Agriculture, Food, Nutrition

Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA

aka RAFI-USA   |   Pittsboro, NC   |  http://www.rafiusa.org

Mission

The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI-USA) cultivates markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just and environmentally sound family farms.

Ruling year info

1990

Executive Director

Ms. Edna Rodriguez

Main address

PO Box 640

Pittsboro, NC 27312 USA

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EIN

56-1704863

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

Community Coalitions (S21)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Just Foods

From promoting meaningful standards for organic agriculture, to pioneering new standards for social justice in the food system, Just Foods projects seek to make fair, sustainable farming a viable choice. Protecting agricultural genetic diversity is also essential to the viability of family farms. Therefore, Just Foods advocates for funding for classical breeding programs and support publicly-held seeds and breeds.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
General/Unspecified
Budget
$387,228

Farm Sustainability provides assistance, develops tools and resources, and promotes policies that help farmers attain greater financial stability and encourage thriving and sustainable small- and mid-scale family farms. The program educates farmers about managing risk and equips them to navigate federal farm programs. Through the program’s farm advocacy work, it provides individual counseling and assistance to farmers facing financial crisis and who stand to lose their farms without immediate support.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Budget
$186,441

Contract Agriculture Reform works for fair and equitable contract arrangements between individual farmers and large corporations. The program provides farmers a forum for defining their needs and advocating on their own behalf for fairness. The program engages farmers and other key stakeholders in efforts to improve national policy, force the industry to be more just and support the growth of viable alternatives for farmers. The fiscally sponsored project, Campaign for Contract Agriculture Reform (CCAR) is included as part of this program. CCAR is a national alliance of organizations working to provide a voice for farmers and ranchers involved in contract agriculture, as as in the communities in which they live.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Budget
$273,481

The Agricultural Reinvestment Fund supports farmers and rural communities in developing new and innovative sources of agricultural income through cost-share grants. These small capital investments help preserve existing jobs and businesses, leverage new investment, and create new jobs and income for North Carolina’s farmers and rural communities. The farm-based enterprises supported through this program represent a wide variety of lessons and experiences relevant to thousands within the state’s agricultural industry. To date, the program has disbursed more than $6 million to more than 600 farmers and collaborative farmer groups throughout North Carolina.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
Budget
$268,539

Come to the Table is a multi-faceted program that focuses on systemic solutions to food access that also strengthen just and sustainable agriculture. The program works with faith communities, hunger relief advocates and farmers to engage and mobilize them on issues of food access and justice in the food system. The program delivers conferences and events, technical assistance, training focuses on building equity in the food system, and collaborative networks and resources.

Population(s) Served
Interfaith groups
Economically disadvantaged, low-income, and poor people
Budget
$448,367

RAFI serves as fiscal sponsor for the following groups: National Organic Coalition- NOC is a national alliance of organizations working to provide a “Washington voice” for farmers, ranchers, environmentalists, consumers and industry members involved in organic agriculture. Durham Farmers Market’s Double Bucks Program- Double Bucks is an incentive program at the Durham Farmers Market that provides up to $10 in matching funds per customer for purchases made with SNAP benefits. Veteran’s Farm of North Carolina- VFNC is a training and education farm that provides veterans with the skills and tools needed to begin farming on their own. North Carolina Community Garden Partners- NCCGP is a volunteer-based grassroots initiative dedicated to increasing the quantity, quality and sustainability of community gardens across North Carolina.

Population(s) Served
Farmers
General/Unspecified
Budget
$241,660

Where we work

Awards

Activist of the Year 2012

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total grants distributed for innovative farming projects

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Agricultural Reinvestment Fund

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of jobs created as result of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Agricultural Reinvestment Fund

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

RAFI-USA believes that farmers and consumers must be informed, involved with each other and active in protecting and directing the use of natural and human agricultural resources. Our programs are strategically designed to advance our mission and vision. Our vision: 1) Family farmers have the power to earn a fair and dependable income. 2) Everyone who labors in agriculture is respected, protected, and valued by society. 3) Air, water and soil are preserved for future generations. 4) The land yields healthy and abundant food and fiber that is accessible to all members of society. 5) The full diversity of seeds and breeds, the building blocks of agriculture, are reinvigorated and publicly protected.

We achieve results through coalitions, partnerships and affiliations. Our strategies include: 1) Preserve farm and community assets through one-on-one farmer support and fair development and implementation of public policy. 2) Support innovative, replicable models of farm and community-based enterprises in the Southeast. 3) Increase financial capital and risk-management tools available to under-served farmers. 4) Develop marketplace initiatives that provide economic incentives for sustainable production and fair compensation. 5) Ensure that farmers, workers, and others in rural communities have the power to move families and communities out of poverty. 6) Close the loop between farmers and policymakers through advocacy and policy research.

RAFI-USA has a long history and demonstrated body of work regarding the development, promotion and protection of national and international organic farming, equity and fair treatment in rural communities, modeling of fair food systems, and agricultural innovation that strengthens the market viability of independent operators. Our advocacy efforts to promote policies and alternatives are built upon our work directly with farmers. For more than 25 years RAFI-USA has provided financial counseling, business planning and risk management training to farm families. Additionally, the organization administers cost-share grants for farm innovation. These direct service experiences inform our advocacy and organizing for rural advancement. RAFI-USA's history and proven impact make the organization uniquely qualified to bring together farmers and broad coalitions to work towards our common goals.

Sample Key Indicators (by program area) Farmer Entrepreneurship / Farmer grants program: -Number of jobs created -Farm income generated Farm Advocacy Program: -Value ($) of farm assets preserved -Homes & farms saved from foreclosure -Number of farms receiving grants and technical assistance during disaster preparedness or response -Value ($) of farm credit secured or restructured Come to the Table Project: -Number of farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits -Number of church ministries supporting local farm businesses

Accomplished: -2018: 26 cost-share grants of $8,000 - $12,000 to farmers developing new or innovative farming enterprises -2018: launched Farmers of Color Network (FOCN), emphasizes outreach, relationship building and listening -2018: one-on-one assistance with 100 farmers re issues of credit access, USDA programs, beginning farmer applications, business development. Caseload equals >$20M in assets/debt/revenue at stake -2019: awarded 26 cost-share grants (23 individual farmers, 3 collaborative projects) -2019: hosted our biennial Come To The Table Conference in Charlotte, NC, featuring 2 keynotes and 57 workshops, and involving more than 400 attendees What's next: -Build capacity of Junior Farm Advocate in anticipation of Senior Advocate retirement -Implement and support a Seed Producers’ Cooperative as a model for farmer-controlled seed distribution -Plan and host second CFLDT, leveraging lessons learned, developed curriculum and confidence in the model

Financials

Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA

Board of directors
as of 6/18/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Alex Hitt

Peregrine Farm

Term: 2015 - 2018

Archie Hart

NC Department of Agriculture

Kelli Dale

RAFI-USA

Shirley Sherrod

Southwest Georgia Project

Mary Hendrickson

University of Missouri

Phillip Farland

USDA Farm Service Agency, retired

Jerry DeWitt

Retired

Elijah Brunson

Rachel Carson Council

Alex Hitt

Peregrine Farm

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Keywords

family farming, contract agriculture, organics, sustainable agriculture, food security, biodiversity, rural, economic development, community development