a job at a local farm, and it was there she began to aspire to own a farm of her own one day.

Today, Reyes has a business called Reyes Family Produce; it grows and sells organic produce through Community Supported Agriculture and Forest Grove Farmers Market.

"The support from Country Financial is essential for Latino farmers like Mago," said Andrea Chunga-Celis, grants manager for Adelante Mujeres. "It ensures that we can continue to train and educate Latino farmers on sustainable growing techniques, farm business development, and provide new market channels for their locally grown produce and, ultimately, help more people like Mago achieve their dreams."

COURTESY PHOTO - Mago Reyes is a young mother of three who participated in Adelante Mujeres sustainable agricultural program. The nonprofit received $15,000 in funding from COUNTRY Financial.

According to Adelante Mujeres, the organization currently serves over 8,000 Latina women and their family members in and around Washington County. It identifies participants through grassroots outreach, partner organizations, government agencies, and civic and cultural engagement events.


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