Jean Willoughby


About Jean Willoughby

Jean Willoughby currently serves as RAFI's Communications Manager and Project Director, overseeing our grant program for entrepreneurial and innovative farmers, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund. She created the Growing Innovation website as an online library to document the Fund's nearly 20-year history of awarding grants to 600+ food and farm businesses.



Sally Lee, program director at Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, issued the following statement: “We are shocked to hear that the USDA is delaying the implementation of rules that are meant to provide basic rights and protections to farmers and agricultural communities. This decision poses a real threat to independent livestock and poultry businesses in the U.S. – it also ignores the voices of American farmers, who risked retaliation to show their clear and strong support for these rules.

Release: Farmers Dismayed as USDA Delays GIPSA Rule




The Come to the Table Conference is a biennial gathering of food, faith, and farm advocates focused on relieving hunger and strengthening local, sustainable agriculture in North Carolina. This year's conference theme is "Bridging Divides: Cultivating Food & Faith Connections." Participants will have the opportunity to attend workshops covering theology and food, community development, racial equity, and food and farm policy. This year, we welcome former NFL player turned NC farmer and hunger relief activist Jason Brown as our keynote speaker. Come to the Table was founded in 2007 and is a project of the Rural Advancement Foundation International.

Come to the Table Conference March 16th, 2017



Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) seeks a talented individual to significantly increase the ability of rural North Carolina farmers’ markets and other direct market farm outlets to serve low-wealth communities, and to evaluate the potential and limitations of SNAP/WIC at farmers’ markets as a market-based food access solution. The Program Coordinator will work under the supervision of the project manager of Beyond Hunger Relief, a broader initiative to identify and develop market-based solutions to food access in rural areas.

We’re Hiring: Program Coordinator (Apply by Jan 23rd!)



On December 14th, the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced new Farmer Fair Practice Rules to protect contract farmers from some of the abusive terms commonly found in contracts with large poultry companies. We've been featured in several major news reports on the new rules recently, which you'll find listed here.

RAFI in the News on USDA Farmer Fair Practice Rules


As part of our Bring Back the Bees partnership with the Burt’s Bees Greater Good Foundation, we’re working with a group of farmers this year to establish significant areas of pollinator-friendly plants on their farms to sustain bees and other pollinators. We’re excited to have Hickory Meadows Organics as a participant in the project. We also appreciate their willingness to let us use their farm as a living, natural laboratory to experiment with incorporating these types of crops onto working farmland.

Bringing (Burt’s) Bees to the Farm


The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) seeks a web designer with experience in marketing and communications for a short-term website redesign project. This is a full-time, temporary position, but can also be arranged as a contract position. The project’s duration is approximately two months, and the target completion date is December 5th.

Web Designer for Food Co-op Website Project (Filled)