Alone, we can only do so much. But with faith in each other and in teamwork, we can do it all.
We’re spending the weekend at the 28th Sustainable Agriculture Conference, sponsored by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. Every year, this reinvigorating conference puts us in the same room with friends devoted to sustainable agriculture as much as we are. We connect with people who have been in the fight with us for decades, and we meet new faces eager to jump in with us. Today, we’d like to thank a few of our partners with the same dynamism and vigor for sustainable agriculture. Together, we have accomplished so much.
CFSA is literally our neighbor down the road. The Pittsboro-based organization connects residents of the Carolinas with resources to grow local, organic food through a mission: “advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems that organic family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic farming.”
CFSA has helped lead the charge in pushing for fair food safety regulations as well as aiding in the growth and success of young, beginning farmers. CFSA’s vision is to create a local food system with respect to local, organic practices that works all levels for ever community involved. The aforementioned conference alternates between North and South Carolina every year, providing a broad base in the Southeast for connection and innovation among farmers, consumers and progressive businesses.
We are incredibly grateful to be a part of NSAC, an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC epitomizes the grassroots sustainable agriculture advocacy movement. It’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a viable living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.
Based in Washington, D.C, NSAC connects individual grassroots organizations with on-the-ground policy. We look to them as leaders in the recent campaign for a better Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). RAFI partners with NSAC to ensure that the voices of family farmers and concerned consumers are heard.
NOC represents the progressive organic community voice in Washington, D.C. Formed in 2003, the coalition strengthens the voice of organic family farmers and the broader organic community in federal policy making.
Farmers, farmer organizations, consumer and environmental nonprofits and businesses dedicated to organic integrity are all seated at the table, helping NOC push forward in establishing organic as the foundation of food and agricultural production systems throughout the country.
We collaborated with NOC to created the National Organic Action Plan (NOAP). By engaging collaborators from across the organic community, NOAP sets out a broad set of goals to guide organic agriculture in the United States over the next ten years. Through NOAP, the national organic community is guided to remain focused on the goals of sustainability, diversity and justice in organic agriculture, while being flexible and adaptable in the strategies to reach those goals. It establishes verifiable and meaningful benchmarks at the federal, state, marketplace, and civil society levels. These benchmarks will guide and track progress as we define the farm and food policies critical to success.