Dear Local Food Leader,

Welcome to the December 2021 edition of The Buzz. This has been a very busy fall for the CFSA Policy Team. We have continued to advocate at the state level and federal priorities. 

In North Carolina, the General Assembly (NCGA) included $2 million for CFSA’s FarmsSHARE program! In South Carolina, CFSA successfully lobbied the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to include $24 million in local food system infrastructure and marketing allocations in the department’s official request to the Governor. The SC General Assembly is expected to approve the recommendations in early 2022.

Our advocacy continues on the federal level as well. Believe it or not, the 2023 Farm Bill is just around the corner! Even though this important legislation seems far away, the time to begin our preparation is now. Advocacy for important priorities begins in earnest next year. 

For this reason, we joined with the NC Food System Advocacy Coalition to hold the Farm Storm campaign. Farm Storm educated nearly 200 people from more than 85 farms and organizations about the farm bill.  More than a third of the participants participated in a listening session with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition!

To learn more about what our policy team accomplished in 2021, check out our new blog post, CFSA Policy Team Achievements in 2021.

In solidarity,


Nick Wood, CFSA Advocacy Manager

PS - Want to work with CFSA? We're currently hiring for two full-time positions:

  • Development Director
  • Local Produce Safety Coordinator
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the positions will remain open until filled. Apply today or share these postings with someone who may be interested.

Thanks to two generous donors from our community, all gifts made to the CFSA Fund through the end of the year will be matched, dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000. Donations of any size make a difference and your gift can now go twice as far. 

Why the CFSA Fund? The CFSA Fund is our only fund to be used where it's needed most. Month-to-month and year-to-year we are able to be most nimble and responsive to pressing needs and unexpected opportunities strictly because of your support of this fund. 

Thank you for all the ways you support CFSA and sustainable food and farming systems! 


Did you miss CFSA's Sustainable Agriculture Conference in November? We just made the SAC Recording Access Pass available!

For the cost of $0.62 per recording, you can now purchase the pass and gain access to more than 75 recordings through Mar. 1, 2022. It includes:
  • 59 virtual workshops on timely topics, and at least 20 are dedicated to policy, advocacy, and food justice
  • 115+ speakers, including incredible advocates like Naeema Muhammad, Rhyne Cureton, Ilana Dubester, Meredith Leigh, Erica Cormack, LaShauna Austria, Josie Walker, Monique Bethel, Alisha Street, April Jones, Crystal Taylor, Nick Tyre, Victoria Nwankudu, the teams from Men & Women United for Youth & Families and A Better Chance A Better Community, as well as CFSA MAP graduates Dylan Turner, George Jones, Kara Rutter, and Keith Sexton!
  • 2 keynote panels, diving into ethical meat and the future of farm-to-table restaurants
Pricing:  $80-$120 (varies for students, veterans, and CFSA members)



Here is a curated list of reads from the CFSA Policy Team
Matt Kneece, South Carolina Policy Coordinator

​​One of the Southeast’s Oldest Black-Owned Farms Stands as a Model of Resiliency

Agriculture news of late has a tendency to be disheartening, covering market disruptions, farm stress, climate crises, and more. But when a story about the survival and resiliency of one of the oldest Black-owned farms in the Southeast makes the headlines, you have to take a moment and appreciate it. This beautiful article from the Greenville News, featuring Dori Sanders and her family’s ability to keep Sanders Peach Farm going for more than 100 years, should be an inspiring tale to all.
Through COVID-19, late freezes, and more, Sanders Peach Farm has survived to become a historical and community staple in South Carolina. The article correctly highlights that from the time Sanders Peach Farm was founded to the present, Black-owned farms have fallen from 14% of total farms to less than 2%. This stat alone indicates that Sanders Peach Farm can teach us all a model of perseverance.
Jared Cates, Community Mobilizer

Maine Voters Consider “Right to Food” Constitutional Amendment

This week, Maine voters will consider amending their constitution to guarantee every resident’s right to food, defined as the ability to “grow, raise, harvest, produce, and consume the food of their own choosing,” as long as it doesn’t involve trespassing, stealing, poaching, or other illegal activities. 

If passed, it would mark the first constitutional amendment of its kind in the United States. But it’s not immediately clear what the amendment would actually do. Check out the full article in The Counter

Editor’s Note: Since this was written, the bill passed. Maine is the nation’s first ‘right to food’ state.
Nick Wood, Advocacy Manager

Cities Lead the Way on Public Procurement of Local Food

Governments of all levels purchase billions of dollars in food every year. Unfortunately, the vast majority of public spending on food goes to the lowest bidder, leaving small and mid-scale farms out of an enormous market. This could soon change. The two largest cities in the country, New York and Los Angeles, have now adopted a Good Food Purchasing Framework that factors in support for local economies, environmental sustainability, working conditions, and animal welfare into purchasing decisions.  

Values-based procurement systems are not without their obstacles. In New York, state law requires that cost be the primary factor in decisions. Further, local food systems must have the infrastructure including cold storage, online ordering capability, and more. But these obstacles are not insurmountable and local governments can lead the way and potentially influence federal purchasing in the 2023 Farm Bill. This great article goes into great depth about the hopes and challenges of this effort. 

A huge thank you to some of our SAC 2021 sponsors!

Cedar Grove Law logoWeaver Street Market logo

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange logo  Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) logo Farm Credit logo
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Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, growers, and the land.

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