Preparing the Next Generation of Farm Advocates
At RAFI, we aim to provide resources and educational materials both to support long-time farm advocates and empower new farm advocates. We continue to develop additional training resources to support the professional development of farm advocates. We will make new educational materials we produce available here on our website. In the meantime, please have a look at our current resources and information for farmers and farm advocates.
Farm Advocate Webinar & Lecture Series
Just like many of the nation’s farmers, many farm advocates are nearing retirement age. With this in mind, RAFI created a new series of farm advocacy webinars and educational videos in 2014. The series provides helpful resources and information to new advocates and an opportunity for professional development for established advocates.
1) Cash Flow: The Common Language Between Farmers and Lenders [Recorded Live Webinar]
This webinar, with Gary Matteson of Farm Credit, covered the basics of farm business planning, as it applies to borrowing. He specifically discussed cash flow analysis, a vital communication tool when borrowing, and also helped audience members plan for what the lender needs to see. This webinar is intended both for farmers preparing to borrow money and to the advocates wishing to help farmers during this process. This webinar took place on September 18. 2014.
The Grass Fed Beef budgeting spreadsheet that appeared in the webinar, as well as a more general spreadsheet that can be applicable to vegetable production, can be downloaded here.
2) Disaster Assistance Videos: “Documenting Disaster”, “Division of Labor During a Disaster”, & “Stages of Disaster Recovery” [Videos]
Filmed in 2014, these three talks by Scott Marlow of RAFI give helpful advice on preparing for, dealing with, and recovering from a disaster. Documenting Disaster emphasizes the importance of documentation following a disaster, and discusses how and when to document. Division of Labor During a Disaster explains which disaster agencies and programs to approach depending on the type of damages sustained, and Stages of Disaster Recovery details the phases individuals and communities go through after disaster strikes.
3) “When the Phone Rings: Guidelines for Initial Farmer to Advocate Conversation” [Recorded Live Webinar]
This webinar explained what happens when a farmer first calls an advocate or advocacy organization. Skills and tips for talking to farmers who are in crisis were discussed, as well as types of questions advocates ask to get a comprehensive situational statement from the farmer. The presenters also discussed questions asked for record-keeping purposes, to gather information from farmers after listening to their story. This webinar took place on April 24, 2014.
4) Farm Advocacy 101 [Recorded Live Webinar]
In this webinar, we discussed who advocates are and the work they do, as well as specific examples describing when a farmer might seek the advice or services of an advocate. Different levels of advocacy were covered, including accompanying farmers to bear witness and to provide clarity, helping to get forms together, recognizing issues, helping with appeals, and representation during the appeals process. Important resources, useful publications, and a guide to major farm advocacy organizations in the US were also included. This webinar took place on March 11, 2014.
To access additional information relevant to farm advocates or farm advocates in training click here.