Los Angeles—Miyoko’s Creamery,Animal Outlook, andMercy for Animals have partnered to create an online toolkit that serves as a resource to help animal farmers transition their farms to plant-focused operations. Mercy For Animals’ Transfarmation project has helped farmers transition to plant-focused farming, growing both hemp and mushrooms, while Miyoko’s Dairy Farm Transitions project offers holistic resources to the farmer including a guaranteed income during the transition, and Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions program has provided farmers with technical assistance, finance and debt relief options, and comprehensive business planning.

The companies collaborated on the Farmer Toolkit, which offers farmers a way to learn and explore their options, according to a press release. If farmers choose to transition, the toolkit provides information about opportunities such as how-to guides for crops, personalized state resources, marketing crop information, budget information, and webinars.

The Farmer Toolkit includes:
  • State-specific resources
  • Funding opportunities
  • Tips on applying for grants and loans
  • Marketing guidance for selling products
  • Information on growing specialty crops
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
“Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions Program exists to provide a fair, sustainable, and profitable alternative to farmers who may be disempowered in the animal [agriculture] system, by providing a template to shift from animal-based agriculture to plant-based alternatives,” said Dr. T.J.Bradford, Director of Animal Outlook’s Farm Transitions Program. “The Farm Transitions Program aims to provide farmers with equitable access within plant-based markets by assisting with comprehensive business planning; agronomic assistance and technical support, legal advocacy, finance and debt relief options; as well as publicity and farm visibility components.”

Former contract poultry farmer Greg Carey added, “I was looking for alternatives to the contract poultry industry. I wanted something that was entirely mine, where I didn’t have to worry about a huge corporation cutting me off and losing my income. That’s what I found in Transfarmation. I talk with the staff and their technical consultants regularly and together we’re creating a business that I fully control.”
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In agreement of this notion, Tyler Whitley, Director of Transfarmation said, “The farmers who want out of industrial CAFO models are looking for alternatives that provide for their families and put them back in control of their farming operations. Our goal is working with farmers to create those alternatives so they can build their own sustainable businesses. This is how we can create a more just and sustainable food system.”

To give farmers peace of mind during the transition period, Miyoko Schinner, founder and CEO of Miyoko’s Creamery noted, “Dairy Farm Transition offers holistic resources to the farmer such as technical assistance, educational resources, small grants for material needs, and finally and most importantly, a guaranteed income during the transition. We will also be purchasing the crops from the farmer to use in our cheeses and butter.”
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