2012 Annual Report: Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA
ANNUAL REPORT 2012
rural advancement foundation international - usa
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Message from our Executive Director and Board President
Preservation for Future Generations
Building Blocks of Agriculture
Respect and Value
Power and Fairness
Health and Abundance for All
Our VISION of justice.
We are proud to bring you this report on RAFI’s work in
2012 for justice and sustainability in agriculture and rural
2012 saw unprecedented public attention on food and
agriculture. With this attention came both new momentum
for change long in the making, and new challenges from the
Our community as a movement grew—a movement we helped
build generations ago. We discovered partners that we never
thought possible. And now we work from a collective aware-
ness of food and our connection to it like never before.
The year 2012 reminded us that justice grows from the ground
up, and that we are rooted in our vision:
• Family farmers have the power to earn a fair and depend-
• Everyone who labors in agriculture is respected, protected
and valued by society.
• Air, water and soil are preserved for future generations.
• The land yields healthy and abundant food and fiber that is
accessible to all members of society.
• The full diversity of seeds and breeds, the building blocks of
agriculture, are reinvigorated and publicly protected.
Through this vision, we have ensured that hundreds of farmers
kept their land, and the livelihood that is their dream and our
trust. We have demonstrated that responsibility to the com-
munity and the environment is good business, and builds rural
economies. And we have fought to keep the care of our land and
water in the hands of our communities.
With this report, we invite you to join us. Together, there is
much left for us to do.
Scott Marlow Archie Hart
Executive Director Board of Directors - President
Preserving air, water
& soil for future
2012 was a pivotal year in expanding the
public’s knowledge on organic agriculture,
and every person’s role in its increasing
momentum. We witnessed people begin
to care more about defining organic and
its food. And they care about the policies
controlling its growth.
We watched as the agriculture industry
switched gears to protect their motives,
while the public became more curious and
informed about how they were treating the
air, water and soil—and what would be left
for generations to come.
Because of working decades to build this
movement, we felt a responsibility to
propel our Organic Integrity Project even
further. We continue to be an active
resource as more people enter the fight to
preserve our principles.
RAFI Just Foods director Michael Sligh,
founding chair of the National Organic
Standards Board (NOSB), eloquently stat-
ed in a March 2012 article in The Saturday
“Part of why many of us went to
organic many, many decades ago
was because of the kind of con-
centration and difficulty we saw
in agribusiness-as-usual model.
Some of that has come to organic.”
Much of our work this year pushed for
organic in the proposed 2012 Farm Bill,
while creating awareness of the bill’s
intricate details. The bill eventually stalled,
and final motions eliminated all proposed
policies to alleviate restraints on organic
growers. But RAFI and partners across the
globe continue working to achieve a food
system inclusive of organic agriculture and
the values implicit in its sustainable model.
“Organic still represents our best hope for
reimagining the future of a new agriculture
that focuses on health and sustainability of
both the environment and the people,” says
Liana Hoodes, Director of the National
Organic Coalition, one of our partners.
Our partners for the Organic Integrity pro-
ject include the National Organic Coalition
and the National Organic Standards Board.
“RAFI’s comprehensive vision in cultivating markets and communities
expands the work of NOC’s focus on maintaining and building the
integrity of the federal organic program.”
- Liana Hoodes, National Organic Coalition
Preserving air, water
& soil for future
LANDOWNER RIGHTS & FRACKING PROJECT//
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to
as fracking, is more than just a threat to the
environment. Corporate profit reigns su-
preme over people in this debate, stripping
landowners of their right to choose what
happens on their own property.
RAFI continues to be the only organization
in North Carolina that focuses on informing
farmers and rural landowners about prop-
Our Landowner Rights and Fracking
Project works all over the state of North
Carolina, particularly in Lee, Chatham and
Moore counties, where more than 2,100
farms (spanning more than 220,000 acres)
are targeted for fracking.
In March 2012, we published a Landown-
er Oil and Gas Leasing Education Packet to
provide landowners with as much infor-
mation as possible about fracking and their
rights—information that’s hard to find.
Many landowners do not own the mineral
rights underneath their land. Yet they live
on property that has been in their families
for hundreds of years. Luckily, by dissemi-
nating clear and comprehensive informa-
tion, and rallying supporters to call and
email policymakers, we were able to stall
the rush to frack.
