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2012 Annual Report: Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA


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Annual report for fiscal year 2012 for Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA.

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PO Box 640
Pittsboro, NC 27312

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2012 Annual Report: Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA

  1. 1. ANNUAL REPORT 2012 rural advancement foundation international - usa
  2. 2. 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 Partners Thank You Financial Summary 4// 6// 10// 12// 14// 18// 20// 22// 24//
  3. 3. Our VISION of justice. AMESSAGEFROMOUREXECUTIVEDIRECTORANDBOARDPRESIDENT We are proud to bring you this report on RAFI’s work in 2012 for justice and sustainability in agriculture and rural communities. 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 opposition. 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- able income. • 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. 4
  4. 4. 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. Sincerely, Scott Marlow Archie Hart Executive Director Board of Directors - President 5
  5. 5. Preserving air, water & soil for future generations. PRESERVATIONFORFUTUREGENERATIONS ORGANIC INTEGRITY// 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 Evening Post: “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. 6
  6. 6. “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 7
  7. 7. Preserving air, water & soil for future generations. 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- erty rights. 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 industry does. 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. PRESERVATIONFORFUTUREGENERATIONS 8
  8. 8. “RAFI gives me the right information.” - Debbie Hall, Lee County landowner 9 CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
  9. 9. Thefulldiversityofseeds& breeds,thebuildingblocksof agriculture,arereinvigorated & publicly protected. BUILDINGBLOCKSOFAGRICULTURE 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, education,andinnovation,andtomake 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 agriculture. 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. 10
  10. 10. 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- plishments, we: • Preserved 2008 victories in the Senate, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Programs (linking conservation with organic agriculture), the OrganicCostShareProgram,theOrganicResearchand 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 cultivar development. • 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. 11
  11. 11. Everyonewholaborsin agricultureisrespected, protected&valuedbysociety. RESPECTANDVALUE 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 12
  12. 12. 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. 13
  13. 13. Family farmers have the power to earn a fair & dependable income. POWERANDFAIRNESS TOBACCO COMMUNITIES REINVESTMENT FUND// “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- resource community. 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 diabetic customers. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. 14
  14. 14. 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 market. 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 multi-generational farm. 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- duction acreage. SethandCoreySaunders,twohigh-schoolagefarm- 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 4-H peers. 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- dertaking. 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 Farm.Anewwindmillwillrunawellpumpandelec- tric fence and put in 20 more acres of organic veg- etables. 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 organic vegetables. 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 onhisNewHanoverCountyfarm,RedBeardFarms, by using a chicken tractor to raise hens for egg pro- duction directly over his vegetable plots during crop rotation. 15 CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO.
  15. 15. 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 Wilkes County. 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 farmers. 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 point. 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 the farm. 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 woodchipboilertopowerhisformertobacco greenhouses for off-season tomato produc- tion, hoping to keep the farm financially sus- tainable enough to pass on to his young son. GeneCox,aformerJohnstonCountytobacco farmer, will use new equipment to group, tag andvaccinatehiscattleforsaleatonlineauc- tion, allowing farmers to sell source-verified cattle at a higher price. Stanley Hughes, one of the first certified or- ganictobaccogrowersinNorthCarolina,will build a model grading and packing shed at Pine Knot Farms. The shed will integrate with his organic and Good Agricultural Practices certifications. 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 Daniel Chapman. 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. POWERANDFAIRNESS 16
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  17. 17. The land yields healthy & abundant food & fiber that is accessible to all members of society. HEALTHANDABUNDANCEFORALL 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 wanted more. 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 featured speakers. “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 each community. 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. 18
  18. 18. “To see the way it has blossomed is really a gift.” - Reverend Jeremy Troxler, Duke Divinity School 19
  19. 19. OURPARTNERS RAFIholdspartnershipswithanumberoforganizations&coalitions: Agriculture Research Council (CRA) Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Center for Community Action Center for Environmental Farming Systems Duke Divinity School ETC International Farm Aid Farmer Foodshare 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 Seed Matters 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 Council member) 2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Archie Hart, Board President Mary Hendrickson Alex Hitt Francesca Hyatt, Staff Rep. to RAFI Board Randi Ilyse Roth Alton Thompson Tom Trantham 20
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  21. 21. THANKYOU Alces Foundation Allstadt Hardin Foundation AmeriCorps VISTA BB&T Carolina Brewery Celebrity Dairy Chatham Marketplace The City Tap Clif Bar Family Foundation Educational Foundation of America Harold & Betty Cottle Family Foundation C.S. Fund Duke Endowment Elisa Jerard Environmental & Humanitarian Trust Eno River UU Fellowship Giving Circle Eskin Family Foundation Farm Aid Theodore Feitshans Fenwick Foundation Fiddlehead Farm 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 Gaia Fund GLB Charitable Foundation Golden LEAF Foundation Google for Nonprofits The F.B. Heron Foundation Debbie Hamrick Hillsdale Fund John Humphrey Lawson Valentine Foundation LeFort-Martin Fund Lindley Dairy 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 Oakleaf Organic Valley / FAFO Park Foundation Patagonia Presbyterian Hunger Program Proximity Hotel Rod Rejesus Dan and Sue Rothenberg Foundation Small Street B&B Cafe Southern Risk Management Education Center (SRMEC) Starrlight Mead Stonyfield Farm, Inc. Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund of Tides Foundation Unitarian Universalist Funding Program University of North Carolina at Greensboro Communications Department 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: 22 A special thank you to each individual donor, whose support enhanced RAFI’s work in 2012. We appreciate you.
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  23. 23. FINANCIALSUMMARY Audited 2012 financial statements and 990 forms are available online at 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. 24 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 Other $4,014 Total Revenues and Public Support $1,833,603 EXPENSES Program Services 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 Supporting Services General & Administrative $201,734 Fundraising $65,715 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
  24. 24. 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: YouwanttohelpensureRAFI’sfutureviabilityandstrength. 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 treated confidentially. Be sure to use our legal name: Rural Advancement Foundation International - USA Pittsboro, N.C. For more information, call RAFI at (919) 542-1396. Plant a lasting legacy. USA RuRal advancement Foundation inteRnational 25