RAFI Joins Farm Hack to Document and Promote 17 Years of Farmer-Driven Innovation


February 10, 2014

RAFI Joins Farm Hack to Document and Promote 17 Years of Farmer-Driven Innovation
Nonprofit Kickstarter campaign hopes to fund open-source resource library of 500 farm projects

Pittsboro, NC — The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) has teamed up with Farm Hack to achieve a long-held dream of creating an online library of innovative farm projects and a book of sustainable models for family farmers.

Farm Hack (www.farmhack.net) is an open-source online community that has spurred success by joining like-minded farmers and innovators in working toward resilient solutions in agriculture. RAFI is partnering with Farm Hack to collaborate in the creation and promotion of Growing Innovation, a project to celebrate a 17-year history of farmer innovation in North Carolina. RAFI launched a Kickstarter campaign last week to raise funds to publicly document hundreds of farm projects.

“RAFI is 100% in line with Farm Hack’s mission to get the best farming practices and knowledge into the public domain, and to create a food system that produces the kind of food we collectively want to eat, that we can trust, and that supports a resilient agricultural system,” said Farm Hack Co-Founder Dorn Cox.

Since the inception of its Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund (TCRF) in 1997, RAFI has allocated grants to fund more than 500 farmer-led projects across North Carolina. These will all be featured in Growing Innovation as a model for other farmers to learn from.

“We look to TCRF grantees every year to demonstrate profitable ways to make a living in small and mid-scale agriculture, and to share their lessons with their neighbors and community members,” said RAFI Farm Sustainability Director Joe Schroeder.

The dual nature of the TCRF program entails both the funding of projects and facilitating peer-to-peer learning opportunities for farmers. In addition, the TCRF seeks to fund projects that are replicable, in order to ensure the potential of wider adoption and to have a greater impact on rural economies.

The Farm Hack partnership enhances RAFI’s reach, providing greater exposure for all farmers to learn more about on-farm innovation that works.

“It’s important that every farmer has access to the best information,” Cox added. “Every farm is already a research and development farm. We’re excited about communicating that and enabling farmers to share their accomplishments with the broader world.”

RAFI is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, NC. RAFI’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies and communities that support thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. Learn more at www.rafiusa.org.

Farm Hack is an open source community for resilient agriculture. Learn more at http://farmhack.net/.