We are asking our supporters to please consider a special year-end gift to ensure a strong Farm-to-Consumer Foundation in 2014!
You can donate here: http://f2cfnd.org/donate-today/ or call us at (513) 593-9430.
Your donations will allow us to focus our efforts on advancing the progress of the local food movement and increasing access to fresh, nutrient-dense food. In addition, your contributions will allow us to create and deliver educational programs that benefit consumers, producers and their communities.
Here is an update on FTCF activities over the past year:
- The Education Committee hired an Education Program Coordinator to facilitate the work of the Committee. Through this new position, the FTCF is reaching out to inner city food production organizations to deliver valuable information about nutrient-dense food production practices; working with FFA teachers to develop classroom curricula to teach FFA students about the importance of local agriculture and the related career paths open to them; collaborating with the Nutritional Therapy Association to develop education modules for Nutritional Therapy Practitioners to assess nutrient-dense food production practices for optimal healing properties; continuing discussions on a potential educational farm managed by the FTCF and with sustainable Ag leaders on a true sustainable Ag conference and potential Sustainable Ag College; and seeking out partnerships with other organizations to deliver FTCF education programs and materials.
- The Education Committee has created three subcommittees, whose members bring expertise to the organization and the educational programs, covering:
- Production of Milk: a first-of-its-kind expert and professional panel from around the world to create a publication due out in December 2014. The yet-to-be-titled publication looks at raw milk production practices and current status from around the world. The publication will detail the actual risks and processes to inform producers and consumers what to consider to increase quality and production levels for the growing demand for raw milk and raw milk products.
- Raw Milk Education: The Raw Milk Workshop has been given by board members at several on-farm meetings of raw milk producers and consumers around the country, including the Young Farmers Conference held at Stone Barns in New York. It covers the complete cycle of basic, safe, practical and profitable raw milk production practices. This presentation is being worked into a webinar series to begin in the fall of 2013. This program will replace the Cow Share College and Goat Share University, which was a teleseminar, and will be geared toward current and potential raw milk producers around the country with an added visual aspect to the education. The Raw Milk Education subcommittee is working on the details to provide this presentation at sustainable Ag winter conferences in 2013-2014.
- Biological Farming: This subcommittee has been working on collecting and condensing the current knowledge base on the understanding of nutrient-dense food production in order to create programs and materials to distribute on the FTCF website and at farm walks and sustainable Ag conferences in early 2014. This subcommittee is also charged with working with the Nutritional Therapy Association to develop modules for Nutritional Therapy Practitioners to identify nutrient-dense food production practices to share with their patients for optimal regenerative therapies and long-term health recovery.
- 2013 was the 5th year the FTCF had an exhibit at the FFA Organization’s (also known as Future Farmers of America) National Convention. This year there were 55,000 attendees and the FTCF was, once again, the only organization out of 365 exhibitors representing the local food movement.
- 2013 was also the 5th year the FTCF had an exhibit at the World Dairy Expo. The FTCF is one of the few sustainable organizations there, out of the 850 exhibitors, to share information with the 65,000 attendees about local food and the economic benefits of direct producer-consumer transactions. It is the only organization in the “sustainable category” that discusses best practices for raw milk production for direct consumption by the consumer.
- The Foundation supported Public Interest Litigation through the efforts of organizations, such as the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, that represent producers who have had unbalanced enforcement actions directed at them as well as challenge Federal statutes that prohibit access to local food. In 2013, the FTCF will have granted over $173,000 for public interest litigation cases. One of the cases that the FTCF supported in 2013 was the State of Wisconsin vs. Hershberger. Dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger was acquitted by a jury on three of four criminal charges for violations of the Wisconsin food and dairy code. The acquittals enabled Hershberger to continue supplying raw dairy products and other nutrient-dense foods to members of his private buyers club, and they are a victory for the right of farmers and consumers to enter into private contracts for food, free from government interference. The Hershberger verdict represents the greatest court success to date for raw milk producers and consumers in the U.S.
If you have any questions about the programs and projects of the FTCF, or if you have any suggestions about any issues or needs in the local food movement that the FTCF should research or become involved in, please feel free to contact me.