ARF Blog

36 posts

Cattle to Rabbitry in Alamance County, NC

Steve Sifford of Alamance County, North Carolina received a grant through RAFI’s Agricultural Reinvestment Fund in 2015 to add the necessary infrastructure for raising rabbits including building hutches and shade structures. He grew up on a dairy farm and originally purchased land to raise cattle while working as an instructor nearby. Although Steve has a lifelong love for the cattle business, he wanted to find a new livestock product that could bring high value to the farm without needing much more land. The 40+ acre farm was already at maximum grazing capacity with the cattle and Steve did not have the capital or the desire to purchase more land. He found that rabbits could be raised with little infrastructure and land while bringing in a premium price. Read more about Steve’s story here…

Women Dig and Chop Their Way to the Top in North Carolina’s Food & Ag Sectors

My co-workers and I at the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) have had the privilege of working with many of the women interviewed for Kim Severson’s recent New York Times article, “A Food Sisterhood Flourishes in North Carolina,” and it was a real pleasure to see this group of hardworking innovators receive national attention for their efforts.

Farmers: Applications due for 2015 Grants Dec. 15th!

Our grant program assists farmers and rural communities to develop new sources of agricultural income through the provision of cost-share grants. The program awards grants of up to $8,000 to individual farmers, or $10,000 for collaborative farmer projects in North Carolina.

RAFI Kicks off 2015 Grant Program for Farmers with Tour at Pickett Farm

This year, RAFI will celebrate 18 years of serving small and mid-scale family farmers across NC through our grant program. To kick-off a new round of grant-making through our Agricultural Reinvestment Fund, we’ve organized a farm tour with two of our current grantees on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 1 to 3 pm.

RAFI Celebrates 18 Years of Awarding Grants to Farmers at Pickett Farm on Nov. 5th

In 2015, the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) will celebrate 18 years of serving small and mid-scale family farmers across North Carolina through the organization’s innovative grant program, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund. To commemorate this achievement and kick-off a new round of grant-making, RAFI will hold a major public event on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from 1-3 pm. Judy and Gene Pickett, former tobacco growers and current grantees of the program, will host the event at their multi-generational family farm in Duplin County at 258 Henry Dunn Pickett Road, Beulaville, NC. Previous farmer grant recipients will be on hand at the event to speak about their projects. Farmers from across the region are expected to attend. The event is free and open to the public and will include demonstrations of creative farm business ideas for farmers and the general public. Attendees are encouraged to register online:

Ashley Bridges, Guernsey Girl Creamery

In this very new audio slideshow, a 25-year-old Ashley tells us why she still gets emotional talking about her grandfather, his cows, and why it’s worth it for her to keep on.