Tillamook Announces $ 1.6 Million Donation to Preserve Farming in America

TILLAMOOK, Ore. — In September, Tillamook County Creamery Association announced it would contribute 10% of Tillamook product sales during the month to help financially struggling farmers as part of its ‘All For Farmers‘ initiative. Today, on National Farmer’s Day, Tillamook makes good on its pledge.

Tillamook is contributing $1.6 million to American Farmland Trust (AFT) – a national not-for-profit organization with a mission to protect farmland, promote sound farming practices and keep farmers on the land. AFT will use the Tillamook funds to provide grants directly to farmers to help them access farmland, enhance farm viability, and/or adopt new farming practices. Any farmer in financial need is encouraged to apply for grant funding via the American Farmland Trust applications that open today, October 12.  

“We thank Tillamook for what is our largest gift in 40 years, and their commitment to America’s farmers as many struggle against financial headwinds including the pandemic, bankruptcies and rising farm debt,” said Beth C. Sauerhaft, PhD, Vice President, Programs, American Farmland Trust. “With deep roots in agriculture, Tillamook understands the ups-and-downs of farming and knows that lending a helping hand to get through the hard times is part of what makes America’s collective farming community so special.”

Because all types of farmers and farms are needed in order to provide a robust and sustainable food supply, the grants are available to farmers representing diversity in age, gender, ethnicity, geography, and farm size and type. In addition to providing the direct-to-farmer grants, AFT will also apply a portion of the Tillamook contribution to help preserve land on at-risk farms.

“At Tillamook, we are grateful to be able to make this contribution to American Farmland Trust to fight for the future of farming in America and to help farmers in need,” said Patrick Criteser, Tillamook County Creamery Association President and CEO. “We are also humbled by the tremendous support of loyal Tillamook fans across the country whose product purchases allow us to give back in this way.”

Five years ago, Tillamook cheese, ice cream and other premium dairy products were primarily available in the Pacific Northwest. Today, Tillamook products can be found throughout the country. To thank Tillamook fans nationwide for their part in the ‘All For Farmers‘ effort, Tillamook is randomly selecting 10 recipients to receive free ice cream for a year. The ice cream winners are selected among those who shared their thanks for farmers using both the #AllForFarmers and #Sweepstakes hashtags in social media throughout September. The winners will be unveiled on the @Tillamook social media channels today, October 12.  

In addition to the funds pledged to supporting America’s farmers, Tillamook is committing $100,000 to help restaurant chefs whose businesses have been financially hard hit during the pandemic. The funds will be used in a variety of ways, including providing staff support, securing personal protective equipment (PPE) and safety materials, and assisting in the chef’s own local give-back efforts.

“Being a farmer-owned and farmer-led co-op gives Tillamook a resilient edge,” said Criteser. “Our co-op is holding up well, and we are grateful to be able to help others, like farmers and chefs, in their time of need.”

About Tillamook County Creamery Association 
Founded in 1909 as a farmer-owned cooperative, the Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) prides itself on its commitment to bringing to market the most consistent, best tasting, highest quality dairy products made in the most natural way possible. Guided by the belief that everyone deserves real food that makes them feel good every day, Tillamook has earned top awards for their cheese, ice cream, sour cream, butter and yogurt products made with unwavering values that never sacrifice or compromise quality for profit. The TCCA is owned by almost 80 farming families, primarily based in Tillamook County, Oregon. Tillamook operates production facilities in Tillamook and Boardman, Oregon and employs more than 900 people throughout the state. The Tillamook Creamery is the largest tourist attraction on the coast of Oregon and one of the most popular in the state, attracting more than one million visitors each year. For more information on Tillamook, visit Tillamook.com.

About American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through its No Farms, No Food® message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres, and supported thousands of farm families. Learn more at https://farmland.org/.