Blooming Prairie Foundation

Grant Recipients

The Board of the Blooming Prairie Foundation is pleased to report that they have awarded over $3 Million since 2005, to promote innovative ideas, practices and procedures in the area of organic and natural foods in order to further the health of the people, the health of the environment and cooperative ideals.



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Carolina Common Enterprise

CCE will conduct a statewide market research to validate need and consumer demand for a vertically integrated cooperative grocery store network. This strategy is aimed at recreating local & regional food distribution chains, creating local markets for farmers, and providing access to healthy food in areas currently identified as "food deserts".

Angelic Organics

The Angelic Organics Farmer Training Intiative will help develop the organic industry by providing education and support for more than 250 beginning sustainable farmers in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The FTI primarily serves farmers in years 1 through 10 business start-up by providing programs designed to help them overcome common barriers to building a viable and sustainable farm business.

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Clearwater Farm

Clearwater Farm is growing its Youth Education Garden Program to include a paid Education Intern that will assist with teaching local youth organizations how to grow and prepare organic and natural products. In addition, Clearwater Farm has identified that many of these local youth organizations have limited budgets and would require scholarships to assist with program fees.


Chain Collaborative

After an epidemic of coffee leaf rust disease devastated cooperative Las Diosas' organic coffee production, which served as their main source of income, they are now  diversifying their production and improve economic opportunities. To ensure the continued success and resiliency of their cooperative, Las Diosas, an all-female agricultural cooperative based in northern Nicaragua, is seeking to build capacity of their members to produce organic honey and natural honey sub-products for the local market, reducing their reliance on international trade.



EarthDance will continue the operation of our Farm & Garden Apprenticeship, including new opportunities for apprentices to learn best practices in market gardening for profit on small acreages. This project will also include a feasibility assessment of adding a farm business training program to EarthDance's offerings.



DeKalb County Community Gardens

DeKalb County Community Gardens will continue the development of a perennial forest garden that will enhance the health and wellbeing of the entire community. This includes purchasing seeds, plants, schrubs, and trees to increase the bounty of this 5 acre site, turning it into an outside community learning space as well as for food for those in need. The site will be for hands-on learning experiences as well, including  permaculture, sustainable agriculture, food eco-systems, foraging, and fermentation.

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Farm Commons

Farm Commons is creating a Legal Toolkit for sustainable farmers on cooperatively hiring farm labor: a user-firendly print resource and online webinar that highlights the benefits, mechanisms and how-tos of creating a cooperative entity for sharing farm labor. Those resources will inspire and assist groups of sustainable farmers who are looking at new ways of collaborating to share resources to benefit their operations and the overall local, organic food community.

FairShare CSA Coalition

FairShare CSA's Farmer-to-Farmer educational programming will continue, including the development and implementation of a new Organic Vegetable Grower Apprenticeship to be formally registered with the WI Dept of Workforce Development. This apprenticeship will be only the second agricultural apprenticeship registered in WI and will be instrumental in training both beginning farmers and much needed managers on existing organic vegetable farms.

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FEED Kitchens/ Four Lakes Processing Collective

Four Lakes Processing Collective will provide critically needed basic processing and co-packing service to area farmers, value added product makers and other small food businesses to help them scale up and expand. FLPC will provide alternative career pathways for workers from our target populations including low income residents, people of color, ex-offenders and others facing barriers to employment.


FCI is establishing a new research and support program for the growing number of food co-ops attempting to organize in low-income, urban communities. The program will include Seed Grants, extended technical assistance, on-going consultation, peer support and resource sharing and a follow-up case study documenting successful strategies and indicators of viability.

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Hillview Urban Agriculture Center

Hillview Urban Agriculture Center is a nonprofit based in La Crosse, WI which seeks to build a healthy community through a local, sustainable, and accessible food system. We create a year round opportunity for people of all ages and abilities to participate in the growing, processing and preparing of organic and heirloom seedlings, microgreens and produce.

