Bringing Local to the Forefront

5 Oct

Today we present the eleventh in our series of profiles of our 13 Founding Members in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. Here is an organization that is taking the food and farming industry in North and South Carolina by storm — literally.

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a leading advocate for local and organic farming in North and South Carolina. They have set their sights on creating a region where sustainable agriculture is the norm.

How does CFSA  go about mainstreaming this grand idea?

They start by inspiring the communities closest to the issue.

Educate the community: CFSA focuses on increasing the understanding of sustainable food and agricultural systems. They promote the importance of organic and local food to the general public and farmers at their Sustainable Agriculture Conference and through programs like their Growing Green Farmers initiative which helps new farmers grow a sustainable business.

Advocacy:  This summer, CFSA  promoted fair farming and food policies by launching the Local Food Barn Storm Tour of the Carolinas. The Local Barn Storm travelled to farms across the Carolinas to provide farmers with the resources grow to their industries. Along the way, CFSA collected stories that demonstrated the importance of local farming, inspired support for sustainable agriculture and raised awareness about the 2012 Federal Farm Bill, a series of reforms to agricultural policy that prioritize farmer’s needs.

One exciting result of this tour is carolinafood.org, CFSA’s new food-finder blog where you can easily search for local food, farms and restaurants.

Fostering growth: CFSA has a variety of programs in place which aim to establish a  world class organics industry in the Carolinas.  Like the small-scale Carolina Ground project that builds up local farming by supplying bakeries with high-quality organic supplies to create delicious, local and organic baked items.

We asked CFSA’s Alice Alexander to share her thoughts on working with Catchafire, “As a small but smart regional organization with a proven track record, we are ripe for expert consultation to help us raise our visibility and influence. As with most nonprofits just reaching adolescence, we do not have the luxury of deep pockets to invest in strategy development that would kick us to a new level. Catchafire serves as an angle is making these leaps possible!”

Sign up to be a Catchafire Pro Bono Professional and help people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods.

 

 

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