Sustainable Agriculture

Healthy Food Systems

Vibrant Communities

Brightseed Strategies helps people and organizations access capital and community resources, cultivate their own power to transform the way they work, and build economically vibrant, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable food systems that benefit agricultural producers, healthy food enterprises, and consumers.

$3.5 billion in New Market Tax Credits announced — and over 70% of recipients want to finance healthy food enterprise!

Yesterday’s announcement of $3.5 billion in New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) allocations contained a surprise that should give local food systems advocates a big smile. According to the CDFI Fund’s report, which accompanied the announcement, “While there was no specific set-aside of tax credits for healthy food financing in the 2013 NMTC allocation round, applicants were asked to […]

Read the full article → June 7, 2014

June 4 & 5: Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse for development finance agencies

Please spread the word about this new WebCourse from the Council of Development Finance Agencies. I am serving as Course Advisor for this 2-day online educational event, which will feature leading government, private, and non-profit sector experts on food systems finance from across the country. The Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse examines the development finance programs […]

Read the full article → May 8, 2014

The Farm-to-Institution Sector — critically important to building regional food systems

  Farm to Institution connects institutional food buyers with local farmers and food. Institutions are entities that feed groups of people through central food preparation facilities, including pre-school programs, schools, colleges and universities, senior centers, hospitals, emergency food providers, prisons and more. There are many exciting stories of efforts to bring fresh, local milk, fruits, […]

Read the full article → March 13, 2014

CDFA Announces Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse – New Training Institute Course Offered this June!

Please check out this press release from the Council of Economic Development Agencies:$file/IFSFC%20press%20release%201-2014.pdf From the press release: “Nessa Richman, founder of Brightseed Strategies, will serve as the Course Advisor for the Intro Food Systems Finance WebCourse. She is a food systems consultant and often works with umbrella organizations, assisting their stakeholder groups in understanding issues […]

Read the full article → March 13, 2014

2014 Community Food Projects RFP released!

If you are interested in applying for a CFP in 2014, the time is now. Please read this post from the National Sustainable Ag Coalition for background: And then go to the USDA’s CFP site for details on how to apply and abstracts of funded projects: NOTE: If the links above are not […]

Read the full article → March 3, 2014

Farm Bill will provide new funding for regional food systems projects

It appears that there is finally an agreement on the Farm Bill. Although it is far from perfect, it does include many grant and loan programs that have the potential to fund the development of local and regional food systems. My goal for this brief post is just to introduce a few of the key […]

Read the full article → February 4, 2014

New “Food Systems Finance” Course for Development Finance Agencies

If you represent a funder, lender, food hub or other regional food system initiative or enterprise and you are working with (or want to work with) your local or state development finance agency, consider suggesting that they  attend this new “Food Systems Finance” course being offered through the Council of Development Finance Agencies. Read more…  […]

Read the full article → January 24, 2014

Nessa Richman named to Rhode Island’s Local Agriculture and Seafood Grant Program Advisory Committee

Brightseed Strategies is proud to announce that Nessa Richman has been named to Rhode Island’s Local Agriculture and Seafood Grant Program Advisory Committee. This new Program is made possible by a unique and unprecedented public-private partnership with $100,000 in funding from the State of Rhode Island and $100,000 in matching funds from the van Beuren Charitable Foundation, […]

Read the full article → January 13, 2014

New Report – Innovations in Local Food Enterprise: Fresh Ideas for a Just and Profitable Food System

I am very pleased to announce the publication of a new report developed with the Wallace Center, Innovations in Local Food Enterprise: Fresh Ideas for a Just and Profitable Food System. This report is the culmination of the Wallace Center’s Healthy Urban Food Enterprise Development (HUFED) program, which provided grants to 30 organizations across the country working […]

Read the full article → November 27, 2013

A brief analysis of the 2013 Healthy Food Finance Initiative (HFFI) Awards

Just in case you missed it, the 2013 round of CDFI Fund HFFI awards was announced on September 24, 2013. Interest in the program remained strong with 81 CDFIs applying for CDFI Fund Financial Assistance awards under the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI-FA). The program remained competitive, with just 10 CDFIs receiving awards. Those 10 […]

Read the full article → October 11, 2013