In August Karen Mehringer, our Grants Administrator, and I went on a site visit in Santa Cruz County with Reggie Knox and Nathan Weller of California FarmLink, a nonprofit organization that provides farmers with tools to lease and purchase land, access capital, and improve their businesses. We met with the first female mortgage holder at California FarmLink, the extraordinary Bertha Magaña, an immigrant from Mexico, at her family enterprise Magaña Farms. FarmLink helped Berta transition from lease holder to owner in 2016. Her story is here. Today Bertha works with her family on their own land, and even if the work is hard, she has confidence in her future.
A Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and non-profit organization, California FarmLink, focuses its financing and business development services on low-income, immigrant and beginning organic farmers. FarmLink created its own loan fund in 2010 and has become one of very few microlenders in the nation specializing in serving low-income and Latino farmers.
Swift made an investment in California FarmLink in 2016 to provide low-interest loans to organic farmers who have difficulty accessing conventional capital. We later made a grant for technical assistance in 2017. Farmers like Bertha need technical
assistance to prepare and apply for financing, access land, and adopt conservation practices. California FarmLink exemplifies our integrated capital approach. Dealing with land in California is extremely difficult but California FarmLink is tackling
this challenge. Our partnership with FarmLink helps us move our funds in support of underserved communities in California, provide livelihood opportunities, and care for the land – all in support of healthy families and consumers.
Riverhill Farm: A Succession Story
This beautiful 8-minute video was produced by BriarPatch Food Co-op in Grass Valley to share the story of a farm succession in which Swift grantee, California FarmLink, played an integral role. It’s a great example of how their lending and land access work combine to create and sustain farm opportunities. Click here to watch.
Call for Proposals: Indigenous Community Radio Grants Project
Application Deadline: October 18, 2018
Cultural Survival is pleased to announce its third Call for Proposals for projects in Indigenous community radio. The Indigenous Community Media Grants Project is part of Cultural Survival’s Community Media Program, with a goal to empower Indigenous-owned and Indigenous-led community radio as a platform to inform, entertain, educate, and organize according to their own needs and collective interests as communities. Click here for more information.
Celebrating 11 Years of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Today marks eleven years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). In a historic vote on September 13, 2007, 144 countries voted for the Declaration, only 11 abstained, and only four (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States) voted against it. Since 2007, all four countries, including the United States, have reversed their positions and now officially endorse the Declaration. Read more here.
Call for Papers: Indigenous Food Sovereignty in North America
Deadline January 15, 2019
The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development and the Journal of American Indian Education jointly seek manuscripts and commentaries on practice-relevant and pedagogical research related to Indigenous food sovereignty issues, especially tribal and government policy, grassroots community organizing, culturally defined foods and practices, and the transfer of Indigenous knowledge. Click here to read more.
RAVEN Celebrates: A Resounding Victory against Kinder Morgan
Epic. Ecstatic. Elated. Some of the words from Indigenous leadership as they took in the Federal Court of Appeal ruling on the now quashed Kinder Morgan pipeline. To quote Squamish elected councilor Khelsilem – “Quash is an old, old, old Squamish word that means ‘told you so!'”
We’re celebrating too – doing the happy dance! From RAVEN’s perspective, this judgment confirms our foundational mandate that the rule of law and Constitution have the potential to hold the Canadian industrial state to account. Particularly with respect to adverse environmental impacts – in this case marine-based. Read more here.
TV Peru Interview with Ana Leyva of CooperAccion
Click here to watch the 8-minute TV interview where Ana Leyva talks about the consultation process and the recent judgment of the supreme court on the obligation to perform a consult in lot 116 (suspending oil activities).
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All The Best!
Executive Assistant & Grants Administrator