Meet Celsa Ortega. After years of working in other peoples’ fields, in 2020 she finally started her own farm, Induchucuiti Organic Farms. With her own hands, Celsa tends her field in Salinas, exemplifying what it takes to be a small farmer in California today: determination, tenacity, and skill. But in 2020, even the most hardworking farmers were faced with unimaginable challenges.
When stay-at-home orders shut down the businesses that bought her vegetables, Celsa scrambled to find new buyers. That’s when CAFF jumped into action. Our Farm To Market team worked to connect her with local food hubs and purchasers. CAFF supported Celsa in aggregating produce with ten other Latinx-owned farms in Salinas to sell to the USDA Farmers to Families Food Box Program. These sales, along with a grant from CAFF’s Family Farm Emergency Fund, which has since helped hundreds of farmers like Celsa, provided substantial support for Celsa and the collective of growers she leads when they needed it most.
Farming is a risky business. But this is even more true for smaller farmers and those from underserved communities who often get passed over by government subsidies and shut out of an ever-consolidating food industry.
Since 1978, that’s exactly the void CAFF has committed to filling.
With your help, CAFF can continue supporting farmers like Celsa. Whether it’s finding new buyers or recovering from a disaster, educating growers on more ecological practices or advocating in the Capitol for a more fair, equitable and just food system, CAFF’s work is impossible without people like you. Your donation today, however big or small, helps us tip the scales back towards farmers like Celsa. No small feat! But if we stand together for what we believe ought to be, another world is possible. Will you join us?
On behalf of the whole CAFF family, we wish you a safe, abundant and joyous New Year.