CFSA Impact Report 2016

CFSA Impact Report 2016 CoverOver the last decade, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) has provided programs to build a healthy, just, sustainable food and farming system by addressing challenges like the loss of farmers and farmland; the need for research and resources tailored to help family farmers thrive; the struggle to maintain the integrity of sustainable agriculture in the face of greenwashing and profiteering; and the necessity of empowering people to control decisions about their community’s food supply. We are pleased to share with you this Impact Report that illustrates CFSA’s labors through the stories and statistics of the people we are serving, and we hope it will inspire you to find more that you can do to join our work in 2017 and beyond.




Understanding the Need

CFSA is working to protect the ability of family-scale farms and high-integrity businesses to thrive in the growing organic sector

Gap in the Carolinas between the local food supply and wholesale demand for 12 Certified Organic crops (2012)

The Challenge: Who will grow our food?

  • The average age of farmers nationally is 58.3 years old
  • North Carolina has lost almost 9,000 farms and more than a million acres of farmland since the mid-1990s
  • The number of beginning farmers in North Carolina dropped 21% between 2007-2012
  • South Carolina has lost almost 400,000 acres of farmland since the 1980s
  • The number of beginning farmers in South Carolina dropped 19% between 2007-2012


The Challenge: Training, Research & Resources

In addition to providing farmer training and resources on production, markets, and other farm business skills, CFSA has identified gaps in farmers’ need for:

  • Individualized help transitioning to organic
  • Assistance meeting the increasing food safety requirements of retail and wholesale markets
  • Farmer-driven applied research on organic practices in the Southeast
  • Sourcing organic inputs


The Challenge: Organic Integrity

  • As the organic food market has grown and large-scale food companies have expanded their offering in the organic sector, the Consumers Union has downgraded its confidence-rating in the organic label, which has put public trust in organic agriculture at risk.
  • The leadership of the organic farming movement in general is missing the perspective of farmers, especially from the South, in developing successful strategies to defend organic integrity and expand organic adoption by family farms.


How CFSA Is Responding to The Challenge


Farm Services

Chris Sherman, CFSA Farmer of the Year 2016

We provide technical consulting services to help farmers use sustainable and organic production practices, as well as become USDA Organic Certified and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certified and grow successfully in High Tunnels

Learn more about Farm Services


Elma C. Lomax Incubator Farm

Eric Spear, Lomax Incubator Farm

CFSA supports local, organic farming while equipping a new generation of farmers.

Learn more about Lomax Incubator Farm



Ross and Jillian Mickens, 2016 Young Farmers of the Year

We’re equipping farmers to grow local and organic and building the network they need to succeed.

Learn more about our Sustainable Agriculture Conference, Organic Commodities and Livestock Conference, Farm Tours, and Workshops


Policy & Advocacy

CFSA Policy and Advocacy

We’re driving the conversation about local, organic agriculture – nationally, locally and at the state level.

Learn more about our advocacy and food council work


Food Systems

Swamp Rabbit Cafe

We are continually working to develop new tools and identify new markets for farmers and producers to build their businesses, providing benefits across the Carolinas.

Learn more about our food systems work




The 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, good for growers, and good for the land.
Give to CFSA
Related Articles