RAFI’s Blog

From the Farmstand

From the Farmstand is a blog written by staff of the Rural Advancement Foundation International covering key issues relevant to the development of markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms.

Recent Posts

  • firefly farm, elizabeth gibbs, scott paquin, Farm Ownership Microloans Announced (1/22/2016) - The cold, snowy days of winter are the best time to dig into those spring farm plans. Maybe it’s time to draft a crop rotation or plan new infrastructure. Maybe...
  • Winter-Bales-4d5f95c15b0a4_hires UPDATE: Farmers, Stay Ahead of Winter Storms (1/21/2016) - With much of the south expecting moderate to heavy snow and ice this weekend, make sure you and your farm is prepared for the worst, should it happen. Please note: ...
  • Steve Sifford checks on his rabbit tractors. Cattle to Rabbitry in Alamance County, NC (1/14/2016) - Steve Sifford of Alamance County, North Carolina received a grant through RAFI's Agricultural Reinvestment Fund in 2015 to add the necessary infrastructure for raising rabbits including building hutches and shade structures. He grew up on a dairy farm and originally purchased land to raise cattle while working as an instructor nearby. Although Steve has a lifelong love for the cattle business, he wanted to find a new livestock product that could bring high value to the farm without needing much more land. The 40+ acre farm was already at maximum grazing capacity with the cattle and Steve did not have the capital or the desire to purchase more land. He found that rabbits could be raised with little infrastructure and land while bringing in a premium price. Read more about Steve's story here...
  • Sustainable Agriculture Wins in 2016 Federal Budget (12/17/2015) - After several budget extensions, known as a Continuing Resolution or CR, Congress has agreed on a spending bill to fund the government in 2016, avoiding another government shutdown. The big news: NO GIPSA RIDER.
  • Peanuts for Slider #TBT: Revisiting the Peanut Project: A Model of Farmer-Centered Innovation (10/29/2015) - To celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, we’ve started a new series that combines reflections on our history with the popular “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) social media trend. Look for new...
  • Rev. Joyner Web slider Rev. Joyner in the Running for CNN Hero of the Year (10/29/2015) - We at RAFI are delighted, and not a bit surprised, that Reverend Richard Joyner has been named a CNN hero of the year. We became acquainted with him and his ambitious projects at the Conetoe Family Life Center about five years ago. The Conetoe Family Life Center Farm received a grant from RAFI in 2014. The grant was used to support the training of 40 youth in an agricultural entrepreneurial program. We are honored to be able to support their good work and wish Rev. Joyner all the best in the CNN contest. You can read more on our blog and cast your VOTE on CNN's website here for this real-life everyday hero!
  • DSC00284 Upcoming Workshop: Grants for Farmers & Ag Enterprises Nov. 4th in Roxboro, NC (10/21/2015) - Please join us for a workshop on November 4th from 7 to 8 pm to learn about our grant program for farmers and ag enterprises, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund. We will have printed applications available at the workshop and will explain how to apply.
  • IMG_2642_Waterdog_Farm_NC_2015 Upcoming Farm Tour at Waterdog Farms in Hurdle Mills, NC (10/14/2015) - Join us for a farm tour on October 18th at Waterdog Farms​ in Hurdle Mills, NC (1-3 pm). The farm received a grant from our Agricultural Reinvestment Fund this year to scale up production of their herbs and tea plants. Check out this growing farm-to-cup business and enjoy free samples of their tasty herbal teas.
  • Marion Market Managing Risk: Making the Farmer’s Market a Rewarding Experience (10/13/2015) - Risk management is a cornerstone of RAFI’s work with farmers. In the general sense, this means identifying financial risks and developing strategies to minimize their impact. In the agricultural realm,...
  • Community Seed Saving Guide #TBT: Community Seed Bank Resource Kit (10/8/2015) - To mark our 25th anniversary this year, we’ve started a new series that combines reflections on our history with the popular “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) social media trend. Look for new...
  • Cropped Farmers Guide Fact Sheets Graphic New “Farmer’s Guide to Agricultural Credit” Fact Sheets Released (9/22/2015) - RAFI started the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund program in 1997 to assist transitioning farmers and rural communities in finding new ways to replace lost tobacco income. It was an aspiration that...
  • DSC00021 A Renewed Call To Action (9/21/2015) - A new study by Kansas State University, North Dakota State University, and the USDA[1], documents major sweeping declines in US agricultural biodiversity over the last 34 years, with an overall...
  • RAFI's Crop Hop 2015 New Video: Do the Crop Hop, Y’all! (9/2/2015) - We started the Crop Hop three years ago as a way to bring our community together to celebrate family farmers and farm advocates. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate here in the North Carolina Piedmont: delicious food, talented local musicians, and a boot-stompin’ square dance. Sounds about right! (Check out our new video for the event here.)
  • fracking-map-nc Recording of ‘Oil and Gas Leasing in North Carolina’ Webinar (8/31/2015) - In recent years, some North Carolina landowners have been presented with the opportunity to sign oil and gas leases, which would give oil and gas companies the right to conduct hydraulic...
  • Piglets for Slider Historic Changes to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (8/27/2015) - Farmers interested in signing up for WFRP will have the opportunity beginning September 1, 2015.
  • Alix-pics-for-spring-2011-021-150x150 RMA Announces Historic Crop Insurance Reforms to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (8/27/2015) - Today the Risk Management Agency of the USDA announced major changes to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP), including expanded access to beginning farmers and making the policy available in every state and county in the country. These changes will be effective starting in the 2016 crop year.
  • Unequal Lives Image “Unequal Lives”: New Report by Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative (8/24/2015) - The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Social and Economic Justice (SRBWI), has sponsored a report titled “Unequal Lives: The State of Black Women and Families in the Rural South.”...
  • RMA Moves to Increase Beginning Farmer and Livestock Farmer Access to Whole Farm Revenue Protection (8/19/2015) - For Immediate Release August 19, 2015 Contact: James Robinson james@rafiusa.org 919-542-1396 ext. 209 RMA Moves to Increase Beginning Farmer and Livestock Farmer Access to Whole Farm Revenue Protection Last week,...
  • Net Change In Farm Operations NC 2007 - 2012 NC farm numbers gradually decrease between 2007 – 2012, however some counties grow in farms (8/18/2015) - It’s generally known that the number of farms in the US is decreasing overall. But where does this information come from? The US Census of Agriculture is used to determine...
  • hammer-719066_640 #TBT: When Black Farmers Prevailed: Remembering the Historic Pigford Case (8/13/2015) - To mark our 25th anniversary this year, we’ve started a new series that combines reflections on our history with the popular “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) social media trend.

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