In July, North Carolina Governor Bev Per-
due vetoed NC Senate Bill 820, which
would ultimately legalize fracking in the
state. (The House eventually overturned
her veto.) Gov. Perdue’s veto statement
mentioned that the bill did not ensure ad-
equate protections for landowners. RAFI
was contacted by her staff for a full analysis.
We put landowner rights at the forefront of
the statewide fracking debate, and our gov-
ernment leaders listened.
By the end of 2012, we conducted 14
official meetings with a total of 535 attend-
ees, and reached at least 930 more people
through collaborative community events.
We continue to advise the NC Mining and
Energy Commission, ensuring that land-
owners get the right to decide just as the
In the video to the right, Executive Director
Scott Marlow discusses compulsory pool-
ing, which gives states the right to compel
a non-consenting landowner into a miner-
al rights lease. In North Carolina, there are
currently no protections against this.
“RAFI gives me the right information.”
- Debbie Hall, Lee County landowner
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
& publicly protected.
SEEDS & BREEDS//
This year marked the 150th anniversary of
both the establishment of the USDA and the
nation’s land-grant university system. In
August 2012, RAFI’s Michael Sligh delivered
a speech to the National Institute of Food and
Agriculture (NIFA), citing this significance:
“These milestones created a nation-
al infrastructure for expanding U.S.
agriculture for the sake of prosperi-
ty and security—to further research,
advancements accessible to all. Two
objectives […] included identifying and
distributing beneficial plant genet-
ic resources and conducting research
in areas that were not profitable to
burgeoning private ventures.
At the heart of these efforts was
a mission to support farmers who
were actively building our na-
tion’s germplasm base for modern
Today, the intent and spirit of these
two laws are in much need of re-
newal by policies and practices
that collectively restore farmers’
access to improved elite pub-
lic seeds and breeds. The need for
public breeding programs to deliv-
er finished public cultivars is more
important than ever.”
This year, we saw organic farmers coming
together with conventional farmers, all
in the name of freedom from patents.
They acted on a desire to rise up out of turbulent political
rhetoric as the voice of reason, straight from the ground where
seeds bear new life.
Michael says that RAFI’s work not only “rekindled the grassroots
fire for GMO labeling,” but also directly influenced federal agri-
cultural policy and global momentum. Through our 2012 accom-
• Preserved 2008 victories in the Senate, such as
the Environmental Quality Incentives Programs
(linking conservation with organic agriculture), the
Extension Initiative and language that pushes true
reform for Crop Insurance Programs.
• Urged the National Organic Standards Board to
issue a statement to USDA Secretary Vilsack with con-
cerns over GMO contamination and its harm to or-
ganic growth. Additionally emphasized the need to
shift liability to patent-holders, not the farmers.
• Presented to USDA on the importance of public
• Strengthened our partnership with the National
Organic Coalition, collaborating on substantive
written comments to the NOSB regarding the
burden of organic certification on farmers, as well as
requirements that would facilitate the enhancement
and protection of on-farm biodiversity.
AGRICULTURE JUSTICE PROJECT//
At the core of our vision lies the heart and soul of our work: people. We see the human cost of food at stake every day. As a founding
member of the worldwide Agricultural Justice Project, RAFI continues to promote a food labeling standard that ensures social justice for
every link in the food chain. In 2012, the AJP Food Justice Certified Label program accomplished the following:
• Formalized the approval process for qualified certifiers, accepting two so far
• Held the second Food Justice Certification Inspectors’ Training in Santa Monica, California
• Completed a business plan with a five-year financial projection
• Helped convene the Fair Trade Summit in Minnesota
• Updated our original policy manual
• Trained Organic Valley’s management and HR departments to properly incorporate our label
• Secured major grants to help stabilize staffing and formal incorporation
• Established multi-year commitments from Organic Valley and Organically Grown companies
• Began transition to the birth of a new 501(c)(3) organization
CONTRACT AGRICULTURE REFORM//
In 2012, more industry farmers took the risk of speaking out.
Our phones rang almost every day, with contract poultry growers on the
other end of the line in desperation. Companies are terminating their con-
tracts without warning, and farm families are suffering. They lose all con-
trol over their own livelihood, swimming in a pit of exorbitant debt imposed
on them by unfair contracts.
Stories from across the nation echo the same injustices: suspension of
birds, forced upgrades out of pocket, no advanced notice for any contract
overhaul or termination.
