Growing the Movement for Just and Sustainable Agriculture in 2015
2014 was a crucial year for the fight against an agribusiness-dominated food system. Looking back over 2014, we are reminded of how many people have come together to help create the just and sustainable agricultural community that we envision. 2014 has been a pivotal year in so many ways–from our advocacy efforts for farmers whose livelihoods have been compromised by abusive contracts to our work to change policies that make it hard for small and mid-scale farmers to access credit and risk management tools.
This year, RAFI’s Farm Advocacy staff worked with more than 75 farm families in need of financial counseling and assistance, making sure that they had crucial information needed to make the best decisions for their farm.
We recently published the proceedings from our 2014 Summit on Seeds & Breeds for 21st Century Agriculture. We aim to distribute these proceedings to the larger agricultural community and to policy-makers to aid in raising awareness concerning both our findings and critical recommendations for the future. The Come to the Table project, which first began around a soup tureen in a church basement in 2007, has now grown to hundreds of participants who will convene this year at our 2015 conference series. The three-part series kicks off in January and will provide an opportunity for farmers, gardeners, farm workers, educators, health professionals, and community organizations to come together to find ways to relieve hunger while supporting local agriculture.
We are proud of the accomplishments that came out of our work this year, and we will continue to work together to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that support thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms.
2015 will be essential in our efforts to challenge the influence of big agribusiness and sustain our growing movement for just and sustainable agriculture. This will require courage and persistence across the board, on all levels, and we need your support. For those who can make a gift at this time, we pledge that it will enable enormous opportunities for positive change in the year ahead.
• $1,000 saves a farm in crisis. Our Farm Advocacy staff provide farmers with agricultural expertise and connect them to legal and financial resources and services to save and strengthen their farms.
• $500 allows us to provide in-person training to farmers through our Farmer Leadership Network and supports our soon-to-launch online platform, The Resourceful Farmer.
• $250 provides rural cooperatives with consulting and in-depth assistance with enterprise development.
• $100 allows RAFI staff members to work with family farms in need and provide in-person consulting and assistance.
• $50 allows us to keep our publications in print and provide them free-of-charge to farmers.