The Farmstand: RAFI-USA’s Blog

The Farmstand is a blog written by the staff and guests of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA covering key issues relevant to the development of markets, policies, and communities that support thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms.

Recent Posts

  • RAFI-USA’s COVID-19 Response and Resources (3/25/2020) - Note: We will update this page daily with further developments or as additional resources become available. RAFI-USA Staff In an effort to do our part for social distancing, RAFI-USA staff are working remotely until further notice. Events and meetings that were scheduled have been cancelled or postponed. Due to our flexible work from home policy, RAFI-USA staff are equipped to continue most of our work remotely. How We’re Supporting Impacted Farmers RAFI-USA staff continue our current work on issues affecting farmers and rural communities. In addition, as the impacts of… ...>Read More
  • Take action TODAY to support farmers during COVID-19 (3/24/2020) - The impacts of coronavirus on agriculture and our food system are still evolving, but you can make a difference today. Congress is currently debating a coronavirus economic stimulus bill, and you can help make sure that the farmers and farmworkers who keep us fed are included in that support. See below for ways Congress can help. This legislation is moving very quickly, so today is your best window to make an impact. EMAIL OR TWEET YOUR REPRESENTATIVE Or call your Representative! We've included a sample phone script below with specific asks for how to… ...>Read More
  • Supporting Alternative Sales Options for Direct to Market Farmers (3/16/2020) - Last Updated: March 20, 2020 - we will continue to update this page with new resources Although the NC Department of Health and Human Services has recently clarified that Farmers Markets are classified as groceries and may remain open, many markets in the state or other parts of the country will see decreased traffic or choose to remain closed until the threat of COVID-19 has passed. This means many farmers are faced with the problem of how to continue to sell their products through alternative market channels. Fortunately, as more… ...>Read More
  • Spirit, Power and Connection: Community Conversations (3/11/2020) - RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table program is pleased to present its 2020 series, Spirit, Power, and Connection: Community Conversations. Building on our 2018 Equity at the Table Speaker Series, Community Conversations will bring people together in towns across North Carolina to learn from each other and build power together for a more just food system. The 2018 Equity at the Table Speaker Series featured speakers who shared various perspectives on diversity, equity, and inclusion in food systems work. At each event it was clear from the robust discussion and participation… ...>Read More
  • Farmer Leader Profile: Neil Moye (2/25/2020) - Building resilience on the family farm and in the community After growing row crops and raising livestock in Greene County, NC for more than 28 years, Neil Moye, his brother David, and their families knew they would need to add something innovative and unique to their farm in order to provide a viable opportunity for their children to come back and be employed on the farm. RAFI-USA had the opportunity to interview Neil Moye to learn the story of Simply Natural Creamery and the steps they took to build resiliency… ...>Read More
  • Food Solutions Forum Toolkit (2/21/2020) - Our partners at National Family Farm Coalition have created the Food Solutions Forum Toolkit to walk 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations through hosting a Food Solutions Forum to educate those running for public office, the media, and the public. ...>Read More
  • Welcome to Our New Fellows! (2/18/2020) - Come to the Table welcomes the newest members of our Fellowship for Rural Faith Leaders! The fellowship supports leaders of rural faith communities in using their experience, passion, and vision to positively affect change at the intersection of rural life, faith, and justice in North Carolina. With the support of our partners at the Duke Endowment, each Fellow will work alongside Come to the Table staff to craft a plan of engagement that utilizes their interests and insights to connect with local communities through faith, equity, and food.  Our current… ...>Read More
  • Action Alert: Submit Comment on Undue Preference Rule (2/17/2020) - In less than a month the USDA will close commenting on a rule intended to govern undue preference shown by large corporations in the meat industry. Undue preference or undue prejudice is a term used to explain an advantageous or disadvantageous decision made, in this case by a meatpacking corporation, that impacts a person.While protecting farmers was the reason for creating the rule, this proposed rule will actually protect the most abusive industry practices and insulate the industry from future accountability. Farmers and ranchers know there are problems with how… ...>Read More