One former Maryland poultry grower shared anonymously:
“Constant demands made by poultry companies for upgrades to
poultry housing have forced many growers out of business. […]
Had we given into the demand, it would have added an additional
$150,000 to our existing debt. We knew we would never see a re-
turn on the additional investment. It was a hole that was being dug
deeper just to raise the company chickens. There was no real way to
see ourselves ever getting out from under the enormous debt if we
had to continually add to it because of company demands.”
With the tremendous help of supportive activists through-
out the country, we were able to maintain certain protections for
contract growers through 2012 that are laid out as part of
USDA regulation in the Grain Inspections, Packers & Stockyards
Administration (GIPSA) rule.
Family farmers have the
power to earn a fair &
“I could have jumped through the roof,
because I knew that the grant would take
our farm in the direction it needed to
grow,” Jeremiah Dixon told us. He is among
34 innovative farming projects awarded
grants through our Tobacco Communities
Reinvestment Fund in 2012.
Lessening a financial burden, our program
helps farmers like Dixon build upon in-
novative ideas to carve out a sustainable
livelihood for themselves and their fami-
lies. Jeremiah hopes equipment upgrades
will allow him to lower prices to make
his food accessible throughout his low-
Former migrant farmworker and now farm
owner Felix Vargas can also realize a dream
through our grant, to produce a fruitful
abundance of crops for his community, as
well as sugar-free, natural preserves for
TCRF GRANTEES 2012//
Nicole Spruil, a young farmer in Dare County, is
bringing local food to the small communities and
food deserts of the Outer Banks with her mobile
Jerry Dowless will sell fresh peaches in two public
school districts in Bladen County, documenting
each step of the process, creating a farm-to-school
road map for other farmers.
Triad Farm-to-Table sells 2,500 boxes of local food
from 12 – 15 farms each year. Coordinator James
Hester will use grant funds to expand logistics and
marketing management capacity.
Smith’s Nursery Doorstep Market will double cus-
tomized CSA production and storage capacity on a
Rob Glover, of Market Fresh CSA in Nash County,
will expand his CSA from 90 to 250 members by
installing an irrigation system to increase his pro-
ers in Chowan County, will test out season-exten-
sion technology that they designed, enhancing
their five acres of melons and sweet potatoes.
They will install a new well and drip irrigation that
will allow them to expand to seven acres, and will
compare new low-tunnel row covers with a low-
er-cost system that they designed and share the
results with their Future Farmers of America and
Keith Hollowell will plant three acres of his family’s
heritage collards and three acres of sweet corn to
sell in local grocery stores and at a roadside stand,
adapting old tobacco equipment for this new un-
Meredith Leight at Granite Springs Farm will grow
oyster mushrooms in hanging bags suspended in
her high-tunnel greenhouse in Chatham County.
Nationally acclaimed Saxapahaw General Store in
Alamance County will improve local-food storage
and marketing infrastructure, enabling farmers to
sell an even greater volume and diversity of prod-
ucts. The project lead is farmer Suzanne Nelson.
The new South Durham Farmers Market, coordinat-
ed by Kathryn Spann, will provide a broader sales
outlet for 37 farmers and include four cooperative
slots for beginning farmers.
Sam Bellamy is bringing wind power to Indigo Run
tric fence and put in 20 more acres of organic veg-
Jason Smith describes his project on Fox Squirrel
Farm as a “silvopasture.” He and his wife Sarah will
plant fruit and nut trees on his family land and put
up fencing to allow intensive grazing of chickens,
turkeys, goats and sheep in the same pasture.
Robert Jones will construct full mechanized, so-
lar-powered low tunnel greenhouses on Jones
Farm in Greene County to double his production of
Jason Shupig of Oak Bluff Farm in Montgomery
County will test roller-crimper technology, a no-till
soil improvement method, in hopes of adding sus-
tainable pumpkin and gourd production despite
very sandy soil conditions.
Ben Ketchie will install a rotational grazing system
on the Iredell County land where his grandfather
farmed, continuing the family business of raising
milk cows for sale to local dairies, while lowering
feed costs, increasing sustainability and improving
the health of his animals and land.
Morgan Milne will reduce feed and fertilizer costs
by using a chicken tractor to raise hens for egg pro-
duction directly over his vegetable plots during
Mark Williams will establish a creamery and
bottling facility for low-temperature-pas-
teurized milk and drinkable yogurt. Williams,
who grew up farming dairy, tobacco, cotton
and grains, now operates a grass-fed dairy in
Sisters Janice Lindley and Ann Campbell of
Lindley Dairy will begin making mozzarella
cheese and cheesecakes with milk from their
family’s Chatham County dairy.