Fondy Food Center

The Fondy Farm Project started in 2010 to provide affordable, high quality, long term land access for the, primarily Hmong, farmers that sell at the Fondy Farmers Market. In response to high demand, the Farm Project is expanding to a second site, located just 15 miles from the Market, to support more low-resource farmers by connecting them with the land and resources needed for a successful farm business.

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Pueblo a Pueblo

Pueblo a Pueblo's Youth Leadership in Organic School Gardens Project aims to improve the health and nutrition of rural coffee growing communities in Guatemala by empowering local youth to developm and maintain organic school gardens.This includes training of youth leaders in organic agriculture and leadership to (1) build local capacity through youth development and leadership skills trianing; (2) improve health and academic performance of primary-school children through organic school gardens; and (3) promote organic agriculture and projessional development opportunities in coffee farming communities.


In the MOSES 2017 Grow Organic activities over 10,000 farmers in the Upper Midwest will learn about organic production practices, marketing and certification. The new practices they adopt will create more organic acres and more resiliant, sustainable farms.

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Rodale Institute

The overall goal for this project is to determine if by increasing soil health organically-managed grain production systems provide nutrient dense food for consumers and increase farm income through the sale of high value products. By adding information on nutrient density to the 36 years' worth of data from FST, this research project is hypothesized to definitively show that organic agriculture is not only better for the environment, but better for human health.

REAP Food Group

This year REAP will build on the gains made in procuring and serving local and organic produce in the Madison Metropolitan School District school lunches- i.e. the "supply side." The goal is to demonstrate that parental demand will translate to increased voluntary participation in school lunch on the days MMSD serves local and organic lunches.

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Untours Foundation

The Domestic Organic & Co-op Investment Program is a special project of the Untours Foundation's ongoing efforts to support visionary businesses that are healing the planet and solving social problems. The Untours Foundation will seek out U.S.-based, exemplary initiatives that are modeling sustainable agriculture, manufacturing and/or distributing organic food products, and/or demostrating the viability of coopeartive business ventures; will make low-interest loans to and/or equity investments in promising projects (using non-grant funds); provide hands-on, personalized technical assitance to the investees; and utlize the project to educate and inspire other foundations and investors to make a similar commitment.

Troy Gardens (Community Groundworks)

Troy Farm, a program of Community Groundworks, is building on their Beginning Farmer Training Program. This program provides comprehensive training to new farmers through both classroom learning and hands-on growing experience.


Victory Garden Initiative

Victory Garden Urban Farm and YEP! Youth Education Program focuses on engaging community members and youth in impacting the health, hunger, and food system disparities by introducing direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables right in the heart of the Harambee neighborhood. They will provide a Community U-Pick Garden, Food Pantry and School partnership, Community Garden Rentals, YEP! Youth Education Program, TEP! Farmstand Program, REstaurant Production, and Community Service, Volunteer and Intern Program opportunities.




Angelic Organics Learning center

The Farmer Training Initiative will develop the organic industry by providing more than 250 beginning farmers with the training and resources they need to develop viable, sustainable farm businesses. The project will deliver a suite of successful farmer training programs led by Angelic Organics Learning Center, including Stateline Farm Beginnings, Upper Midwest CRAFT farmer training alliance, the “Farm Dreams” workshop and the Farm Asset Builder program.

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Cooperative Development Services: Small & Strong

There are over 100 existing small food co-op (annual sales <$3 million) who would benefit from a regular program of training and technical assistance, but because of their size and small net income, lack the ability to obtain needed support. With four other development organizations, we propose to host a 4-5 session webinar series in 2017 to support small co-ops in all parts of the US.


Dekalb County community gardens

This proposal is for the purchase of currant and raspberry bushes for Walnut Grove Vocational Farm Program. The farm will use organic methods with the currants and berries to teach horticulture and agriculture skills on a working farm to individuals with various handicaps enabling them to be trained in organic growing methods, and to become fully engaged and integrated into the larger community.


Fairshare CSA coalition

This project will provide on-going support for FairShare's Farmer-to-Farmer educational programming, culminating in a new Organic Vegetable Production Conference for organic producers in WI, MN, IA, and IL. The specific details of the proposed programming and conference are based on direct input from our coalition of 59 farms and evaluation data from the broader network of farms connected with FairShare.

