Giving Growers a Hand Up

Growers First 1Project Description
Nearly 15 years ago, specialty coffee roaster, Dave Day, was traveling through coffee growing regions in South and Central America and observed the challenges that farming families were facing. It became his passion to work with these farmers to improve their quality of life. With that passion motivating him, Day started the non-profit organization Growers First ®. This NPO utilizes agriculture, education, and community networking as tools to help improve the quality of life for impoverished farming families and empower them to become self-sustaining. It has always been Dave’s intent to “give a hand up instead of a hand out.” Over the years, Growers First® has been part of significant transformation in the lives of farming families – changes that are both measurable and traceable.
Growers First® assesses the needs of a remote farming community, then works to develop community cooperatives on behalf of the farmers. It trains farmers in agronomy to enable them to radically increase their crop yields, and works with various non-profit partners to provide medical and dental care, vehicles, micro-loans for farmers, and training.
Villages are being transformed into sustainable farming enterprises, with long-term socio-economic and environmental conditions associated with healthy and thriving communities. This creates sustainable systems, which provide significant income to family farmers, along with health, education, social, and environmental improvements.
Not only does Growers First® do significant work on the behalf of farmers and communities it serves, they also take interested individuals with them for the purpose of education and volunteer service.
Day says, “Every time I take industry partners, supporters, and expert volunteers on a trip to one of the cooperatives, we are overwhelmed by the evidence and sheer volume of personal and community success stories.  Of course, we have the field assessments and data that track these transformational wonders, but I never grow tired of hearing farmers share their personal stories of victory over poverty.”
Growers First® continues to build life-changing partnerships with the world’s impoverished farming families, empowering them to make their own way out of poverty through hard work and entreprenueruial ingenuity.
Who Benefits from this project?
Impoverished farming families living in remote rural communities around the world (currently focused on Central America, with plans to expand to South American and Africa in 2014).
How Can I Help?
1.     Donate funds to Growers First® organization and/or projects.
2.     Participate in providing micro-loans for poor farmers.
3.     Donate goods and/or services that can be utilized by poor agricultural communities. In the past, we’ve been part of donating books, soccer uniforms, clothing, vehicles including an ambulence, wheelchairs, etc.
4.     Join Growers First on a trip to learn about and serve remote, rural farming communities (building/repairing/painting community centers , schools, medical clinics, agricultural education, forming community cooperatives, etc.).
5.     Visit our website ( or contact our office for more ideas (
Contact Name:     Pam Apffel
Web Site:
Location:     Laguna Beach, CA
Email Address:
Phone Number:     949.551.1085

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