Continued support from people like you has allowed the Foundation to create and continue to deliver critical educational programs that are vital to the sustainability of the local food movement, quality food production, protection of rights to purchase direct from the producer and recruitment efforts for new producers to meet the growing demand of quality locally produced food. One added benefit of the Foundation’s efforts recently brought to our attention is that quality local food is getting into the hands of more people across all socioeconomic levels. This is an exciting new aspect to our work, and we are exploring how to maximize potential with organizations that have begun to utilize opportunities created by the Foundation.
Here is a brief outline of our work for the first half of 2012:
- The Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of two new directors to the board: Joe Scrimger, a long-time Michigan Educator/Consultant of biological agriculture and Sarah Donovan, MBA/Biologist currently working in Washington DC. Please visit the Who We Are page for the complete bios and more information.
- At the biennial retreat, the Foundation created an Educational Committee and welcomed for the first time non-Board of Director Committee members to sit on a Foundation committee. Joining us are Rebecca Brown, who holds a degree in Environmental Studies and Natural Resource Management and has worked with several of the sustainable Ag leaders around the world and Sharon Wilson, a Raw Goat Dairy Farmer, Treasurer of the Raw Milk Association of Colorado and Instructor of the Foundation’s Goat Share University.
- The second phase of website expansion in fall 2012 will include Foundation financial transparency page, speaking and educational dates around the country and Foundation educational information access. The Young Farmer page is in the works for exposure of local ag to young and new producers..
- The Foundation Grant Committee finalized its Grant Program procedures in February and in the spring grant cycle distributed $27,500.00 to applicants involved in Public Interest Litigation.
- The Foundation has developed and will be presenting the Best Practices for the Production of Raw Milk Seminar at the NOFA Summer conference, NOFA-NH winter conference, three dates in September in Oregon and Washington State, and two dates in November in California. The Foundation is currently in conversation with all the major winter conferences, Rural Vermont, and the Maine sovereignty organizations to present the Best Practices Seminar in 2012 and early 2013 to begin long term educational partnerships.
- The Foundation is close to finishing the Raw Milk Dairy Farm Check List, a quick guide for consumers to evaluate raw dairy producers, and current dairy producers to gauge where their farm is at in relation to being able to deliver safe quality raw milk. This checklist will be available on our site in the very near future.
- The Foundation is currently in discussions with several private colleges with Sustainable Ag programs to develop a lecture series from professionals and leaders on the principles of Biological Agriculture, and integrate that knowledge into the curriculum so the students start their knowledge base with the principles of soil, forage, and animal biology to assure their farm’s success and eliminate the mindset that farming is a calling and one cannot make a living. These key principles have proven to increase raw milk safety and quality while increasing dairy animal productivity and longevity, and transfers to all food and forage production.
- The Foundation is in discussions with the organizers of the Slow Living Summit on what is needed to educate investors and major donors of Sustainable Ag ventures, local Ag production support industries and individuals and their farming practices. What constitutes a good foundation of economic growth based on biological principles applied to the soil.
If you have any questions about the programs and efforts of the Foundation or have any suggestions about issues or needs of the local sustainable food movement the Foundation should pursue, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].