Battle Creek, MI — Kellogg Co. and Meijer, Inc. are partnering with The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) to provide funding for the next generation of working farmers.
This coalition works to shift power to and equitably resource young farmers, particularly farmers of color, by uplifting their stories and needs into policy.
Funding from Kellogg and Meijer will help cover honorariums for 12 Midwest farmers, including five from Michigan, who participate in Young Farmers Land Advocacy Fellowship as part of their 2023 Farm Bill platform called the One Million Acres for the Future campaign. This funding will support farmers in the fellowship to advocate for themselves in Washington, D.C., by providing travel for them to participate in regional gatherings.
“We greatly appreciate the support from Kellogg and Meijer,” says Payge Lindow, Michigan organizer for Young Farmers. “Uplifting farmer voices into policy advocacy while building a strong community of young farmers to support one another along the way is crucial as farming transitions into the hands of these young farmers.”
Funds will also underwrite the creation of online and in-store consumer communications that share the partnership between Kellogg, Meijer and The National Young Farmers Coalition.
“Kellogg’s Better Days is our promise to advance sustainable and equitable access to food, creating better days for 3 billion people by the end of 2030,” says Amy Davis, vice-president, sales accounts, Kellogg Co. “By investing in young farmer leaders and supporting their advocacy, Kellogg and Meijer can help shape the future of farming in the Midwest for generations to come. As two Michigan-based companies, this is particularly important, as Michigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the country.”
According to Young Farmers, the biggest challenge young farmers face is access to land — particularly if they do not come from farming families. Improving access to financing for young farmers of color is also a problem that Young Farmers seeks to address through its advocacy and work with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“Meijer has a longstanding commitment to our local growers, many of which we’ve worked with for decades,” says Don Sanderson, Meijer chief merchandising and marketing officer. “But with any good business, it’s vital to create pathways for the next generation. This partnership with The National Young Farmers Coalition will help young farmers, especially young farmers of color, while ensuring a strong supply chain in the future.”