  • New Plant Breeder’s Guide Helps Keep Crop Genetics in the Public Domain (1/29/2020) - Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) and the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) are pleased to share a new free resource for plant breeders: a guide to defensive publication, offering a way to keep genetic resources in the public domain. ...>Read More
  • New Livestock and Poultry Competition Rules Published (1/13/2020) - The Federal Register published a rule set forth by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which intends to satisfy provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill, written to establish criteria for the Secretary of Agriculture to use in determining whether meat packers are giving undue preference or advantage to specific producers. ...>Read More
  • [CLOSED] Job Posting: Development Manager (1/9/2020) - Job Posting: Development Manager for Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA). Description: In collaboration with the Executive Director and key program staff, this position is responsible for overseeing RAFI-USA’s fundraising strategies. ...>Read More
  • Technical Assistance Program Spotlight: Susan Sachs (1/9/2020) - In this month’s Technical Assistance Program Spotlight: Jarred White interviews Susan Sachs, one of Come to the Table's longtime technical assistance providers, about her work. ...>Read More
  • Farm Aid Names RAFI-USA as 2019 Grantee (12/26/2019) - Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) is thrilled to be included on Farm Aid’s 2019 grantee list. For 30 years, RAFI-USA has been the recipient of grants from Farm Aid that have helped us continue to provide one-on-one personal farmer assistance, which is critical to keeping family farms in business. ...>Read More
  • Stand With Farm Families Campaign (11/18/2019) - In May 2019, we shared that the USDA released a notice of proposed rulemaking. This indicated that in Summer 2019 the agency would begin writing rules critical to protecting contract poultry and livestock farmers from illegal and unfair corporate business practices including retaliation. The new rule will seek to clarify Section 202(b) of the Packers and Stockyard’s Act, which was passed into law in 1921 in response to rampant abuses in the meatpacking industry. The rule release will be followed by a 60-day public comment period. Click here to read… ...>Read More
  • Food Purchasers Show their Support for Sourcing from Farmers of Color (11/14/2019) - In November 2019, the Farmers of Color Network (a RAFI-USA project) hosted their inaugural Farmers & Buyers Connect networking event at Zweli’s Piri Piri Kitchen in Durham, NC. The event was sponsored by PNC Bank, and included as participants more than 50 local farmers of color, chefs, and retail and wholesale buyers. ...>Read More
  • Blue Cross NC Boosts Access to Healthy Food for Triangle Residents at Area Farmers’ Markets Through “Double Bucks” Program (10/29/2019) - Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) will work in collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina on a new initiative that provides low-income shoppers with incentives to shop at local markets and farmers markets. ...>Read More
  • Congressional Briefing: Specialty Crop Risk Management (10/28/2019) - Improvements to the Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) Program and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) could create a cascade of benefits to the ag sector, particularly for specialty crop growers and beginning farmers not currently covered by crop insurance. ...>Read More
  • Global Food Week of Action 2019 (10/19/2019) - From October 14-18, 2019, the RAFI-USA Come to the Table team published a series of blog posts in recognition of Global Food Week of Action. ...>Read More
  • Get to Know Your Elected Officials (10/18/2019) - As a constituent rooted in your community, you’re an expert and bring an authenticity that a professional lobbyist never will. When done right, in-person visits are one of the most effective ways to make your voice heard, especially if you visit multiple times. ...>Read More
  • Corporate Consolidation: Taking Power Away From Farmers (10/17/2019) - Recognizing Global Food Week of Action, October 14-18th ...>Read More


RAFI-USA staff are currently working remotely. As we plan for how COVID-19 will change both how we do our work, and what work needs to be done, please know that we are still here. Our farmer hotline (866-586-6746) will operate from Monday-Saturday from 9am to 6pm. Stay tuned for more updates and information.