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FOndy Food Center

The Milwaukee Farmers Market Connection is dedicated to increasing access to, and utilization of, Milwaukee area farmers markets by low-income consumers. A multi-sector coalition of partners is working together to identify and implement strategies to create policy, environmental, and systems changes across the farmers market system in the region to more equitable and increase access to healthy food for those most in need.


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Michael fields agricultural institute

In order to succeed in today's markets, farmers must be sustainable financially, as well as environmentally. By expanding Michael Fields Agricultural Institute's summer business planning course we are ensuring our farmers are prepared for any obstacle that may come their way.


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Oneida Nation

Currently many Oneida families have severe limits on their access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We propose to address those limits by teaching community members to build raised bed gardens and grow their own food.


Rodale Institute

The goal of this project is to examine how soil health affects the nutritive quality of the plants grown used for human consumption. Literature has shown that organic agriculture is not only better for soil health but better for environmental health as well.

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Walnut Way

Growing Youth Leadership is a collaborative youth development program that engages 10-12 teens in intensive urban agriculture education, leadership development, and job training. Teens grow a wide range of chemical-free produce in urban gardens, learn to make natural preserves and body care products, sell their harvest and value-added products at farmer's markets, and participate in educational service projects designed to improve individual and community well-being.

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Center for Rural Affairs

In this project, Greenhouse and Garden-Grown Organic School Communities, CFRA will build on our 2015 pilot project to work with 4-5 new schools to use school greenhouses and/or gardens for edible organic production, which will provide food for school meals, educate students about the sources of their food, and teach entrepreneurial skills. As we do so, we will build additional resources and networks to continue to expand this project and sustan this work.

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Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute seeks support to complete the update and rollout of its popular organic dairy report and scorecard and the continuation of its effort to remove the dangerous ingredient carrageenan from organic food. Cornucopia seeks further support for its NOSB Watch efforts, defending organic integrity, and its marketplace activism aimed at protecting farmers, consumers, and ethical retailers from fraud and suspect imports.



EarthDance requests support from BPF in order to train aspiring growers in the St. Louis area through our unique part-time Farm & Garden Apprenticeship Program. As a result of this project, 30+ growers will be empowered to start new farming endeavors, found school and community gardens, and advance the good food movement.

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Food co-op initiative

FCI is requesting a 5-year commitment of $50,000 annually to fund a minimum of 5 Seed Grants each year and an additional matching grant of up to $50,000 to expand the program and to support the travel and technical assistance expenses related to these grants. FCI will use the matching grant to challenge National Cooperative Bank and National Co+op Grocers to increase their annual support and to recruit new sponsors.

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Hmong american farmers association

Hmong American farmers are at the forefront of the local foods movement in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. However, lack of access to new markets (besides the farmers markets), fueled by language barriers and high infrastructural costs, have led to great income disparities between Hmong farmers and other mainstream vegetable growers. This proposal seeks funding to support the bi-lingual and bi-cultural staff of the Hmong American Farmers Association’s (HAFA) marketing cooperative to intensively work with Hmong farmers to build their capacity and self-efficacy so that they can pass a good agricultural practices (GAP) audit and thus access more markets.



With help from the Blooming Prairie Foundation the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service will bring education, support and resources to farmers interested in organic production. A diversity of projects, including one‐on‐one mentoring, written and online resources, supported by customized answers to farmer’s questions and more will help over 16,656 farmers utilize more organic practices and become more sustainable.

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REAP Food Group

This proposal will increase the number of farms selling local produce to the Madison Metropolitan School District, the amount of local food served, and the education opportunities for students surrounding farm to school produce. REAP will improve the procurement mechanisms, broker farm-district relationships, and bring focus to educational concepts during the summer and academic year food programs.


Urban Roots

Urban Roots is more than a farm, providing 30 teenagers with paid internships and the chance to learn where food comes from, the value of meaningful hard work, and the importance of giving back to the community.