Holiday Giving Begins at Home with Food and Farming

If your inbox is anything like mine, you are getting crushed with year-end donation requests. As the days have shortened and the nights are long, it gives time to ponder what’s important and how to make a meaningful change in the world.

Did you know that obesity is more dangerous than traffic accidents, public drinking water is contaminated with nitrates and our morning cereal may harbor traces of herbicides?

So food and farming affect us at the very heart of our homes.

As you sift your way through year-end requests, consider that food and agriculture are the very residence of our collective well-being. The best place to affect change begins right here at home.

Seed is the foundation of our food and agricultural systems.

The Organic Seed Alliance has a fourteen-year track record as the leading organic seed institution in the U.S. As the global seed industry consolidates, the biodiversity of our food chain and farmers’ access to adaptable seed are in jeopardy. Seed biodiversity is vital to growing food under changing climate and pest and disease conditions. Simply, we need more farmers growing organic seed, more varieties that flourish under organic conditions, and more public support for organic research.

A year-end donation to OSA will support science-based research to expand the genetic richness of organic seed and educate farmers on seed stewardship and production.

Science and research dollars are critical to helping organic farmers thrive in a changing world.

The Organic Center is dedicated to conducting and convening credible, evidence-based science on the environmental and health effects of organic food and farming. They go even further by communicating their findings to the public.

This year has been an enormous success for The Organic Center; they have interviewed researchers about cutting-edge organic issues, responded to misinformed media posts about organic, covered over a hundred research articles showing the benefits of organic food and farming, and launched projects on human health, environment and sustainability, and applied research finding solutions for organic farmers.

I care so much about their vision that I serve as Trustee for The Center. So if you become a Friend of The Organic Center, you will be joining me in supporting their work

The Organic Farming Research Foundation has been a champion for organic research since 1990. OFRF’s mission is to bring more farmers and acreage into organic production. Everything OFRF does is focused on making organic farmers and ranchers successful—from funding innovative on-farm research to making research results more accessible with new soil health guidebooks, and advocating for increased federal investment in organic research. It is critical to fund research and advocate for policies and programs that support the growth of organic farming systems for communities across the U.S.

A gift to OFRF will do just that!

Fair and unbiased food and agriculture reporting is a critical component of being informed and active.

I subscribe to many newsfeeds, but the two that really stand out and give me impactful and current information is FERN and the New Food Economy. Both depend on public support to deliver insightful and balanced reporting

Food and Environmental Report Network (FERN) publishes weekly stories that unpack controversies and expose the risks behind the production of the food we eat. It’s often cutting-edge reading, and they can’t do it without the support of their community of readers. A donation of just $25 will get you a copy of The Dirt 2017, a collection of stories from the past year. They have $28,000 in matching funds available so you can double your dollars and amplify your impact.

The New Food Economy believes we are in the midst of history’s next great food revolution. Changes in food systems and policies are radically impacting our consumption and our ideas about food. All this change requires an equally comprehensive source of information and reporting, which is why The New Food Economy is committed to uncovering the stories that help navigate the forces shaping how we eat.

From now until December 31, 2017, your support has twice the reach! The New Food Economy was selected to participate in News Match 2017, which will match all individual donations up to $1,000.

Universities do amazing work transforming our food system.

The Berkeley Food Institute wants to transform our food system to one that is resilient, healthful and diverse. For almost five years they have been working to empower food systems leaders, growing partnerships, and engaging policymakers to find solutions for expanded access to healthy, affordable food. They rely on the generous support from donors like you to carry out this vital work.  A donation to BFI will support the fight for transformative food systems change.

Organic certifiers understand the impacts of climate change on organic farmers.

The CCOF Foundation established a hardship assistance grant fund that gives to organic producers who have suffered adversity. Most of the farmer recipients this year were affected by either the hurricanes or fires. They make grants up to $2500. With no service fees, 100% of your donation goes directly to organic producers in need. The impact of our changing climate is especially hard on organic producers. If you want to make a real impact in the lives of these farmers, visit the Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund.

Wendell Berry once said, “An agrarian mind begins with the love of fields and ramifies in good farming, good cooking and good eating.”

Supporting healthy fields and good food is as close to home as you can get. Seize your agrarian mind and give generously this holiday season.

Happy New Year and Happy Giving!

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