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Agricultural grant program launched by Abbotsford Community Foundation

The Abbotsford Community Foundation has created a new Agricultural Enhancement Grants program.

“Approximately $300,000 is available to provide grants of up to $50,000 this spring,” said Brian Loughlin, chair of ACF’s Agricultural Enhancement Grants Committee.

The 2012 granting program will focus on projects that enhance the agricultural industry in Abbotsford through education and advocacy to increase awareness about the contribution agriculture makes to the economy, community, families and health, he said.

Funding for this program is provided from approved industrial and other developments in the City of Abbotsford.

Other members of the Agricultural Enhancement Grants Committee include: businessman and City councilor Henry Braun, Marcus Janzen, chair of the Abbotsford Agriculture Advisory Committee, Mike Welte, Senior Relationship Manager with Farm Credit Canada, Dr. Lenore Newman, UFV’s Canada Research Chair of Food Security and Environment, and Kurt Bausenhaus, associate partner, KPMG.

The committee worked together during a strategic planning process, to determine the focus for the granting program this year and met with members of local agriculture educational organizations to research the topic further.  It was clear there would be no shortage of good ideas and opportunities for organizations to work together on some very innovative and impactful projects, said Susan McAlevy, Executive Director of the Foundation.

“Non profits, industry groups, companies and individuals can all submit applications,” she said. “We have developed what we believe is a comprehensive but not overly onerous application process that begins with the completion of a Letter of Intent, briefly describing the project. If it qualifies, the applicant will be invited to complete the full application.”

The granting program will fund up to 50 per cent of any project to a maximum of $50,000 and while the remaining funding can include in kind funding like volunteer hours or donated materials, at least 25 per cent of this portion must be in cash, she said.

The deadline for the Foundation to receive Letters of Intent is March 15.

For more information on the Agriculture Enhancement Grants program and a copy of the Letter of Intent guidelines, email smcalevy@abbotsfordcf.org or call 604.850.3755.

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