The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) champions small-scale, local and sustainable solutions to reduce poverty, promote healthy communities and protect natural resources. Farm Aid grants help NCAT support its ATTRA project, which delivers information and research about sustainable agriculture and farm energy challenges—a much-needed resource for family farmers. NCAT also hosts a database that helps connect family farmers to interns and new farmers to mentor.
This is how Laura Frerichs and Adam Cullip started their farming careers. In 2005, Laura and Adam were offered the opportunity to rent two acres of the farm where they were interning. This not only gave them land but also the advantage of being mentored by the farm owners, providing the duo with invaluable farming experience and know-how. On those two acres in Hutchinson, Minnesota, Loon Organics was born. Ten seasons later, their organic farm is still going strong.
Laura and Adam used NCAT’s internship database to find work for themselves and later to locate interns for Loon Organics. They also used resource materials from ATTRA to find solutions to production and marketing challenges.
NCAT credits Farm Aid for having “helped raise awareness of the challenges and issues faced by family farmers, and promoted NCAT and other sustainable food movement organizations so that farmers and consumers know where to turn for information and help.”