Announcing the Farmer Leadership Network

RAFI Farmer Leadership Network Photo

We are excited to announce our pilot project to establish a Farmer Leadership Network in North Carolina. With support from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, RAFI has begun development of the network and we invite farmers from across North Carolina to participate.

News & Updates

We are currently looking for candidates to join state and local county committees to ensure that the best interests of farmers are represented and protected.

We are looking for farmers who may be interested in joining their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county committee. To qualify, you must reside and farm in the county subdivision (called a Local Administrative Area) that is up for election and be up-to-date in your local FSA Service Center’s farmer contact list. RAFI’s staff will help prepare and educate candidates on the process and the roles that committee members play.

The window for county committee nominations for this year closes on August 1, 2014. Please contact us today if you or someone you know might be interested in participating or learning more.

FSA county committees are responsible for administration and oversight of federal farm programs on a local level and are made up of farmers operating in the county. The FSA will mail ballots to eligible voters beginning November 3, 2014. Please contact us today if you or someone you know might be interested in participating or learning more.

Contact Us

For more information or to join the Farmer Leadership Network, email Kavita Koppa at

Calling All Farmers in Tier 1!

We will also make a special effort to serve farmers located in North Carolina’s tier 1 counties, which are classified as “economically distressed” by the NC Department of Commerce. Each year, the Department releases a list of the state’s 100 counties ranked by their economic status. Each county is assigned a “tier,” with the 40 most economically distressed counties categorized as tier 1, the next 40 as tier 2, and the least distressed as tier 3. The tier designations for 2014 are below:

NC County Tier Map 2014

Source: NC Department of Commerce

About Kavita Koppa

Kavita manages RAFI’s Farmer Leadership Network, which helps farmers effectively serve on committees for agricultural decision-making groups. Prior to this she managed a beginning farmer program and organized farmer-veterans to better address their specific barriers to success. She received her BA in Geography and Biology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009.