Gary Sikes will breed heritage chickens and
turkeys for sale to farmers in the Southeast
on Bountiful Harvest Farm in Anson County.
Feed is the largest expense for most live-
stock farmers, and locally produced feed is
rare. Charlie Beheler and Linda Johnston of
South Mountain Farms will grind organic and
chemical-free grains and beans into feed for
their animals, offering use of the equipment
to other local farms.
Alex Draughow will diversify his Surry Coun-
ty tobacco farm by selling baled shavings
to feed mills, poultry growers and livestock
Dale Thompson of Hilltop Angus Farms will
make beef liver jerky for sale as dog treats,
reducing waste and bringing extra income to
his Montgomery County farm.
Charles and Jane Trivette will expand their
production of game birds partridge and chu-
kar at C&J Farms to sell to customers and
restaurants, as well as game preserves.
The Community Honey House in Cleveland
County will provide processing and packag-
ing space and a pollination and hive health
service for local beekeepers. The project is
coordinated by Kim Hamrick.
Zane Sells of Clodbuster Farms in Forsyth
County will convert an old tobacco shed into
a storage facility, classroom and CSA drop
Gerald and Elaine Fryar in Guilford Coun-
ty will convert a large dairy barn into a cli-
mate-controlled wedding venue, making
summer events possible and expanding the
opportunity for their daughter to return to
Brian Howard will be able to hire more labor
and spend more time in the field because of
his model CSA processing, sorting and pack-
aging facility at Howard Family Farm.
John Blue is sourcing his own fuel from his
farm. Highlanders Farm has been in contin-
uous production since 1804. Blue will use a
greenhouses for off-season tomato produc-
tion, hoping to keep the farm financially sus-
tainable enough to pass on to his young son.
farmer, will use new equipment to group, tag
tion, allowing farmers to sell source-verified
cattle at a higher price.
Stanley Hughes, one of the first certified or-
build a model grading and packing shed at
Pine Knot Farms. The shed will integrate with
his organic and Good Agricultural Practices
The Alexander Cattlemen’s Association will
purchase equipment that allows members
to prepare beef cattle for sale at auction.
Sharing the equipment lets local farmers
who converted tobacco land to cattle pro-
duction to save money and increase farm
income. The project is coordinated by
Greg Foster, a former tobacco farmer, rais-
es grapes for Duplin Winery on his Franklin
County farm. He will install a solar-powered
pump and piping to allow him to irrigate ad-
ditional acreage from a stream on his farm.
The land yields healthy &
abundant food & fiber that
is accessible to all
members of society.
COME TO THE TABLE//
Come to the Table began in 2007. One
small conference ignited a dynamic
energy. On the last night of the confer-
ence, gathered around a soup tureen in
an Asheville church basement, communi-
ty members relayed all that they learned
and all that had inspired them. And they
Leaders, laypeople, farmers, farmworkers,
gardeners, non-profit agencies, communi-
ty organizations and diverse faith groups
came together under one common goal:
to relieve hunger and sustain local agricul-
ture. We believed then, just as we do now,
that every eater, every food worker, every
agricultural laborer, every human being is
deserving of the best, most fresh food pos-
sible. And so our table grew.
Reverend Jeremy Troxler of the Duke
Divinity School participated in 2007. This
year, we asked him to be one of our 2013
“Grassroots community move-
ments like these need a place
where diverse groups come
together,” Rev. Troxler told us. “It
is important for this to happen
to sustain community projects.
Come to the Table has served that
role. To see the way it has blos-
somed is really a gift.” PJC will
lead a panel discussion during the
2013 CTTT conferences.
We spent 2012 connecting with faith-
based food ministries, local food councils,
gardeners, cooperative extension agents,
faith leaders and community organiza-
tions so that our three conferences in
2013, planned for Kinston, Greensboro
and Sylva, North Carolina, would be root-
ed in the resources, needs and goals of
This included conducting Rural Life Com-
mittee meetings in our RAFI office, con-
vening statewide and regional steering
conference committees, as well as spend-
ing time in conversation and on site with
a great variety of community groups and
recruiting workshop leaders and keynote
speakers for all three conferences.
RIGHT: Sarah Gibson, Come to the Table
Conference Coordinator, assists Poder Juvenil
Campesino (Rural Youth Power) in Lenoir, NC.
