PLATINUM2024

California FarmLink

Investing in the prosperity of farmers and ranchers.

Aptos, CA   |  http://www.cafarmlink.org

Mission

As a Community Development Financial Institution, we invest in the prosperity and well-being of farmers, ranchers, and fishers who have limited access to financial resources. Our programs center communities of color, and promote just and resilient economies and natural resource conservation. We offer fair financing, business education, and support for owning or managing agricultural land.

Ruling year info

1999

Principal Officer

Mr. Reggie Knox

Main address

335 Spreckels Dr Ste F

Aptos, CA 95003 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

94-3332630

NTEE code info

Management & Technical Assistance (B02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2021 and 2020.
Register now

Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Farm, Ranch and Fisheries Loan Program

As a Community Development Financial Institution, FarmLink provides access to capital for small- and mid-sized farmers and fishers based in California. Many borrowers are immigrants, women, and farmers of color. FarmLink makes direct loans as well as referrals to alternative sources of financing based on individual needs. The organization strives to be a premier farm and ranch lender in California and a national leader in supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs in creating sustainable food systems.

Population(s) Served
People of Latin American descent
People of European descent
Indigenous peoples
Immigrants and migrants
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Farm, Ranch and Fisheries Loan Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total dollar amount of loans issued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Farm, Ranch and Fisheries Loan Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of jobs created and maintained

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Farm, Ranch and Fisheries Loan Program

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Figures per year cover full-time, part-time and seasonal positions

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Since 2017, we've re-designed education to be quality over quantity. The 2019-21 timespan allows us to hone to a better baseline here, where we instituted this new approach beginning in late 2018.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

California FarmLink’s mission is to invest in the prosperity of farmers and ranchers through lending, education, and access to land. Knowledge, capital and land are the foundations of resilient businesses. We believe that successful farm, ranch, and fishing businesses can support local food systems, living-wage jobs, and a healthy environment. We envision a healthy food system where farmers and ranchers have equitable opportunities to build wealth and conserve natural resources.

We deliberately direct resources and opportunities to farmers of color, women, and other members of groups that have historically been denied equal access to land, capital, and education.

California FarmLink is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), one of the first in the nation focused on sustainable and organic agriculture as well as economic and environmental resilience. We partner with training programs, impact investors, public agencies and other nonprofits, weaving an ecosystem of support for farmers, ranchers, and fishers. Our strategic initiatives:

-Wealth Building aligns our lending and educational programs to focus on helping those who have historically been denied access to land, credit, and education and thus have had limited opportunities to build wealth and equity in their business and personal assets. Activities include cohort-based learning, one-on-one technical assistance, a peer-to-peer mentorship program, and access to credit. We evaluate success through quantitative analysis of capital deployed, and changes in net worth of borrowers, and qualitative assessment of changes in perceived competence in business management.

-Equity and Conservation on Working Lands aligns lending and educational program resources to provide limited-resource farmers with opportunities to access and operate on land improved with conservation practices or protected by conservation easements, and to ensure that all farmers are able to implement conservation and climate adaptation measures. Through this initiative we will provide credit and technical assistance to landowners, farmers, and ranchers to facilitate land access and more widespread adoption of conservation practices. We will measure progress by measuring acres affected through our efforts.

-Resilience and Succession aligns lending and educational activities to ensure: 1) farmers have knowledge and tools to create and preserve wealth while conserving and enhancing natural resources; 2) farmers and landowners have knowledge and tools to pass land and operations to future operators; and 3) rural communities have resilient food systems, living-wage jobs, and a healthy environment characterized by working lands providing both income and ecosystems services. Activities include cohort-based education; one-on-one technical assistance, and access to credit. We will measure progress by measuring changes in business profitability and family net worth, changes in perceived competence in business management including financial skills and regulatory compliance, and acres affected through our efforts.

From 2016-2022, California FarmLink doubled the size of its client-serving staff as a result of collaborative work plans, corresponding budgets, and deliberate fundraising plans that have generated the resources to sustain its programs. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), FarmLink has secured numerous sources of very-low-interest capital for its loan fund, and the number of social impact investors and grantors supporting the organization's work has grown more than twofold from 2017-2022. To deepen its commitment to understand and meet the needs of communities served, the organization created a Farmer Advisory Council in 2022. Its purpose is to advise the board and staff on matters related to programs and services impacting the Council members’ communities. In addition, the Council addresses program effectiveness, potential improvements to services, identifying areas of focus for our work, and understanding emerging demands of specific communities. The organization's leadership staff rely on the Council process to inform decisions about priority products and services integrated into its highly collaborative and deliberate work planning and budgeting processes. The Council’s goal is to inform the organization about the needs of its diverse client communities, and to provide its land access and business development services in a just and inclusive manner.

Between 2017-2021, FarmLink served a total of 288 agricultural business borrowers in 33 counties with 482 loans, including 212 Paycheck Protection Program pandemic relief loans – 93% of these farms had less than $1 million in annual sales and 82% were small farms with less than $350,000 in sales.
California FarmLink will address the economic impact of COVID-19 through a lending strategy that incorporates a new array of integrated capital – 0% operating loans, forgivable down payment assistance and business development services – to help clients be resilient to the economic impacts of the pandemic. FarmLink will provide small-scale farmers, ranchers and fishers with flexible and affordable loans, as well as risk-mitigating individual and group education for accounting, tax planning, insurance and asset management. Pre- and post loan technical assistance and wealth building education courses facilitate the growth of financial equity and increased business resilience.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

California FarmLink
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

California FarmLink

Board of directors
as of 04/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Chris Mittelstaedt

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/26/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/05/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.