In September, Tillamook County Creamery Association announced it would contribute 10 percent of Tillamook product sales during the month to help financially struggling farmers as part of its ‘All For Farmers‘ initiative. On National Farmer’s Day, Tillamook made good on its pledge. Tillamook donated $1.6 million to American Farmland Trust — a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land.
American Farmland Trust will use the Tillamook funds to provide grants directly to farmers to help them access farmland, enhance farm viability, and/or adopt new farming practices. Any farmer in financial need is encouraged to apply for grant funding via the American Farmland Trust applications that are now open.
“At Tillamook, we are grateful to be able to make this contribution to American Farmland Trust to fight for the future of farming in America and to help farmers in need,” said Patrick Criteser, Tillamook County Creamery Association President and CEO. “We are also humbled by the tremendous support of loyal Tillamook fans across the country whose product purchases allow us to give back in this way.”
Because all types of farmers and farms are needed in order to provide a robust and sustainable food supply, the grants are available to farmers representing diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and farm size and type. In addition to providing the direct-to-farmer grants, AFT will also apply a portion of the Tillamook contribution to help preserve land on at-risk farms.
Five years ago, Tillamook cheese, ice cream and other premium dairy products were primarily available in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Tillamook products can be found throughout the country. To thank Tillamook fans nationwide for their part in the ‘All For Farmers‘ effort, Tillamook is randomly selected 10 recipients to receive free ice cream for a year. The ice cream winners were selected among those who shared their thanks for farmers using both the #AllForFarmers and #Sweepstakes hashtags in social media throughout September.
In addition to the funds pledged to supporting America’s farmers, Tillamook is committing $100,000 to help restaurant chefs whose businesses have been financially hard hit during the pandemic. The funds will be used in a variety of ways, including providing staff support, securing personal protective equipment and safety materials, and assisting in the chef’s own local give-back efforts.