RAFI provided in-kind donations and techni-
cal assistance to help the farmworker youth
establish their own organic garden.
“To see the way it has blossomed is really a gift.”
- Reverend Jeremy Troxler, Duke Divinity School
Agriculture Research Council (CRA)
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Center for Community Action
Center for Environmental Farming Systems
Duke Divinity School
Farmers’ Legal Action Group
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
International Organic Accreditation Service
Land Loss Prevention Project
North Carolina State University
NC Cooperative Extension Service
NC Council of Churches
NC FIELD / Poder Juvenil Campesino
North Carolina Strawberry Association
Operation Spring Plant
Organic Seed Alliance
Resourceful Communities of the Conservation Fund of NC
Rural Life Committee of the NC Council of Churches
Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Our Campaign for Contract Ag Reform partners:
Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association
Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias
Food & Water Watch
National Farmers Union
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
North Carolina Contract Poultry Growers Association
Organization of Competitive Markets
United Poultry Growers Association
RAFI is an active leader of the following organizations:
Agricultural Advancement Consortium
Agricultural Justice Project (founding member)
Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform
National Organic Coalition
NC Agricultural Development Farmland Preservation
Trust Fund (Advisory Committee member)
Sustainable Food NC (founding member, Administrative
2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Archie Hart, Board President
Francesca Hyatt, Staff Rep. to RAFI Board
Randi Ilyse Roth
Allstadt Hardin Foundation
The City Tap
Clif Bar Family Foundation
Educational Foundation of America
Harold & Betty Cottle Family Foundation
Elisa Jerard Environmental & Humanitarian Trust
Eno River UU Fellowship Giving Circle
Eskin Family Foundation
Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund
First Citizens Bank
Food, Faith and Religious Leadership Initiative at Wake Forest
University School of Divinity
Charles W. Gaddy & Lucy Finch Gaddy Endowment Fund
GLB Charitable Foundation
Golden LEAF Foundation
Google for Nonprofits
The F.B. Heron Foundation
Lawson Valentine Foundation
Little Dipper’s Italian Ice
Louise Arnold Maddux Environmental Trust
Mary Lynn Richardson Fund
New Belgium Brewing
Mary Norris Preyer Fund
North Carolina Conference United Methodist Church
North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
North Carolina Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
North Carolina State University
North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
North Pond Foundation
Organic Valley / FAFO
Presbyterian Hunger Program
Dan and Sue Rothenberg
Small Street B&B Cafe
Southern Risk Management Education Center (SRMEC)
Stonyfield Farm, Inc.
Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund of Tides Foundation
Unitarian Universalist Funding Program
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Communications
Wallace Genetic Foundation
Weaver Street Market
Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Inc.
We’d like to thank the following people, groups and
organizations for their generous support in 2012:
A special thank you to each individual donor, whose support
enhanced RAFI’s work in 2012. We appreciate you.
Audited 2012 financial statements and 990 forms are available online at www.rafiusa.org. Financial in-
formation about RAFI-USA and a copy of our license is available from the North Carolina Solicitation
Licensing Section at 1-888-830-4989. This license is not an endorsement by the state of North Carolina.
REVENUES AND PUBLIC SUPPORT
Private foundations and public funds $1,229,077
Service contracts and honoraria $402,663
Individual contributions $153,293
Corporate contributions $26,036
Rental Income $18,520
Total Revenues and Public Support $1,833,603
Just Foods $365,696
Tobacco Communities & Ag Enterprise Development $433,568
Contract Agriculture Reform $168,011
Farm Sustainability $252,749
Total Program Services $1,220,024
General & Administrative $201,734
Total Supporting Services $267,449
Total Expenses $1,487,473
Change in Net Assets $346,130
Net Assets - Beginning of Year $1,488,599
Net Assets - End of Year $1,834,729
A bequest by will or revocable trust to Rural Advancement
Foundation International - USA strengthens RAFI’s work for
the future. A bequest is for you if:
Long-term planning is more important to you than an
immediate income tax deduction.
You want the flexibility of a gift commitment that doesn’t
affect your cash flow.
If you include RAFI in a bequest provision, please notify us
so that your wishes can be fulfilled. Your notification will be
Be sure to use our legal name:
Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA
For more information, call RAFI at (919) 542-1396.
Plant a lasting legacy.
RuRal advancement Foundation inteRnational